There are many situations when a law practice or business will want to engage paralegal staff augmentation. Outsourced paralegal services can help many businesses and law firms do more, do it them quicker and be more cost effective. In this article we will cover the role of a paralegal, some of the many situations for when it makes sense to outsource paralegals, plus how to outsource paralegals.
Role of a Paralegal
Indeed the popular job post site defines the role of a paralegal as follows.
“Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, are primarily responsible for providing support to attorneys. Paralegals help attorneys prepare for hearings, trials, and meetings, and they play a vital role in client communication. They can work in private law firms or the public sector and are trained to provide numerous legal services. However, they are prohibited from certain tasks that are considered practicing law, such as: representing someone in a judicial proceeding, accepting a case, determining a client’s fee.
A paralegal’s primary responsibility is to assist their attorneys by keeping things organized, running smoothly and by helping with some of the legal work. Their duties may include Assisting attorneys during trials, organizing case files, preparing trial notes, performing legal research, preparing legal briefs. Most paralegals find jobs in law firms, corporations, non-profits, and government agencies.”
We agree with this definition. Because nearly all this work can be done remotely, outsourced paralegals can be a great option for firms and businesses struggling to find help, or to find help that matches their budget.
When does an Outsourced Paralegal Make Sense?
There are many scenarios for when it will make sense to outsource paralegal resources. Some of the reasons we hear most commonly from our clients are outlined below and come directly from a Top 10 List we recently published.
Focus on the Core Business –
An often overlooked reason to engage with service providers of staff augmentation is the ability to focus on the core business and the reason a practice or company is in business in the first place. Many roles filled by staff augmentation service providers are back office roles and roles that are not central to the reason a company is in business. Assigning this type of work to someone who might be remote makes tons of sense.
Acquire Needed Skills –
Getting needed competencies and skills in the door is the number one reason to outsource staff and use staff augmentation services. Frequently specific skills can be hard to hire staff for. Other times it is possible to find staff but not within the budget a company has available for a position. Getting needed skills in the door helps a practice or organization execute on its goals and serve clients.
Reduce Costs –
When a business combines the salary for a role with additional costs it gets an accurate picture of the expense for every role. Federal and state or provincial taxes must be accounted for. Benefits for health care and retirement are also part of the package. Infrastructure and overhead costs must also be examined. After adding all of these expenses up staff augmentation can often fill roles for 30% to 50% of these total costs.
Service providers of staff augmentation and outsourcing are able to scale up and ramp down quickly as needed by their clients. Companies engaged in staff augmentation are in constant recruitment mode and have ample candidates to bring on to serve new clients. They can also re assign workers quickly should an organization or firm need to scale down due to business conditions.
Complement Existing Staff –
In nearly all of our engagements paralegals we provide work very closely with local staff and help them to be more efficient. While we can outsource entire departments it is much more common for us to provide several, a few or even one person to support existing staff. We are typically offloading all the work that does not need to be done in person and back office work that is best done offsite at lower costs.
Economies of Scale –
Service providers of staff augmentation are specialized and have critical mass. They have infrastructure in the form of service centers with 100’s of staff working in them. They also have ample access to talent and are typically located in countries where there are young and well educated people looking for careers.
Speed of Implementation –
Service providers are able to provide resources rapidly. They have made the investments up front to operate quickly and efficiently. Frequently they have people on staff ready to assume roles. If this is not the case, they are typically constantly recruiting and have a steady pool of candidates.
Consistency of Expense –
When it comes to staff augmentation agreements for paralegals, costs and charges are well defined. The scope and statement of work are agreed upon ahead of time. Rates are typically set, locked in, and do not fluctuate. Defined running costs let organizations and firms focus on other priorities.
Stop Spending Time on Recruiting –
Any executive or business owner who has done recruiting knows how much time it can take to do it well. It is a time consuming process. Recruiting also comes with risks and not every candidate hired works out. Why not outsource the recruiting of staff in addition to the worker. Staff augmentation service providers are pros at recruiting and are engaged in the process every day of the week, and every week of the year.
Talent Management –
The staff and resources are the responsibility of the service provider. After a client assists in the initial onboarding the service provider will manage the resources and also train up backups and any potential future staff additions or replacements. HR process and strategy is already in place with service providers.
How to Outsource Paralegals
How to outsource paralegals is as simple as calling or emailing Valenta. During a call, virtual meeting, or in person meeting with one of our Managing Partners we will get to know your firm and the scope of work for the role you wish to fill. We will discuss important software tools as well as already established workflows. We will discuss the timelines and ensure that there is a match on budget. Once this is complete, we will look to see if we have staff on the bench that meet the requirements. If this is not the case, we will examine our current candidate recruitment funnel. Finally, if required we will do a short recruitment process. Once we have identified the right resource, we will forward profiles and videos of candidates for review.
Want to Learn More?
Everything we do at Valenta is about helping companies focus on and have time for what they do best and their core mission. We do this through process consulting, digital transformation, and the automation of tasks. We also do this by providing staff augmentation. Valenta is focused exclusively on SMB clients, typically enterprise customers with 10-1,000 employees. We have Managing Partners located in cities across the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, and Australia. Our Managing Partners work with other onshore consultants, plus offshore consultants, developers, and managers of outsourced staff to deliver the best services to our clients.
Please find an overview of some the roles we fill here. Please reach out to us here to discuss your staffing requirements at any time. We look forward to serving you and helping your business or practice.