It’s a reality that businesses are able to examine changing two streams of revenue that are expenses and income in order to boost profits. If the income is declining and it isn’t expected to rise substantially in the near future the clients of law firms are likely to take the opportunity to reduce costs to stay afloat. Legal fees will come subject to intense scrutiny. Legal outsourcing, though an infancy sector, is now gaining momentum and is being discussed in more corporate boardrooms. As pressures to outsource increase lawyers consider whether they should decide to outsource legal work offshore or rescind it. In the context of the global economic crisis and the deteriorating number of American jobs, why do an law firm want to consider outsourcing legal services? Are there any valid reasons as to that targeted legal outsourcing is a must for any law firm?
A few weeks ago, I got an email an attorney who was thinking of outsourcing certain legal tasks that his company. He was facing opposition and challenges from the law firm that were keen to preserve the status quo, he contacted me for my opinion on what he could tell his colleagues. What are the reasons why a firm should outsource legal work overseas which is viewed by some as risky and risky, rather than remaining the course and following “the way we have always done it.” I responded by presenting the top ten reasons that every law firm should look at outsourcing legal work in a selective manner:
1. PRUDENT, TARGETED OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN REDUCED LAW FIRM OVERHEAD
outsourcing certain legal tasks to experienced service providers in India will bring down the cost of costs for the law firm outsourcing. In evaluating the cost of the outsourcing the law firm would be smart to take the time to estimate the true costs of hiring just one paralegal or lawyer. The costs are based on salary and bonuses as well as health insurance, holiday and vacation pay and sick time expenses, FICA and office equipment for the paralegal, lawyer and secretarial personnel associated with that lawyer, pensions as well as profit share, car and parking expenses, CLE seminar costs, as well as other benefits for employees like disability and life insurance. The actual annual cost of an attorney earning a salary base of $150,000 to $175,000 is likely between $250,000-$300,000 annually. None of these typical expenses are paid to the law firm that employs the services of offshore legal firms that are supplemental to.
2. OUTSOURCING WILL ENHANCE LAW FIRM EFFICIENCIES
Selective outsourcing will increase the effectiveness for your firm. Since Indian lawyers are working while American lawyers rest so it’s as if your law firm operates an all-hour full-time, fully-staffed night shift. Certain tasks can be assigned to the partner after six p.m. at night. He will then put the completed work is put on the desk of his partner when she gets at work the following morning. Legal cases will be processed faster across the legal system, with lesser need for delays.
3. OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN IMPROVED LAWYER MORALE
When I was a kid, not all sermons I received from my pastor stayed in my mind. However, one sermon I heard when I was 14 years old, of age, still is a ringing bell. He stated: “Ninety percent of any worthwhile endeavor is pack work, plugging, day in and day out. Only ten percent of our work tasks are necessarily fun and enjoyable.” I’ve always remembered the quote. For more than two years as a trial attorney, I was a fan of analyzing and presenting cases before juries. But I did not always like all the preparation for deposition and trial along with research and briefing the review of documents and the other aspects of practicing law. Law firms that incorporate outsourcing into its business will eventually result in more satisfied lawyers who dedicate their time and energy to the more difficult enjoyable, rewarding and fun aspects of law practice. The only “chore” legal work is outsourcing, with all the “core” work staying onshore. This provides clients more time to interact with and the development of attorneys from the company.
4. OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN OVERALL SAVINGS IN LEGAL FEES TO CLIENTS
Law firms’ clients especially business clients are searching all over for ways to reduce their legal costs. Many are asking why they should pay, for instance 200 to $300 per hour for review of documents. The days are gone where legal costs are paid with no scrutiny. The annual increase in hourly fees will not be welcomed by those who are looking to cut expenses. The most efficient law firms place the needs of their clients over their own interests. What’s good for the client can be beneficial for the law firm as well.
5. THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE OUTSOURCING CONSIDERATION
The Rules of Professional Conduct of stipulate that. “A lawyer should seek to achieve the lawful objectives of a client through reasonable permissible means.” (Rule 1.2) 2. “A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions about the representation.” (Rule 1.4 2.) 3. “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.” (Rule 3.2)
Lawyers are required to investigate and discuss with the client every feasible method to meet the client’s needs. Lawyers are not allowed to be able to charge an excessive or unreasonable cost. It is possible that lawyers are obliged to consider the possibility of selective outsourcing as a means to reduce the client’s final fee obligations and also advancing the interest that the customer.
6. OUTSOURCING “CHORE” LEGAL WORK PROMOTES CLIENT RETENTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Clients have often questioned the ever-growing legal fees for simple “chore” legal work. But, they were like they were left with no choice. They required legal advice and quality work. Since there was no significant amount of difference in fees between law firms and law firm, the clients were more likely to “stay put.” This trend is starting to change as they realize that they can choose. Lawyers who choose to outsource their work selectively report a more satisfied and faithful client base. Customers who feel that their lawyers look out for all their interests, which includes cost of fees, usually remain loyal to their current law firms, and may even offer referrals to their clients to other firms (whose lawyers do not want the option of outsourcing).
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