Despite hiring permanent staff being the preference for attorneys, there lie certain advantages in looking to acquire outsourced paralegal services to meet your law firm’s requirements of additional staff for cases. It is a practical solution when your law firm’s caseload rises.
Some attached advantages include curbing costs such as payroll, office space, and benefits. Many leading law firms agree that outsourced or virtual paralegal services are immensely helpful, especially when they’re working on a large matter that requires a high number of workforce.
Paralegal outsourcing services can be useful not only for the firm but for the client as well as you get certain benefits such as cost-effectiveness, utilization of external talent, shortened turnaround time and flexibility.
One major decision that comes up when looking into outsourcing is that of whether to go for onshore or offshore firms.
Offshore or Onshore
Both of these choices have their pros and cons, which must be weighed when making your decision. The major factor is cost-effectiveness. For a long time, the trend has been to offshore choices, such as India, as it used to be extremely cheap compared to onshore outsourcing.
However, recent spikes in foreign wage rate coupled with softened domestic labor markets in the U.S. have made onshore outsourcing an equally viable option.
In a survey report, Fronterion has stated that domestic outsource companies charge an hourly rate of $25-30 while offshore providers charge an hourly rate of $10-15. According to this trend, offshore may be more consideration when it comes to paralegal support outsourcing.
When Handling Outsourced Paralegal Services Providers:
1. Parallel Ethics: One of the important things to keep in mind when weighing different providers is that your firm’s ethics should be parallel to those of the provider. Whatever duties and tasks the provider is assigned, they must complete them as long as the work is conducted in a manner that is ethically and legally correct.
Different legal outsourcing providers from different countries have different ideologies when it comes to ethics. So it must be made sure that your firm and your provider are on the same page and ethical ideas are shared. A provider in Brazil or Turkey may not be aligned to the ethics that exist in the US. You need to be wary of this aspect and make sure the provider complies with the ethics.
2. A Clearly Established Purview of Work: Separate law firms may have their own definitions and parameters covered by ‘paralegal’. The exact purview of the nature of work that you require should be very clearly established to make sure your firm and your provider are working in a parallel manner.
Take into consideration what the provider’s strengths are and match them with your needs.
3. Two-Way Communication Practice: The most efficiency inducing methodology to be adopted when handling paralegals is to establish a two-way communication practice.
An experienced manager should hence be put in charge of the outsourced staff in order to ensure this methodology is properly incorporated. The manager needs to be able to command and direct the outsourced staff properly while being open to all feedback from them.
This will ensure that the law firm’s and the client’s interests are protected, even if the feedback they provide may be sensitive. You want the communication between your firm and the outsourced staff to be as efficient as it is between your firm and your internal staff.
4. Constant Regulation: It is the responsibility of the law firm to ensure that the work of the outsourced paralegal services is being constantly overlooked. The firm should assign a representative that provides constant supervision to all of their functioning.
Policies and procedures should be constructed beforehand to ensure that the management of the work is streamlined and that expectations are being met all the while avoiding possible miscommunication errors.
If handled efficiently, outsourced paralegal services can be extremely beneficial in realizing the firm’s goals. Aforementioned recommendations should help you manage the paralegal service provider in a manner that maximizes productivity.
To outsource paralegal support, get in touch with us at Legal Support World. For a free consultation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.