Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

How to Create a Lean Mean Legal Department

In-house legal departments juggle more than just legal issues.  They also face constant pressure to thrive under limited budgets and increasingly stringent and detailed expectations.  Consequently, efficiency and resourcefulness are in high demand.

How can your legal department trim costs while maintaining – or even improving – the quality of the services you provide?  The first step toward trimming costs is identifying which parts of the budget demand the most from your limited resources.  For many legal departments, the single biggest external cost is working with outside counsel.

How can you reduce the costs related to dealing with outside law firms?  Consider the following tips:

  1. Improve your department’s technological reach.

Legal technology has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.  Today, integrated software suits can improve your department’s ability to manage work, control billing, track benchmarks, and perform more efficient legal research and information-sharing among members of your legal department.

Technological tools provide legal departments with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to information once only available through outside counsel,
  • Efficient generation and analysis of data that can be used to measure the department’s efficiency and effectiveness over both the short and long term,
  • Improved management of work, so better results are produced with less effort.
  1. Leverage the power of temporary attorneys.

Temporary attorneys provide the flexibility a legal department needs when handling large, complex, or sensitive matters, without imposing the costs of retaining full-time staff.  By working with a staffing firm that specializes in placing temporary help, your legal department ensures it can answer questions of confidentiality, work-product responsibility, and insurance coverage to its satisfaction before work begins.  You also get access to the support you need and the opportunity to determine if a temporary staff member is a good cultural fit with the department before extending a more long-term job offer.

  1. Talk to your recruiter.

Your staffing partner can connect you to the best contract and direct-hire talent in the industry – but a staffing firm’s expertise doesn’t end there.  Talk to your staffing firm about ways to reduce the costs of hiring and retaining the best talent.

At Assigned Counsel, our experienced staffing partners can help you build a strategic staffing plan that leverages the power of better hiring for your law firm or legal department.  Contact us today.


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