Question: Why Outsource Paralegal Work? Answer: When law firms and businesses are considering their paralegal needs, a host of factors must be weighed. Every company has different legal needs at different times. This is one of the reasons it can be difficult to figure out how many paralegals to have on staff.
If a legal department hires too many paralegals, there may not be enough work available to justify the costs associated with their pay and benefits. If a legal department lacks access to enough paralegal “muscle,” highly compensated lawyers must divert time away from their specialized work to cover the task ordinarily delegated to paralegals.
Legal departments rarely take on levels of work and activity that can be classified as “steady.” Some legal work, such as tax preparation, governmental reporting and compliance matters, is largely seasonal. Case work and legal actions can lead to dramatic increases and decreases in staffing needs over the course of a year.
Similarly, when lawyers and paralegals on staff take advantage of vacation time or need to take temporary leave for professional, medical or personal reasons, gaps in staffing can be difficult to fill on a temporary or semi-permanent basis. Fluctuations in a legal department’s staffing needs make it difficult to know just how many paralegals to hire at any given time.
Thankfully, the American workplace has become increasingly flexible over the past two decades. Advances in technology and hiring models make it easier than ever to meet staffing needs in ways that make sense for each unique business.
For example, outsourcing paralegal work is a trend that is transforming the ways legal departments operate. Some companies find that outsourcing all of their paralegal needs better serves their staffing needs and bottom line. Especially when legal departments are small, it may not make sense to keep even a single paralegal on staff full time.
Question: How do you Effectively Outsource Paralegal Work? Answer: Legal departments that are larger and do keep paralegals on staff are discovering that outsourcing “overflow” paralegal work during times of heavy need and/or taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities when regular staffers are on leave is an excellent way to keep a legal team focused, balanced, efficient and effective.
Outsourcing paralegal services allows a team to remain flexibly staffed as needs ebb and flow while maintaining an informed, high-quality work product. The first step to successful outsourcing is understanding your business needs.
If you’re a results-driven company and you value the outcome of the work, hiring someone you don’t see in person every day can be a plus.
By choosing to outsource paralegal services, businesses can meet their needs without incurring the costs associated with overstaffing.