28 Sep How Should Law Firms Decide What to Outsource?
Tradition tells us that everything a law firm does each day – from meeting with clients to head hunting new attorneys – should always be done in house. But the wave of “new law” rapidly impacting the legal industry exposes a different story – one that says legal outsourcing is the future.
When evaluating how to outsource legal services to maintain operational efficiency lawyers should prepare to decide what operations can be streamlined with external experts and what tasks can stay within the firm and still keep up with the evolving legal landscape.
What is New Law?
At a broad glance, the term “new law” simply means offering legal services in new ways that are separate from traditional law practice. But diving deeper into the concept of “new law” reveals much more than the broad definition, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“New law” shows us that the legal industry is turning away from doing everything in house and finding different ways to streamline their firms. New companies with innovative solutions are cropping up left and right to help law firms outsource legal services in ways that are tailored to benefit their unique law practice. Gone are the days of performing tasks the same way just because it works at the base level. Instead, lawyers are now eager to evaluate daily functions and analyze whether it is time for a change to the daily routine.
The era of “new law” has quickly come to be known as the time to consider what is helping the law firm and what is hurting – and make rapid decisions on legal process outsourcing so firms become more flexible and adaptable to change.
When to Outsource Legal Services
The first step to outsourcing functions at any law firm is to scrutinize daily tasks performed by the entire team, including both attorneys and legal staff, and to embrace what may be better managed by external vendors. Law firm leaders must think more in depth about what each team member does day to day and address tasks that may be better done in the hands of an experienced consultant.
Is the team spending too much time processing payments? It may be time to work with a third-party payment company. Are paralegals spending an enormous amount of time reviewing legal documents when they could be in court assisting attorneys? Now more than ever, practice management companies are offering document managing systems as a part of their platforms. A few more key questions that are helpful in making decisions on when to outsource are:
- How important is this function to the firm?
- What is the cost of the firm doing it versus outsourcing?
- How good are we as a firm at doing this?
- Do we have the right people in those roles?
Lawyers should also evaluate what is core to the financial mission and values as a firm when pinpointing the right time to outsource. Investigating where funds are spent and how time is spent is key to understanding how outsourcing may alleviate costs or even how it can give time back to the internal team so more hours can be spent billing clients. Legal technology also become a key player in these evaluations, as it continues to improve and expedite daily functions at law firms such as scheduling, billing, and time tracking. The intersection of technology and law is more prevalent than ever – and being ahead of the curve can maximize a firm’s goal to streamline operations.
Finding a Legal Outsourcing Partner
When choosing legal outsource partners, law firms must think about their current team and what outside source may help to create an overall increased revenue. The service provider a law firm outsources to must also understand the firm’s needs and be able to help the firm adapt to the change that has hit the legal landscape through the last few years. A firm’s future success should also be front and center when choosing the right fit in a legal outsource partner.
Sometimes choosing specific vendors for specific tasks is the right choice for a firm, depending on firm size, budget, and team organization. More often than not, though, an all-inclusive practice management company is the most budget-friendly and convenient choice for law firms looking to simplify and modernize various aspects of daily firm operations.
Lexicon’s comprehensive, holistic suite of legal solutions and software was created to be a one-stop shop for law firms of all fields and sizes. Outsource partners like Lexicon make outsourcing easier because all the decisions on who and what to outsource at a firm can be made all in one place. Contact Lexicon today to learn more about outsourcing key functions to streamline firm operations.