Like any other company, a small law firm relies on making a profit in order to stay in business for the long-term. Hiring a permanent full-time employee to take on fluctuating volumes of client work can erode a firm’s profitability through the payment of salary and benefits. So, what’s the solution? Two words: contract attorneys. Hiring contract attorneys can be a cost-efficient and time-saving way to help you manage your practice. In fact, nearly 56% of law firms rely on contract attorneys to meet business demands.
Still not convinced? Here are five benefits of hiring contract attorneys:
1. Biting off more than you can chew becomes a good thing.
The ability to assign work to contract attorneys enables a small firm to take on more projects it would otherwise have to decline or refer elsewhere. Hiring contract attorneys also allows you to explore areas traditionally outside your area of expertise. If a client comes to your firm with a matter you don’t normally handle, you can retain an expert contract attorney. By taking this route, your firm keeps the client, makes a profit, and avoids referring the client to a potential competitor.
These benefits to firms and contractors alike aren’t lost on the legal industry — over the last 10 years, the number of legal freelancers has risen significantly, and the legal industry ranks #6 in the Top 10 industries utilizing contracting as a means to accomplish work.
2. You spend less and save more.
It’s no secret that contract attorneys charge a lower hourly rate than full-time attorneys, making it less expensive for a firm to outsource legal talent than to hire an additional employee. Furthermore, overhead costs are also reduced when hiring a contract attorney, as the nature of freelance work means they do not need to be supplied with a computer and a roof over their head. As many as 85% of companies citing outside help saw costs fall. In fact, nearly 90% reported their costs not only dropped, but their services improved with legal outsourcing. (Source.)
3. You have more time to expand your practice.
Many small law firms face the dilemma of being constantly overwhelmed by the demands of handling the substantive, administrative, and business aspects of their practices. These demands may leave little to no time for other vital activities that help to sustain and grow the practice, such as networking in the community or attending conferences. By outsourcing legal talent, your firm can free up time and energy needed to focus on handling those competing demands and, ultimately, expanding your practice.
4. You can be more responsive to your clients’ needs.
Hiring contract attorneys allows small firms to be more responsive to clients’ needs that the firm typically would not have the infrastructure to handle (i.e. a team of attorneys fluent in French to review documents from a client in France). Having contract attorneys handle matters outside of the firm’s capability gives the firm the power to undertake clients previously unavailable to them. Additionally, the time taken to staff projects is reduced because the contract attorney model is easily scalable.
5. Online platforms make the process of hiring efficient and productive.
Outsourcing legal talent is made easy with online platforms such as LexInsight, an on demand marketplace that brings together contract attorneys with law firms who want to hire them for eDiscovery document review projects. For employers, LexInsight provides instant access to a qualified pool of contract attorneys and cuts the costs of hiring them by half as compared to traditional channels. To put it simply, LexInsight is the DIY of eDiscovery staffing. Ready to hire your first contract attorney and expand your firm? Visit our website today and learn more.