Temporary attorneys work with law firms and legal departments for a specified length of time. They often bring specialized skills to the team, help to clarify critical issues or handle items of work that fall outside the scope of the team’s usual practice.
Hiring a temporary attorney can provide a host of benefits to your team. The top seven include:
1. Improved control of workflow.
Hiring a full-time attorney can be expensive. When help is required on a specialized matter, hiring a full-time attorney may mean that the new lawyer sits idle when their expertise is not required.
A temporary attorney can handle work in their practice area when the team needs their help, without wasting their time or your payroll budget when their expertise could be better applied elsewhere.
2. A predictable relationship.
For temporary attorneys, the term of their assistance to your office can be finite. This means that both you and the temporary attorney have a clear idea of how long the relationship will last and what must be completed in that time. This predictability in scheduling makes it easier to arrange which tasks should be done and when.
Often, law firms and legal departments rely on temporary attorneys to fill skill or knowledge gaps on their existing team.
These attorneys are particularly helpful in situations that affect the team’s current work, but that fall outside the team’s usual practice areas. For instance, in a complex case involving patent law, labor law, or another area your team doesn’t usually handle, a temporary attorney can ensure specialized issues receive adequate attention.
4. Insight and perspective.
Many legal teams work well together, but after years of collaboration, team members and their ideas can become predictable to one another. A temporary attorney adds fresh insight and perspective to your team, which can help them find effective new ways to solve particularly difficult problems.
5. An expanded professional network.
Temporary attorneys frequently work with a wide range of law firms, legal departments, and other lawyers. With each assignment, the temporary attorney builds his or her professional network.
By working with a temporary attorney, your team gains access not only to that attorney’s knowledge but also to the resources available in that attorney’s professional network. You also become part of that network, increasing the chances of collaboration, recommendations or referrals.
6. Building team relationships.
Many temporary attorneys go on to become full-time team members with a law firm or legal department. The nature of the temporary relationship allows both the attorney and the firm to determine whether the attorney would make a good long-term addition to the team – while giving each party the option to walk away if the fit isn’t right.
7. Maximize your budget.
Full-time attorneys typically require office space, computers, software, and other tools to do their jobs well. Temporary attorneys, however, can often use space that is already available in the office, or they can even work from a remote location. Fewer people in the office means overhead can be reduced, and a growing firm can maintain the space it has for the time being.
Hiring outside counsel can be expensive and inefficient. Hourly rates of temporary attorneys are typically 60% less than outside counsel, allowing you to leverage your budget. You control the pace and oversight of the assignment since the temporary attorneys work at your office or remotely, focusing solely on your project.
Need help with an issue not mentioned here? Don’t hesitate to contact Assigned Counsel. We’ll help you determine the best way to meet your needs.