Like all business scenarios, the legal industry too has to depend on growth and development and incremental business to stay afloat. But there is a very distinct and unique perspective for law firms around the world. In the not too distant past they had to extend their area of operations outside their own four walls (outsourcing) to survive a disaster that had even economies of countries reeling under financial depression.
The global recession led to large scale bankruptcies of even blue chip companies not to speak of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Law firms were inundated with work and this led to a rise in a peculiar situation – lots of work but no man power resources to back it up as the firms could ill afford huge expenses in hiring additional staff.
What was the path chosen by the law firms to get out of this mess? They decided to outsource legal services, an option that is still very relevant now and in fact growing at a fast clip. Once the legal industry tasted success in this process it became their sole mantra for business expansion. But outsourcing must be done right and now that it has been established that this is the shortest path for business development a look at the pointers to be followed in this regard will be in order.
If law firms have to delve into the secrets that can help them grow at a quick rate the answer will be outsourcing, outsourcing and yet more outsourcing of their legal services. There is nothing that can matter more. As a legal luminary of a law firm you have to spin off large sections of your work to companies that have equally qualified lawyers with enough experience to optimize the work allotted to them.
When you outsource and want to reap the benefits fully, there are two things that should be kept in mind – the functions that you should outsource and the advantages you get out of it.
Functions that should be outsourced-
1. Research and legal drafting – This aspect is purely based on the tenets of the law without any need for specific interpretations. However, it is a very tedious and painstaking work and will keep your lawyers engaged fruitlessly when they can be better utilized in client servicing.
2. Management of contracts – If you have to go through all contracts that come up before you with a fine tooth comb, you’ll hardly have time for anything else. Free yourself up by outsourcing this activity to those offering professional legal services. Not only will the initial stages of the contract be taken care of but its monitoring will continue throughout the life cycle of the contract.
3. Document Review - This is a highly man power intensive activity again and includes preparing deposition summaries, coding of documents and other related work. By keeping it to yourself, you deprive valued customers of the undivided attention they deserve from you.
The common factor in all these above points is that they are all back office related time consuming work. Outsourcing them is surely one of the primary secrets of business growth and development.
Why should you outsource for business growth –
1. Focus on core competencies – When you outsource legal services that require no interpretation of law but simply has to follow it to the letter, you do not really lose anything. Instead you are taking expert external help to further prepare your cases in the shortest possible time. This will give you a lot of time to offer quality service to existing clients as well as bring in fresh cases.
2. Reduction in costs – Outsourced work can be done at a much lower cost than what you would have paid your high salaried staff. This is because of the wage differentials existing between countries. This savings can be better utilized to offer competitive legal fees to your clients thereby stealing a march over law firms.
3. Increase in business opportunities – This is especially true if you have a small to mid sized legal firm. It is no more the scenario where top legal firms garner prize clients and small firms get left behind. By outsourcing a part of the functioning at cheaper rates you too can go for quality customers and increase business without having to add to your manpower resources.
4. Coming of age of outsourcing companies – Outsourcing companies today offer services that can be deemed to be parallel in quality to the originating legal firms. Over a period of time they have honed their skills, added to their infrastructure and taken on board lawyers of international standards with a high degree of expertise in the laws of different countries. By hiring them you are adding value to your services and this will naturally rub off on your client servicing and business development.
These then are the secrets to law firms increasing their growth in business. At the cost of repetition it can be said that the magic mantra is to outsource legal services.
Also Read : Legal Process Outsourcing Seen As a Permanent Trend in Legal Industry
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