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.
Outsourced paralegal 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
When making your decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of both onshore and offshore outsourcing, with cost-effectiveness being a major factor. For a long time, the trend has been to offshore to countries like India because it was much cheaper than onshore outsourcing.
However, recent spikes in foreign wage rates 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 outsourcing 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 considered 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. The provider must complete all duties and tasks assigned to them ethically and legally.
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’. To ensure that your firm and your provider are working in a parallel manner, you should clearly establish the exact purview of the nature of work that you require.
Take into consideration what the provider’s strengths are and match them with your needs.
3. Two-Way Communication Practice:
Establishing a two-way communication practice is the most efficient way to handle paralegals.
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:
The law firm must constantly oversee the work of outsourced paralegal services. The firm should assign a representative that provides constant supervision of all of their functioning.
By constructing policies and procedures beforehand, we can streamline the management of work, meet expectations, and avoid miscommunication errors.
If handled efficiently, outsourced paralegal services can be extremely beneficial in realizing the firm’s goals. The 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 email@example.com.