Weekly Edge #4 – Lawyer Outsourcing Benefits, How-Tos, Pitfalls

This week we’re discussing outsourcing from a lot of different perspectives. Whether you are looking to outsource administrative tasks, legal work, or be a contract/freelance attorney yourself, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s check it out:

Legal Outsourcing Benefits, How-Tos, and Pitfalls

Contract Attorneys: How a Small Firm Can Reap Huge Benefits

via NYSBA by Cynthia Feathers and Craig S. Brown

Hiring a contract lawyer isn’t just for big law firms. Small firms can leverage contract lawyers to their advantage too. Using contract lawyers, you can broaden the scope of the services you offer, handle larger cases or transactions, and help you ramp up during busy seasons. Favorite action point: If a client has a matter that you normally don’t handle, you can hire a contract lawyer to keep a client that you might otherwise lose to another firm.

Be Cautious With Outsourcing or Expanding Your Practice

via Lawyerist by Randall Ryder

A solid counterpoint to the argument that you should immediately start outsourcing or expand your law firm. This article notes that some increased business to the firm putting you beyond capacity may only be temporary, and you might not need to actually hire someone. The article urges you to take several things into consideration before making the move to outsource or expand your practice. It also notes that for many tasks, like client intake, you may be indispensable. Favorite action point: Make sure you can handle the financial impact in the short term, because you will have to spend time training and supervising them.

Associates? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Associates! Why Solos and Small Law Firms Should Work With Contract Lawyers and How to Do It

via Question of Law by Lisa Solomon

This comprehensive guide covers the perspective of law firms looking to outsource legal work. It goes over best practices for working with a contract lawyer, the ethical considerations, and even has a checklist to determine if outsourcing legal work is right for your firm. Favorite action point: The checklist (here’s one sample question): In the past two months have you failed to return client phone calls or emails within the time specified in your retainer letter because you were too busy?

Should You Outsource Your Social Media?

via Fast Company by Laura Vanderkam

Social media seems like something fairly easy to outsource to an expert. It also seems like something perfect to outsource because it can be a huge time suck, especially if you are not the most proficient with it. This article goes over the reasons to outsource and not to outsource your social media. It notes that social media isn’t quite a full time job and experience helps significantly. But, at the same time outsourcing can appear less authentic, and anyone can claim they are a “social media expert”. Favorite action points: Watch out for red flags. A too-good-to-be-true price, and auto-posting the same messages across all platforms should raise your suspicions of their credibility.

On the Road and Online: How One Military Spouse Makes Virtual Practice a Reality

via Hire An Esquire by Rhonda Miller

This is an interesting profile about a contract lawyer running her own virtual practice. She is a military wife who, thanks to the Internet, can work wherever her husband gets stationed. She is currently of counsel to a law firm in California. She also assists other solos and small firms (that don’t need court appearances). Favorite action point: Contract attorney jobs can be a win for people who need flexibility in their schedules (e.g. stay-at-home moms and dads).

What Can Your Law Firm Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?

via JurisPage

There are plenty of tasks that lawyers hate to do that you can outsource, from bookkeeping to answering phones to marketing. This article describes in detail some of the things your firm can outsource. It also puts forth a cost calculation to help determine if hiring a VA is worth it for you. Favorite action point: Document your processes in a service like Process.st before hiring a virtual assistant so they can complete tasks exactly how you would like them to.

In other outsourcing news…

The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order

via NY Times by Matt Richtel

So McDonalds has been outsourcing its drive-through windows…

Andrew Cabasso
About the Author: Andrew Cabasso
Andrew Cabasso is an attorney and co-founder of JurisPage, an online marketing agency for law firms, now part of Uptime Legal. Andrew has given many lectures and CLEs on website design and Internet marketing to legal professionals. He is the author of Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers and The Complete Guide to Attorney PPC. Follow Andrew on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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