Running a cost-efficient legal department can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. By focusing on how work is completed, a legal department can keep its costs in line while continuing to provide the top-quality services the organization demands.
A recent survey of 180 in-house legal departments worldwide, performed by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), found that the most cost-effective departments shared the following secrets:
1. Move more legal work in-house.
Time your attorneys spend on routine or administrative matters is time that can be spent handling legal work in-house, reducing the costs of outside counsel. Reserve the help of outside counsel for major litigation and specialized matters, and focus on moving non-law work into the hands of non-lawyer staff, so that your attorneys can focus on doing work in-house. Contract help can also be invaluable here; talk to your staffing partner to learn how temporary workers can help reduce the costs of legal work.
2. Invest in a legal operations manager.
Legal operations managers handle issues like budgeting, technology selection, vendor management and career development. By moving these tasks into the hands of one professional, you free up attorneys to handle legal practice and reduce costs overall, as well as improve focus on budgeting and oversight for crucial tasks like litigation costs.
3. Choose your outside vendors carefully.
Smaller firms tend to charge less than large ones, so working with a small firm when outside counsel is required may save your department money without sacrificing the quality of its legal services. Also, choose your legal technologies and vendors carefully. Matter management and e-billing may provide better return on investment than document management, according to the CEB survey.
4. Reassess regularly.
The legal services landscape changes constantly, which means opportunities for cost savings will continue to arise. Reassess your department’s costs and vendor relationships on a regular basis to trim where needed. Your staffing partner can help you make these assessments.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced staffing partners can help you reduce the costs associated with staffing while still getting the high-quality results you need. Contact our team today.