Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

How to Maximize the Budget for Your Law Department – with Temporary Legal Staff

The 2021 EY Law Survey reveals that the average corporations making $20 billion or more in revenue aims to reduce costs by 18% of the next three years. With the increased emphasis on cutting law department costs, it’s likely C-Suite members will expect General Counsel to join the vanguard of cost reduction.

That’s a difficult prospect when workloads remain the same, but if they increase by 25%, as three-fourths of General Counsel anticipate, your department will need to embrace non-traditional strategies to make the most of their allocated funding.

Many GCs looking to overcome their shrinking corporate legal department budgets without hindering their short-term and long-term strategic plans have turned to temporary legal staff as a stopgap. Keep these considerations in mind to maximize your current financial resources as you employ your current workforce and temporary attorneys.

Reassess Your Departmental Workloads

EY isn’t the only industry authority that is monitoring an increase in workload. The 2020 Chief Legal Officer Survey found that 77% of respondents said their workload is up. The pandemic is partially to blame, but there is a growing expectation that law departments do more with less. The grow list of responsibilities require in-house corporate counsel to handle practice areas running the gamut from M&A and employment law to IP and property law.

Without exception, your in-house staff is going to need to pivot. By taking stock of the comprehensive expertise of your team, you can stretch their caseload capacity and your corporate legal department budgets through streamlined collaboration. Yet even then, your in-house attorneys have a limited bandwidth – and they are likely reaching their threshold.

Estimates are that the remote workforce across industries is logging three more hours per day from home than in the office. Put too much on their plate and you’ll see spikes in employee turnover. Though the talent pool is abundant, the thousands of dollars you’ll spend on recruiting a replacement are better used elsewhere.

Pinpoint Where Temporary Staff Can Help Most

Any instance in which greater departmental collaboration can’t bridge the gap will likely need outsourced counsel.

For example, if you don’t currently have someone on staff with deep practice area expertise in bankruptcy filing or insurance litigation, it’s far more cost-effective to bring on a temporary resource. Those with substantive experience in these thorny practice areas will navigate the requirements and challenges faster and with fewer missteps than a generalist. When the urgent need ends, you can scale down your workforce with less complication – especially if you are sourcing veteran candidates (as we do) who only want part-time or temporary work arrangements anyway.

This allows your organization to tap into a wealth of knowledge at a fraction of the cost for hiring someone with comparable talents. And rather than allowing the recruitment process to distract you from more pressing matters, working with a partner like Assigned Counsel will ensure that you receive candidates who satisfy your urgent needs and seamlessly fit your culture.

Ready to make the most of your tightened corporate legal department budget? Find out how much you can save by supplementing your law firm partnerships with temporary attorneys.


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