Law firms in the United States have become big business. This is why they’re tracking profits per partner. Law firms are also taking additional steps to improve their profit margin. There’s only so much you can do to raise revenue. There is almost certainly more you can do to reduce expenses, though mergers have hit their limit. One possibility, however, could be to go for outsourcing. But, why should law firms consider outsourcing? And what functions should they consider outsourcing?
Outsource Back Office Functions
Many firms already outsource part of their back office operations if they haven’t shifted to an internal shared services model. This could include the copy center, the mail room or payroll. You could also work with legal accountants to generate bills sent to your clients.
This allows you to save money since you’re paying for the resources you use, instead of paying people in-house who are never utilized at one hundred percent. Firms may also be able to invest in efficiency-enhancing technology, because they’ll get a better return on the investment than your law firm admins would.
Depending on which area of the law you specialize in, you can’t afford to ignore online marketing. There are firms like Growmeo to help you with your online marketing.
IT can be outsourced in part or in full. Many groups outsource their tech support and website maintenance. Others might outsource your network support or software training. Another thing you could outsource is backup services and electronic record retention.
You’ll probably need specialized service providers, since electronic medical records maintained by a law firm are more sensitive than the average files. For example, your records management system must meet HIPAA standards. If you want to dig further, look for resources that can explain the benefits more like this.
There are many side benefits to outsourcing IT. You convert fixed costs into variable ones, and you may be able to control what you pay. This could help you lower costs when the firm doesn’t have as many people on staff, so they’re using fewer devices or software applications. Or, you might gain access to specialized software to streamline contract reviews. You could even implement contract management systems.
Outsource Secondary Legal Services
A growing number of legal firms are outsourcing legal research to established specialists. Others hire contract lawyers to work their way through the massive volume of records regularly turned over as part of discovery. It is increasingly common to outsource administrative legal work to offices in lower cost jurisdictions, including those overseas. This may make it easier to fill graveyard shifts, too.
Outsourcing legal work is an excellent way to control costs. You can scale up quickly when there is an influx of work, but you avoid locking in headcount. This gives you flexibility while minimizing costs, which comes in handy when you need to bring in help to ensure due diligence, reviewing a large number of documents in a short period of time.
Outsource Human Resources
You can outsource various aspects of human resources as well. You might ask them to post jobs and review resumes, or you may ask them to handle everything including onboarding new staff. You could let HR specialists vet vendors like IT contractors, too.
Outsourcing has the potential to lower costs anywhere from 30% to 80%. The opportunity to improve customer service and increase efficiency across the board should be seen as a bonus.