In the last couple of years, the legal services industry has been experiencing a severe shortage of talent. One of the reasons for that could be the nature of work in this profession. From drafting contracts, preparing case briefs, interrogatories, and testimony to conducting investigations and statistical/documentary research — one has to make sure that their work is meticulous, error-free, confidential, and accurate. So, hiring just anyone won’t cut the deal.
A 2018 study found that 91% of the total surveyed lawyers find it somewhat or very challenging to find skilled legal professionals. In another more recent survey done by Robert Half Legal, 31% of the total respondents said that recruiting highly skilled legal professionals is the greatest practice management challenge facing their law firm.
Compounding this problem, the number of law graduates in the US steadily declined between 2013 and 2021. This can prove to be problematic as the industry is set to witness a 12% increase in job vacancies from 2020-2030.
These are some of the major HR challenges that law firms are faced with today. A big law firm typically will have a separate HR or administrative department that focuses entirely on overcoming these obstacles to hire and retain top legal talent. But with smaller firms or practices without a dedicated hiring team, this can become a major setback in achieving business goals.
In such cases, outsourcing your legal hiring needs can often help to solve most of these challenges. Outsourcing agencies typically have widespread connections and expertise in hiring for all types of industries and roles. They are often able to find the right talent in half the time it can take your recruiter or hiring team. Here are four reasons why you should opt to outsource paralegal and other job roles in your legal practice.
4 Reasons to Outsource Paralegal Jobs in 2022
#1 Save Time and Hire Paralegal Talent Faster
Law firms lately are facing a surge in caseloads that are often time-sensitive. Being on a strict deadline can make it difficult to dedicate enough time to find and hire the right fit. With the ongoing talent shortage, law firms have to either settle for below-average to average talent or increase the workload of existing employees.
If practices decide to outsource such vacancies, they can simply focus on the cases while the legal outsourcing agency finds the most suitable talent for them. Administrative hiring tasks such as posting ads, reaching out to passive candidates, scheduling interviews, and coordinating calendars that take up a significant amount of time can all be taken care of by the outsourcing agency while the practice can dedicate its resources to work on pending cases.
#2 Avoid Employee Burnout and Retain Great Employees
We can confidently say that law firms are deadline-driven. If your law firm is not able to find skilled talent when you have multiple time-sensitive cases, chances are your existing legal assistants and paralegals have to take them on. When that happens, these assistants end up with more workload than they might have the bandwidth for and can feel burnt out.
And in smaller firms, often legal support staff may also have other duties to perform apart from legal work (such as administrative support, handling all internal and external communications, HR support, etc.) as needed by their attorney(s). Since the role demands juggling multiple hats, it can make legal assistants feel overwhelmed with work.
Outsourcing such tasks can prove to be beneficial here. Outsourcing agencies such as GoGenies often have experienced recruiters who may have hired for these same positions before. So, when your firm approaches them for a similar role, chances are that they already have a list of names ready to be interviewed. This way, you not only reduce your time to hire but also avoid employee burnout and retain your workforce.
#3 Build a Team of Agile and Experienced Talent
As discussed above, legal assistant jobs may require the person to juggle multiple roles around the office. Sometimes, legal assistants also work under more than one attorney with multiple timelines, projects, and directives subject to constant change. Hence, this role today requires someone who is adaptable, agile, a team worker, and someone who can accommodate sudden changes in client demands with ease.
Hiring part-time paralegal assistants can prove to be beneficial here as part-timers have experience of working with multiple firms and attorneys, sometimes even at the same time. Full-timers often work with only a couple of organizations throughout their careers, limiting their experience. This makes freelancers and part-time legal assistants more equipped to handle sudden changes, different personalities, working styles, and demands with ease.
#4 Expand to Global Markets and Work in Multiple Time Zones
If you have worked with clients in different time zones, you know it can get tough to coordinate, schedule meetings, and keep an easy mode of communication open at all times. This can increase the number of hours or days it takes to work on cases, decrease productivity, and can become a barrier for either or both parties after a while. And eventually, you might grow to avoid taking cases outside your time zone simply because working in your own time zone is faster, easier, and more productive.
This is where outsourcing legal and paralegal talent can help. Outsourcing agencies like GoGenies have recruiters spread across the globe. They can find suitable talent for you from any part of the world without geographical limitation. If you hire remote legal assistants from another time zone, they can help you with your clients from that time zone or a similar one. Even if you don’t have a case from that time zone, they can still do the same work for you while you sleep. This way you can ensure that your business runs around the clock.
In addition, with US law school graduate numbers down, it makes even more sense for US firms to consider hiring paralegals in other countries since the work is virtual and there’s less supply of talent in the US anyway.
Weeks Nelson Law is a boutique patents and general legal practice in San Diego, California. They had hired a few lawyers but still needed more helping hands to speed up work around the office. With GoGenies, they found a remote paralegal assistant from the Philippines in no time. Hiring with GoGenies, the client was able to:
- Lower business costs by hiring good and affordable talent
- Take on more clients
- Generate more revenue by operating in two time zones
- Save time reviewing contracts
Hiring Great Legal and Paralegal Talent Has Never Been This Affordable!
Talent shortage has led to firms offering other benefits to attract more talent such as competitive salaries, opportunities for higher education, mentorship, etc. In such cases, it can get tough for smaller firms to provide competitive salaries and other benefits to gain visibility among full-time job seekers.
On the other hand, a part-timer or a freelancer is usually looking for exposure, good and varied experiences, and building a trusted client network more than benefits and competitive salaries.
As caseloads fluctuate and timelines change, it might prove to be more economical to hire part-time or contract legal assistants as and when the requirement arises. This way you can avoid paying employees for when there are fewer cases to work on.
The advantages of outsourcing talent can have both tangible and intangible benefits. It allows a company to achieve objectives while saving both time and money and opens up opportunities for expansion and a more global reach. The decision to outsource can keep your business competitive while making the most of your assets.