A temporary employee is someone hired for a finite period of time, such as for a specific project. The individual hired is considered an employee, not an independent contractor. The employee may be subject to salary or hourly compensation. The number of hours required of the employee will vary depending upon the needs of the project. Temporary employees are useful for filling any shortfalls in the non-temporary work staff or meeting the needs of a specific project. Most companies employ a staffing agency service to locate and hire the temporary employee, though employing the services of such a firm is not always necessary.
Some companies seek to hire temporary legal professionals. Hiring a temporary legal professional is far less common than simply hiring an attorney or law firm as an independent contractor to perform services for the company. It is not uncommon, however, to hire a temporary legal professional when the company already employs an in-house legal professional. This is also true for situations where a company is bridging a gap between employing a full-time legal professional. The reason that this scenario is common in business already employing in-house legal professionals is oversight. The company will want to have subject-matter knowledge and the ability to oversee the work of the temporary employee.
Reasons for Hiring a Temporary Legal Professional
Outside legal services are generally expensive. Law firms have high overhead costs, such as paying the salaries of highly-compensated attorneys, paying the salaries of support staff salaries, renting office space, paying for office supplies, subscribing to research databases, etc. Companies seek to reduce these costs by employing an in-house attorney as an employee. The attorney generally cannot perform all of the services rendered by outside counsel, but she is able to reduce the amount of work required to be outsourced. Companies might employ various methods for reducing the costs of outside legal services, such as subscribing to lower-cost service plans or outsourcing the services to legal processing organizations. Another option is to reduce the costs associated with outside legal counsel (and in-house legal counsel) by hiring a temporary legal professional. This allows the company to bring in the legal professional when services are most needed and avoid paying the costs of an employee when the need for those services wane.
Understand the Benefits of Working with a Temporary Legal Professional
The following are benefits of working with a temporary legal professional:
Lower cost – A temporary legal professional generally commands an equal or lower salary than a full-time employee or independent contractor. The temporary employee generally does not enjoy all of the additional benefits of a full-time employee, such as retirement contributions, healthcare benefits, vacation days, etc. The company saves money by not providing these benefits.
No long-term employment commitment – The temporary employee’s term of service is finite. The employer’s commitment to the employee will not be any longer than the stated period. This is similar to the relationship with an independent contractor. The employer may also find it easier to end the temporary employment early than firing a full-time employee. In this way, the temporary employee provides the same commitment benefits to the employer as working with an independent contractor.
Specialization – Businesses routinely encounter unique legal needs. That is, the company finds itself in need of a specific type of legal services for a finite or limited period of time. Employing a full-time individual to address these legal needs may be difficult and costly. Further, once the legal need is gone, it can be superfluous to continue to employ the individual. For this reason, most companies employ the services of an independent contractor. A temporary employee would offer the same benefit. The difficulty, however, is to locate and hire a temporary employee with the type of skills or level of specialization required by the business.
LawTrades and Temporary Legal Professionals
If you find yourself in need of a temporary legal professional, look no further than the specialized services offered by LawTrades. We can assist you in locating and hiring a temporary legal professional that will meet all of your business needs.