Driving Value: Is Outsourcing Legal Administrative Services the Right Choice for Your Law Firm?

by Epiq
Contact

Epiq

[author: Samantha Green*]

Law firms today are run more like corporations than partnerships. They are all looking to improve operations and position the firm more competitively for the future. To achieve this, law firms are turning to outsourcing some administrative functions. 

Law firms are now identifying—besides the traditional areas such as copy, imaging, and mail— the opportunity to save 1-2 percent of firm revenue and increase service levels by outsourcing broader back-office functions, including records management, administrative support and word processing, and on-site litigation production support. 

An increasing number of law firms recognize the benefits of project-based consulting in addition to completely outsourced solutions or a combination of both as a potent path to achieve results. 

Below are three potential cost-saving solutions that law firms should consider:

Option 1: Outsource

While there may be an initial investment in outsourcing, law firms are seeing the benefits of transitioning the management and compensation of firm employees to a third-party provider, establishing a long-term, accountable process through concrete service level agreements (SLAs) that deliver data on results—all of which spur ongoing improvement from the right provider. 

For example, outsourcing records management (RM) has become an area that provides a tangible opportunity for capturing both efficiencies and cost savings. A reliable partner can develop, execute and manage a strategic roadmap to help firms mitigate risk and ensure compliance. Outsourcing can also help firms leverage advances in technology to transition to a reduced paper and electronic records environment, minimizing records storage costs in the long term. Some firms have achieved up to 30 percent savings through combinations of labor, efficiency improvements, and storage reduction.

Option 2: Consider the consultant 

Cost savings and staff efficiencies are, without a doubt, extremely important. However, cost savings are sometimes not enough. 

As an alternative to outsourcing, many law firms engage consultancy services. Consultancies can deliver the necessary expertise that a law firm may lack internally to quickly and effectively tackle urgent demands for change. Consultancies have arisen to solve crucial short-term issues, providing expertise where and when it is needed, a fresh perspective, and a big picture point-of-view that comes from depth and breadth of industry-wide experience. 

In instances where the firm has the resources and infrastructure in place, but needs external expertise to assess the current operation and make recommendations for improvement, the expertise of a consultant is valuable. Also, some firms engage a consulting service to smoothly execute a pilot program that, if successful, can then progress to more comprehensive change. In environments where the firm culture cannot accept outsourcing their employees, project-based consulting can help firms address urgent challenges quickly and produce a solid foundation for continued improvement overtime. 

Option 3: Best of both worlds 

In a buyer-empowered legal sector, working with either the consulting or outsourcing arm of a service provider can reap substantive advantages for law firms in today’s legal marketplace. Ideally, a potential provider should deliver both, so their service is comprehensive and scalable and the vendor can transition from purely making recommendations to execution. 

Complacency is not acceptable in this market. Simultaneously, providers are in the unique position to bring innovation, expertise and insight that can deliver efficiency and operational excellence whether a firm chooses to use them as a consultant or as a comprehensive outsourcing provider.

Any option can significantly lower spend and give your law firm the competitive edge it needs to be a marketplace leader.

*Samantha Green is the manager of thought leadership for Epiq, and an expert on all aspects of electronic discovery, data privacy, and cybersecurity, drawing on her more than 15 years of litigation and consulting experience. As a litigator, Green has taken a number of cases from pre-discovery through trial, and has handled a broad spectrum of cases, from government investigations (including FCPA and antitrust matters) to HSR second requests and commercial litigation matters.

Written by:

Epiq
Contact
more
less

Epiq on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.