Table of Contents
- What Is A Legal Outsourcing Company?
- What Do Legal Outsourcing Companies Do?
- Why Should You Opt For Legal Outsourcing Services?
- How Much Do Legal Outsourcing Services Cost?
- How To Choose The Best Legal Outsourcing Services For Your Needs?
- 10 Questions To Ask Legal Outsourcing Companies Before You Hire One
- Legal Outsourcing Services Takeaways
Legal outsourcing companies, also known as legal process outsourcing companies (LPOs), are third-party service providers that offer a variety of complex legal services in cases where the physical presence of an official legal representative is not required.
These services can include but are not limited to, drafting and reviewing documents, legal research, patent review, contract management, even non-substantive court appearances and other law procedures.
As a subset of business process outsourcing (BPO), LPOs refer to exporting specific legal processes from a law firm to legal outsourcing companies to save time and money.
What Do Legal Outsourcing Companies Do?
Outsourcing became one of the most sought-after business practices in recent years for its efficiency and cost-saving aspects. It was just a matter of time before it took hold in the legal industry as well.
Since its conception, the legal process outsourcing model, or delegating legal tasks to third-party specialists (domestic or offshore), almost immediately demonstrated its advantages.
Legal process outsourcing companies are continuously gaining more and more attention and popularity since they allow numerous companies to cut down expenses, increase flexibility and streamline productivity. In fact, the global legal process outsourcing market size is projected to reach $35.9 billion by 2025.
Legal outsourcing services are part of the highly technical and specialized industry that draws on some of the most in-demand skills and expertise.
Outsourced legal services offer an array of services that can range from high-end legal research, drafting and reviewing briefs, memos and commercial contracts to litigation support work.
Outsourced legal work includes:
- Secretarial including presentations
- Legal publishing services
- Contract drafting, management and review services
- Due diligence review
- Legal research
- Litigation support
- Business/market research
- Form completion and information population (such as tax forms)
- Document review
- Administrative (such as accounting and billing)
- And more
Why Should You Opt For Legal Outsourcing Services?
As legal service outsourcing is gaining popularity among law firms and large corporations’ legal departments, potential users of these services ask questions about the advantages of outsourced legal services and make comparisons between legal outsourcing companies and in-house law departments.
There are numerous reasons to outsource legal outsourcing services:
1. Reduced Costs
For small law firms or the ones that were recently established, the growing bills can significantly hinder their growth. By choosing to outsource legal work they can reduce capital expenditures and shift that capital to other major areas, such as attracting new clients.
2. Guaranteed Quality Of Work
Similar to any other outsourced activity, legal process outsourcing employs experienced attorneys, usually specialized to perform the exact tasks you seek.
The best legal process outsourcing companies have a network of connections with general counsels and law firms around the globe. Small(er) businesses and solo legal professionals wouldn’t normally have access to these kinds of resources so they would benefit greatly from outsourced legal providers.
3. Increased Flexibility
Given the opportunity, by combining external legal outsourcing services with your in-house legal experts, law firms/corporate law departments can enhance their capabilities to meet their clients’ needs and custom-tailor their solutions on the spot.
By outsourcing legal work, your company can handle significant cases more effectively, helping you to stay competitive in the proverbial dog-eat-dog mentality of the legal industry.
4. Minimize Risk And Nurture Growth
Focusing on generating more profits and minimizing risk is a primary long-term guideline for any business, especially for a law firm. As your business grows it becomes vital to focus on important tasks and cases and hand over all non-core, non-essential legal functions to legal outsourcing companies.
5. Reduced Turnaround Time
When it comes to priority legal projects, the clock is always ticking. Having both in-house and outsourced legal service providers working on the case round the clock will increase efficiency and reduce the time needed to complete demanding cases.
One of the best cheat codes or benefits of offshore outsourced legal work is the ability to circumvent time zones so that certain projects can be completed “ahead of time” so to say, providing you with a 24/7 working time.
How Much Do Legal Outsourcing Services Cost?
