Most American law firms employ paralegals to serve in support roles for staff attorneys.
By delegating less specialized tasks to paralegals, staff attorneys can focus their more highly-compensated time and efforts on serving the firm’s clients and completing specialized legal work. However, the need for paralegal services varies according to the needs of the firm and its staff attorneys at any given time. It can therefore be difficult to know how many paralegals to keep on staff. Hiring too many hurts the firm’s bottom line, but hiring too few creates gaps in necessary support. Most firms are significantly busier at some times and slower at others, it is generally a good idea to outsource a law firm’s paralegal needs. That way, paralegal support can be accessed on-demand for a short period of time or to serve an on-going need.
Outsourcing paralegal services is a financially efficient approach. It doesn’t require firms to keep too many paralegals on staff at all times. Nor do employers pay for the employee benefits of individuals hired through an outsourcing agency. It also allows firms to access all the support they require for as long as complex litigation, gaps in in-house staffing or an uptick in client needs stretch the capacity of the firm’s in-house talent. As an added bonus, working with a qualified outsourcing agency allows firms to choose from a pool of vetted, highly-experienced paralegals so the firm doesn’t have to approach the hiring process from scratch.
Keeping Your Talent Focused on What They Do Best
Most of the time, paralegals function as legal administrative assistants. Their responsibilities are more specialized than those of administrative assistants but are less specialized than those of attorneys. Depending on the needs of the law firm that employs them, paralegals may conduct client interviews, file motions, conduct legal research, draft legal documentation and track filings related to a firm’s casework. By allowing paralegals to take on these tasks, staff attorneys can spend time focusing on more specialized tasks.
Paralegals are not allowed to practice law. This means that they cannot establish a representation-related relationship with clients, give clients legal advice, represent clients in court, conduct depositions or otherwise engage in the practice of law. With paralegals taking on the responsibility of completing less specialized legal tasks, staff attorneys are given the time and support they need to practice law. Employing paralegals allows law firms to focus their time and talent in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
Flexibility and Financial Advantages
Delegating less specialized work to paralegals, who are paid less than staff attorneys, also benefits a law firm’s bottom line. Depending on the ways in which clients are billed, delegating certain work to paralegals can also save clients money too. Outsourcing allows a firm to employ paralegals only when their services are in demand. This makes for a particularly savvy financial option. Many firms do keep some paralegals on staff at all times. However, large, medium, and small firms can benefit from the cost-efficient nature of on-demand paralegal services.
Even if your firm employs paralegals on staff, additional on-demand paralegals can be outsourced as needed. Firms often take on outsourced paralegal candidates at the holidays, so that their staff can take pre-planned vacation time. Paralegals also provide support on complex cases, cover for staff on leave, and allows for in-house staff to have a more manageable workload. Outsourced paralegals, hired on a very temporary or ongoing basis, can help to support existing in-house staffing structures. By hiring paralegals during times of greatest need, in-house talent can continue to focus their energies where they’re most needed. Additionally, outsourcing on-demand paralegal services can help to improve morale when a firm’s workload is becoming overwhelming. The flexibility and financial advantages of outsourcing paralegal services are undeniable.
Paralegal Outsourcing Services Are Available
If you’re interested in exploring paralegal outsourcing services for your law firm, consider connecting with the team at LawTrades today. Our on-demand paralegal services will allow your firm access to a pool of highly-experienced paralegal professionals. Whether you need assistance for a one-time project or could benefit from on-going support, LawTrades can meet your staffing needs.