Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

5 Tips for Success With Temporary Attorneys

Temporary attorneys can significantly benefit a legal team, especially when the workload is high or when a case involves specialized issues that don’t fall within the common practice area of anyone on the team.

Law firms and legal departments that have not worked with temporary attorneys in the past, however, may wonder where to start the process. Here are five tips for launching a successful relationship with a temporary attorney.

  1. Determine whether an attorney’s help is what you need.

Temporary legal professional assistance comes in many forms. For instance, your organization can work with temporary paralegals, legal assistants, investigators and other professionals in addition to working with attorneys on a temporary basis.

Start by determining whether an attorney’s help is what your team needs. Talk to a recruiter who specializes in placing temporary legal professionals if you need assistance.

  1. Decide what you need a temporary attorney to do.

Once you’ve determined that you need a temporary attorney on the team, figure out what you’ll need this person to do. For instance, do you need their help parsing patent applications or specialized contracts? Do you need them to assist with complex areas of healthcare law or oil and gas regulations?

The more clearly you can articulate what you’ll need a temporary attorney to do, the simpler it will be to find someone with the right skills for the job.

  1. Weigh the pros and cons of working with a temp.

Temporary attorneys bring a wealth of benefits to the table, like specialized knowledge, focus on the case at hand, and the ability to control costs by keeping them assigned to particular tasks. However, specific cons may exist as well, such as the need to integrate a new person into your team on short notice.

Talk about your concerns with a recruiter. Your staffing partner can help you mitigate any potential problems on the horizon.

  1. Plan how you’ll onboard your temporary attorney.

Just as with long-term staff, temporary attorneys need an orientation to the work they’ll be doing and the processes by which your organization achieves its goals. While you won’t need to spend time helping your temporary attorney orient to their particular practice area, you will need to help them familiarize themselves with your team, the case, and the overall goal.

Plan time to bring a temporary attorney up to speed. This time will pay off in more efficient and productive work for the remainder of the relationship.

  1. Ask candidates what they expect from the position.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask temporary attorney candidates about their own goals and expectations for the position. By asking, you demonstrate that their success is essential to you, and you also learn which candidates’ goals align most closely with those of your organization and team.

At Assigned Counsel, our recruiters help our clients rethink how they meet their clients’ needs. To learn more about the benefits of working with temporary attorneys and the kind of talent available, contact us today.


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