Considering the increased rates of "traditional" legal firms, outsourcing LPO looks even more appealing. Most legal services companies offer several different pricing structure options. Their pricing may vary depending on the scope and complexity of the legal project.
Legal outsourcing companies customarily offer:
- Full-time employees
- Hourly rates
- Per-project pricing
A dedicated full-time employee can be assigned to your project and work beside your in-house team (160 hours per month). Usually, these individuals are professionals specialized in certain legal areas.
If the volume of work is not too high or demanding, you can hire a half resource (part-time, 80 hours per month). When choosing this option, legal process outsourcing companies bill you on a fixed monthly basis that calculates the employee’s salary plus accompanying costs.
Most clients prefer hiring resources for a set number of hours and pay per hour model. It is suitable for less complicated or small volumes of work. The price may vary, yet the majority of legal outsourcing services cost anywhere between $10 to $100 per hour, $25 per hour being the industry standard at the moment.
When it comes to project pricing, legal services companies assess the requirements of the task and provide you with a one-time cost for the project ($1,000+).
How To Choose The Best Legal Outsourcing Services For Your Needs?
Now that we know the benefits of outsourced legal services, the question that remains is how to select the best provider? The choice is not as simple or straightforward as it seems.
When selecting your future partner consider the following points to ensure that you pick the company that is best suited to your needs:
1. The Type Of Services Provided
The requirements of one law firm can differ completely from another. It is similar to legal outsourcing companies as they also don’t offer the same services. Before anything, you should clearly ask the providers whether their legal outsourcing services can fulfill your specific requirements.
2. Case Studies, Testimonials And Sample Work
To ensure that you end up hiring the best agency that suits your budget and specific needs, you must ask prospective legal outsourcing companies to showcase their previous cases and relevant sample of works with their previous clients.
If they are able to prominently display the quality of their work, they’re worth your attention.
Additionally, going through customer reviews can give you a good idea regarding a prospective legal outsourcing company’s track record.
3. Trial Period
We are fully aware that hiring legal outsourcing services isn’t the same as downloading software for a limited-time use, but since most legal outsourcing companies take great pride in their flexibility you can ask them for a free trial to evaluate the quality of their service.
Withdrawing after signing the contract can be frustrating, so the outsourcing firms that are offering the free trial option should be preferred over others.
4. Data Security And Confidentiality
In the modern era, data security is of utmost importance for any business. For a legal industry, that was the case since its conception. Ability to ensure data security and confidentiality approach should be carefully scrutinized before you start talking expenses.
5. Communication Culture
Good customer service does wonders. After you inspected the legal process outsourcing company’s client reviews ask them about their client communication practices. A company that offers regular reports and updates in a friendly, open manner is the one you want.
10 Questions To Ask Legal Outsourcing Companies Before You Hire One
Before you pick the best partner to whom you should outsource legal work, make sure to ask the prospective legal outsourcing companies the following questions:
- Do you specialize in working with attorneys in small to medium-sized law firms and what is your experience working with clients in our specific practice area?
- Are you familiar with our competitors?
- How many of my competitors are you currently working with providing the same service?
- How many clients do you cater to at the moment?
- Can we speak with your past clients and where can I find your client testimonials?
- Have you done this specific type of work before?
- What are the qualifications of the people performing the work?
- How responsive you are and how do you handle security?
- What pricing structure models do you offer and how much do you charge?
- Is it possible to re-negotiate the terms in the contract or cancel your services before the end of the contract?
Legal Outsourcing Services Takeaways
Legal process outsourcing companies are in charge of various services such as drafting and reviewing documents, legal research, patent review, contract management and/or non-substantive court appearances
Many law firms and/or corporate legal departments opt for legal outsourcing services for tangible benefits like:
- Quality of work
- Minimization of risk
- Reduced turnaround time
When selecting your future legal outsourcing partner make sure to check their:
- Types of services provided
- Case studies, testimonials and samples of work
- Possibility of a trial period
- Data security and confidentiality approach
- Communication culture