Controlling costs is a constant struggle in the legal field. Although the costs per attorney among corporate legal departments are often lower than with private law firms, corporate legal departments face the challenge of juggling their budget within the competing concerns of other corporate departments.
Every year, the cost to provide legal services by in-house counsel is under pressure. The demand for services increase, and the nature of the work becomes more complex. How can legal departments help control their costs? Consider the following:
Quantify the Budget
Needing an additional attorney on staff and being able to afford the candidate you want are not always the same thing. Before striking out onto the job market, do the math: can the department afford the ideal candidate? Can it afford a candidate with the “essentials” to get the job done? Will the candidate you want pay for him or herself in the work completed?
Strike a Balance
Once you know what the numbers will and will not allow, consider the job description for additional counsel. What skills and experience are required, and which are desired? What “soft skills” are key, and what personal attributes best suit candidates to your department’s culture? A well-rounded candidate who fits into the department as well as possessing the necessary skills is easier to retain in the long term, reducing the costs of staffing imposed by the hiring and onboarding process.
The cost of adding new members to an in-house counsel team is often cheaper than the cost of retaining counsel from an external law firm. This is because law firms carry their own costs in terms of high compensation and overhead expense. If adding a permanent full- or part-time attorney is too onerous, consider temporary help in-house.
Use Your Recruiter
Your staffing partner can be an unparalleled resource for cost-effective staffing solutions that stay within budget while also meeting your personnel needs. Discuss your department’s strategic staffing plans and your budgetary constraints with your staffing partner, as well as the qualities you need in an attorney.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters do more than find and place top candidates in the legal field. We also help our clients navigate strategic staffing plans that consider and control costs. Contact us today to learn more. If you are looking for legal staffing agencies in New York City, contact Assigned Counsel today.