Many in-house legal departments seek to improve efficiency in the delivery of legal services. Attorneys are encouraged to work productively and to boost their billable hours and projects whenever possible. But a department that places the responsibility of boosting efficiency only on its income-generating staff is missing half its chance to maximize efficiency and productivity.
Any in-house legal department can benefit from taking a hard look at the functions of its non-lawyer personnel and adjusting as needed to maximize efficiency. Some ways to start improving the efficiency of your department’s non-lawyer personnel include:
- Making non-lawyers responsible for departmental communication. Many meetings and presentations required by other corporate departments can be given by non-lawyer members of your corporate legal department’s staff. Reports, data points, and progress updates that do not require the department to provide legal advice can be assigned to staff who are not lawyers, but who do understand the material. Assigning reports to non-lawyer staff frees up attorneys to focus on income-generating work or legal projects that face tight deadlines.
- Delegate contract reviews. An experienced non-lawyer member of staff such as a trained paralegal can often be recruited to take a “first pass” through a contract and mark any questionable, troublesome, or blatantly incorrect statements. This saves considerable time by focusing attorneys’ attention only on the parts of the contract that need legal consideration. Paralegals can also be tasked with reviews of other types of documents, including discovery requests and affidavits, before they are passed into the hands of a staff attorney.
- Rely on administrative staff and technical assistance. Experienced legal secretaries are one of the most important efficiency players in any legal office, including in-house departments. Choosing a part-time, full-time, or contract IT professional wisely can also save the department time and money that are quickly lost when technology fails. An experienced staffing partner can help you find the best support staff to improve productivity and efficiency while controlling costs.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters can help you find the staff you need to improve efficiency, maximize productivity, and lower costs. Contact Assigned Counsel today.