Discounted law firm rates could go a long way to reducing pressure on corporate law department budgets, but Altman Weil’s 2019 Chief Legal Officer Survey finds that asking for rate reductions is a sticky subject. In fact, 33% of CLOs say they avoid this line of questioning to avoid prejudicing their outside law firm relationship while 49% say law firms resist larger discounts when they do ask.
Rather than upsetting the apple cart, there is an opportunity to maintain a healthy relationship with outside law firms and still achieve legal cost reduction. One critical component of that strategy is identifying scenarios to engage a legal staffing agency.
Effective Engagement of Outside Counsel
Law firms provide experienced and coordinated securities law, M&A, or other complex practice areas teams. Though more expensive than a legal staffing firm, outside law firms can provide the broad band and depth of service often needed, including advice or answers to one-off questions at a much faster rate.
Effective Engagement of Temporary Legal Staffing
The remainder of legal tasks or projects not requiring continuity of practice area specialists or strategic supervision is the right fit for temporary attorneys. Working with experienced attorneys on a temporary basis helps to handle urgent and fixed challenges in a surgical and expeditious way.
3 Substantive Legal Staffing Considerations
Exclusivity – Unlike outside counsel provided by a law firm, temporary attorneys provided by a staffing firm will be working on your project and your project alone. This leads to a faster turnaround time and minimizes the potential for conflicts of interest.
Speed – When a contract, agreement, or project is truly urgent, a legal staffing agency can provide faster results. For example, if you want someone to review real estate leases, Assigned Counsel can provide resumes within 48 hours.
Price – When your budget has limited flexibility and you need to maximize every dollar, a temporary legal staffing firm is a cost-effective option. If you work with the right company, there are even chances to reduce your legal staffing expenses by 60% over law firm rates.
An ongoing law firm relationship allows for greater continuity in the strategic planning process. They can keep their eye on the big picture, monitor results, and adjust the framework based on extant conditions. A temporary legal staffing firm can provide resources to implement and execute parts of the plan (helping to lower the costs of this transformation).
Is legal cost reduction within your reach? Find out how much you could save on experienced attorneys with our cost savings calculator.