Every year, the costs of doing business in the legal field continues to rise as work becomes more complex and the costs of associated goods and services also increase. The recent recession put further pressure on law firms and corporate legal departments, forcing many to learn how to do more with less – or risk being put out of business altogether.
These changes in the economic outlook have in turn sparked changes in how corporate legal departments do business. Many departments now operate with an eye on efficiency, taking advantage of recent trends that encourage “lean” business.
Some top efficiency trends in the legal field include:
- Doing more in-house legal work. The cost of sending business to an outside law firm is often higher than the cost of having the same work performed in-house, as outside firms have their own costs and concerns to juggle. Whether by adding more full-time attorneys or seeking help from staffing firms, many corporate legal departments have saved money by staying home.
- Investing in legal operations. Eighty percent of large corporate legal departments have legal operations managers, according to one study. These managers focus on budgeting, technology management, and career development with a goal of managing costs and improving outcomes. Assigning these tasks to legal operations managers takes them out of the hands of attorneys, who are then free to handle legal work in-house.
- Investing in legal technologies. Electronic billing help large legal departments bill more efficiently and effectively. Choosing providers with solid track records in legal technology can further improve outcomes.
- Outsourcing non-core services, including administrative activities. While staying in-house is often the most efficient choice for legal work, corporate legal departments are increasingly discovering that outsourcing other tasks, including administrative activities, is more efficient than keeping these services within the law department.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters know the legal field inside and out. We keep our eye on efficiency and other trends in the field and use this information to provide our clients with top-quality candidates as well as advice on reducing costs and improving profitability. Contact Assigned Counsel today.