With sweeping changes across regulations, compliance requirements, and risk maintenance, law firms and legal departments are increasingly facing operational pressures to broaden capabilities while efficiently managing their budgets. Never has the need for smarter, intelligent operations been felt more acutely than now. The writing on the wall is clear – your firm ought to be able to not only handle the present but also be prepared for the future. The shift, clearly, is from being reactive to being strategic.
In this changed scenario, legal support services that include a range of services provided to lawyers, law firms, and legal departments to help them with their day-to-day operations have come to assume great significance. Leveraged correctly, the support services have the power to propel firms / legal departments to the next level of preparedness with respect to regulatory compliance and guide them towards sustainable growth.
Insource or outsource, is the dilemma.
Insourcing legal support services obviously allows law firms to have greater control over their data and information and over the quality and consistency of services. But the chief drawback of this model is that it entails the need to hire and train additional staff, and the need to invest in technology and other resources. Bringing every capability under one roof and their constant upgradation require increased budgets, and additional resources for management turning it to be a costly proposition, often making them oversized, unprofitable operating models eventually.
Outsourcing of legal support services, on the other hand, provides the necessary assistance to lawyers and legal departments under defined service level agreements to ensure quality and timeliness, allowing them to focus on their core responsibilities and provide quality legal services to their clients.
Outsourcing is a smart decision
Evaluated carefully and service level agreements meticulously drawn and signed, outsourcing legal support services can play a crucial role in the successful operation of a law firm / legal department. They bring:
Increased efficiency: Legal support services allow lawyers to delegate tasks such as document review, legal research, and administrative duties to trained professionals. This frees up lawyers’ time to focus on more complex legal work and results in increased efficiency and productivity.
Cost savings: By outsourcing support services, law firms can save on staffing costs and other operational expenses, which can be passed on to clients in the form of lower legal fees.
Improved client service: Streamlined processes improve final output and client communication thereby helping law firms to provide better service to clients.
Access to specialized expertise: In today’s specialized age, outsourcing legal support services provide law firms with access to specialized expertise that is costly to manage in-house. This includes legal research, e-discovery, technology, and data analytics, etc.
Risk management: Service providers work under specific service level agreements that ensure accuracy, TaT, efficiency, and quality of delivery. They also bring in strategic coverage and adherence to proper procedures with respect to compliance with legal and ethical requirements.
Which support services are best suited for outsourcing?
Document review and finalization: One of the most basic yet essential legal support services, document review and finalization involves the analysis and organizing of legal documents, including contracts, briefs, leases, and other legal agreements to ensure accuracy and completeness.
Legal research: Legal research forms another important function that can be easily outsourced under specific parameters. It involves the systematic investigation and analysis of legal issues, cases, statutes, and regulations. Support providers conduct legal research and analysis to help attorneys prepare for cases, draft legal briefs, and provide legal opinions, thus saving their time and effort.
Discovery support: Discovery is the pre-trial phase of a legal case where both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. Discovery support services involve the management and processing of the information and evidence exchanged during discovery. The support provider reviews and organizes documents manages databases and assists with document production thereby smoothening the discovery phase.
E-discovery: A specialized type of discovery support service, e-Discovery support, involves the identification, collection, processing, review, and production of electronically stored information (ESI) for use in legal proceedings. Most legal support providers are adept at e-discovery support.
Paralegal services: This involves the drafting of legal documents, conducting legal research, and managing case files which can save precious time for lawyers and legal teams.
Litigation support: The litigation support forms part of a specialized legal support service and can be delivered by expert service providers. These assist attorneys with e-discovery for pleadings, briefs, and exhibits, forensic analysis, trial preparation, and technology support for database management systems, and specialized software for document review and analysis.
Legal Drafting and Analysis: These involve the creation and review of legal documents, including contracts, pleadings, and other legal instruments. Specialized service providers with deep understanding of legal concepts and terminology, can effectively communicate legal ideas and concepts to attorneys and legal teams.
How to choose the right legal support provider?
A decision to outsource should be preceded by an in-depth evaluation of support requirements and identification of scope. Choosing the right legal support provider can be a crucial decision for law firms and legal departments, and should be made on the basis of a rigorous evaluation of provider capabilities, experience, costs, and reputation.
Cogneesol, a global provider of legal support services, has been offering a wide range of services to law firms and corporate legal departments for the past fifteen years. Get in touch with us at +1 833 313 3143 (Toll-Free) or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for an overview of our offerings.
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