Even when it’s unstated, “agility” is a key value for nearly every growing business today. Shifting workplaces, the rise of freelance and gig working popularity, political and cultural upheavals with near-immediate consumer impact—being able to manage through change is more critical than ever.
A rising trend with law offices is outsourcing paralegal services. Nearly 30% of U.S. companies include outsourcing in their human resources plans, often to increase productivity and address changing capacity issues.
Are outsourced legal call center services right for your law firm? We’re pretty certain the answer to that is a qualified yes—and that you need to start by understanding your staff’s current workload and your legal firm’s combination of fixed and changing support needs.
First, A Review of Paralegal Skills
Paralegal work can cover a wide range of tasks depending on a legal firm’s size, needs, and other resources. Plus, the nature of these tasks may differ depending on the amount of experience and specialization of a specific paralegal.
In general, paralegal responsibilities include:
- Legal research
- Drafting pleadings, correspondence and other legal documents
- Client interviews and communications
- Helping prepare clients for court or other proceedings
- Collecting and documenting evidence
Paralegals in smaller offices may have responsibilities that overlap with a traditional legal secretary, virtual legal assistant, or other administrative office support professional, such as:
- Answering the phone and screening potential clients
- Responding to email, web form, and other inquiries
- Filing and preparing documents
- Drafting standard letters
- Assisting with billing or bookkeeping
If you notice, very few of these responsibilities actually need to take place in an office, especially since modern legal documentation takes place on shared cloud drives. So why not look to an outsourced option?
4 Benefits of Paralegal Outsourcing Services
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a paralegal’s duties involve, let’s dive into the major benefits of outsourcing your paralegal needs.
#1 You Can Pay for the Paralegal Skills You Need
At an average base pay of $51,166, with salaries for an experienced legal professional as high as $109,000, are you throwing money down the drain by assigning your paralegal to general administration and communication coverage?
You may think there’s no other option if you’re in a small or solo firm, but outsourcing for a remote legal assistant can help you get the best value for your paralegal dollar rather than searching for a single legal professional.
If your firm is able to hire full-time at every functional level, outsourcing is a key tool to smoothly cover short-term gaps and growth spurts without overinvesting in the high cost of human resources.
#2 Easily Outsource Communication and Administration
The best legal researcher on your team is probably not also cut out to be your office administrator, firm representative, and client closer. At a resource management level, success is both a matter of money and skill fit.
Outsourcing general paralegal support can:
- Expand your communications coverage to 24/7 in multiple channels without 24/7 hiring
- Provide specific skills in bite-size amounts for tasks like billing and bookkeeping
- Allow law firms to skip past new tech research and deployment for data/analytics tasks
- Give you access to skilled leads qualification and conversion to new clients
#3 Expand Your Team’s Bandwidth By Outsourcing Core Paralegal Tasks
So outsourcing is partly a matter of determining if you can offload the extras from your paralegal’s to-do lists—but what about when you need more support at that research and litigation support level?
Legal process outsourcing (LPO) can help:
- Offer specialized knowledge or workload coverage for specific cases
- Provide coverage for paralegal leaves or employee gaps
- Help with multi-state workloads where state law varies on lawyer-mandated tasks
- Support firm growth spurts without committing to sourcing, hiring, and training
- Provide coverage for seasonal workload ebbs and flows
#4 Reduce Your Human Resources Cost
Once you determine where you need more help, the flip side of that is figuring out where you need less help. Is your firm overstaffed during slow periods? And if so: is that a problem?
While it sounds great to have a fully engaged team in the office with employees who know your practices and brand inside out…the reality is, if you’re staffing to cover your maximum workload, you’re spending a lot of time and money that could be saved.
Direct hires require:
- Pay that includes a full-time salary plus a range of health and investment benefits
- Hiring time to advertise, review resumes, interview candidates, and negotiate offers
- On-boarding time to train on both tasks and company policies and practices
- Supervision to continue training and oversight including periodic employee reviews
- Regimens for underperformers including coaching, retraining, and documentation
- Coaching and mentoring high performers for job growth (and potentially losing them)
- Retention efforts including morale building, recognition programs, and events and perks
Employees are a significant investment, and having an HR approach that incorporates outsourcing based on both specific task coverage and short-term needs coverage makes sense (and—if you’ll pardon the pun—cents).
Outsource With Alert
Alert is a key provider of paralegal outsourcing services for front-end communications. In addition to providing 24/7 coverage in both English and Spanish, our team of legal specialists can handle inquiries by phone, text, chat, web form, and more, all using your firm’s preferred language and practices.
With the ability to interface directly with your CRM, you’ll see real-time analytics on all points of contact. Our team can screen and qualify leads, schedule meetings, and even conduct outbound campaigns to nurture prospective clients.
Contact Alert today to find out how we can help free up your paralegals to do what they do best, and free up your lawyers to focus on billable hours. It’s simple to get started with a complimentary 30-day trial.
Daily Sundial. National Legal Staffing Support: Your Guide to Outsourcing Paralegal Work. https://sundial.csun.edu/164834/sundialbrandstudio/independent-legal-guide/national-legal-staffing-support-your-guide-to-outsourcing-paralegal-work/
Glassdoor. Paralegal Salaries. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/paralegal-salary-SRCH_KO0,9.htm