LMS introduces the Legal Department Service Model
There is a lot of pressure involved when it comes to legal costs. No one likes to pay for legal services. As a General Counsel, you need to review your legal budget and actual spend regularly. This is an ongoing evaluation of whether there is work you can move in-house, either utilizing the existing team or, if the numbers add up, by adding a new person. It also includes other options, like automating the work, hiring a law firm, or using the services of an alternative legal service provider.
One of the key challenges in this evaluation is to find the right person with the right skill set for the work. Is your high paid senior legal counsel doing legal admin work? Is your law firm delegating work to new associates letting you pay for the learning curve? To understand this sourcing dilemma, we developed the Legal Department Service Model. Since there are so many different “services” in Legal, it is important to develop a clear legal service sourcing strategy. We use the following pyramid to show the different service levels of a legal department.
We also have brought together a few tips to help make sure you end up with the best possible team:
What does your legal department really need?
Are you looking for an experienced staff member who will take on managerial responsibilities, or is there a place for a fresh-faced graduate to reinvigorate your legal admin? What is your business asking for? You should use triage for each service request. After this assessment, decide to:
- push back the work to the business,
- automate the work,
- tell the business to stop the work,
- do the work,
- delegate the work to a paralegal or legal admin,
- or outsource the work to a law firm or legal process outsourcer.
Is the team member in house or external?
To help clarify what you need to full fill your business objectives, there may be a few things to consider before you begin the process of hiring an employee.
Full-time or part-time?
Is there really a need for a full-time employee? The right person for the job might not necessarily be an experienced member of your staff but an outside lawyer with a lot of experience in the field.
What is the budget?
What’s more, if the cost is an issue, you can often hire two or more graduates for the price of one senior legal counsel, meaning a stronger ROI. You can also decide to outsource the work which means more flexibility and fixed costs.
Legal Process Outsourcing companies such as LMS can come into your workplace and assess any pitfalls or gaps in your legal service sourcing strategy, identifying areas where you can improve. With this more focussed style of sourcing, finding the right person becomes a lot easier.