4 Benefits Of Hiring A Contract Lawyer

Filed under: Freelance | Outsourcing | Tags: , |

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Guest writer, Corrine A. Tampas, of What’s Your Authority takes us through the benefits of  working with contract lawyers:

Ten years ago I entered the 21st Century kicking and screaming. My twelve year old AST 286 computer had just died and I was going to have to learn how to use a computer with Windows 98. And, a mouse! Five years later I was on a Mac, switching back and forth on different platforms, making little videos and communicating via the Internet with people all around the country. I have evolved. So has the legal profession.

In 2005 I started a virtual law practice of sorts. My clients are other attorneys, and for tax work, tax professionals. I have given myself the moniker “onshore outsource attorney”. Other attorneys who do what I do call themselves “freelance attorney” or “of counsel attorney”. What we do is legal research and writing for our attorney-clients.

  1. Hiring An Outsource Attorney. There are many reasons an attorney would want to hire an outsource attorney. By far the biggest reason is time. Legal research and writing can be tedious, especially if that is not the primary focus of the lawyer’s practice. After spending a day in court and meeting with clients, an attorney may be spent. After all, there are just so many hours in the day. An outsource attorney can free up some of the hiring attorney’s time to do other things, like sleep!
  2. Hiring Onshore. No attorney wants to lose control of his or her case. I am always mindful that while I may make recommendations to the hiring attorney, I ultimately work for the hiring attorney. When a hiring attorney hires an onshore attorney, he or she is hiring an attorney who has been trained and barred in the United States, is familiar with English the way it is spoken in the United States, and is cognizant of the same ethical obligations to the client as the hiring attorney. There is no need to receive assurances as to the ground rules and competence before a project starts.
  3. Outsourcing Benefits Small Firms. Probably every attorney has had an opportunity to take a matter not quite in his or her practice area, but wanted to take (or keep) the client. By hiring an outsource attorney to conduct legal research and/or writing the hiring attorney can get up to speed quicker. It is analogous to bringing on a new associate to assist with an increase in caseload, only without the commitment, obligation to provide additional office space, and the responsibility to pay workmen’s compensation and other insurances. Hiring an outsource attorney can help small firms grow into medium-sized firms and beyond!
  4. Financial Advantages of Outsourcing. All jurisdictions allow the hiring attorney to expense the outsource attorney’s fee. Most jurisdictions allow the hiring attorney to add a premium to the fee of the outsource attorney as long as the ultimate fee is “reasonable”. It is basically the same standard as if the firm hired an associate; the firm would bill for that associate’s time as well.

In addition, most marketing professionals will tell you that even in good times, a businessperson should be spending almost twenty-five percent of his or her time promoting the business or law practice. Again, the word of the day is “time” because there is never enough of that commodity. The bottom line is that a lawyer must spend a certain amount of face time in order to maintain a law practice, let alone build one. Its not smart to be stuck in the office while that solo down the street is jawboning at the latest community fundraiser.

Visit Corrine A. Tampas at her site: What’s Your Authority.