Personal Productivity for Lawyers
This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.
Outsourcing legal work has become a good option for many attorneys. It provides a way to get the help you need so you don’t have to work harder, just smarter. Outsourcing can be the right answer for you if your billable hours have increased enough that you are feeling the stress, you are turning away clients, clients are complaining because of delays, your family is complaining because you don’t have time for them, or an issue arises that is outside of your expertise.
In this 3-part series, we’ll explore 1) what outsourcing can do for you, 2) what tasks are suitable for outsourcing, and 3) how to find contract legal help.
Outsourcing is generally used to handle an occasional job on a project-by-project basis. It can also be used to see whether or not it makes sense to hire another person for your firm.
What can you expect from outsourcing?
Here are 6 benefits:
- Better service to your clients. You will be able to spend more time on the issues you choose, while handing off other tasks to someone else. Your clients won’t notice the difference because the transfer of work should be seamless, and the result should be as good as what you would have delivered.
- More money in your pockets. If you’ve had to turn down new clients or cases because you have too much on your plate, you are turning down profit potential. Or if you’ve agreed to take a case at a flat fee and the case is going to take more hours than you originally estimated, your hourly rate will effectively go down. Hiring someone on an “as needed” basis will allow you to get your work done at a reasonable cost, and accept new work that you want.
- Less stress. Think of the long hours, looming deadlines, uncooperative opposing counsel, difficult clients, and missed family time. If that raises your blood pressure, outsourcing may be the relief you need.
- More flexibility in your schedule. Sometimes scheduling conflicts are inevitable. If there is no one available to step in and help you, and/or it doesn’t make sense to hire another associate or other staff, a contract attorney is the way to go.
- Reduced risk of a malpractice claim. When you have too much on your plate, something could easily fall through the cracks or get less attention than it requires. Many bar complaints arise out of missing deadlines, so instead of trying to find time to work on a case, find someone you can depend on to keep you on track.
- Career satisfaction. Have you ever felt like giving up your practice because the work is overwhelming, boring and routine, or taking too much time from the things that are most important to you? Hiring someone to take the work that is time-consuming or that you don’t enjoy doing can rejuvenate your passion for your career.
Some lawyers have a difficult time asking for help. But outsourcing isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it is adding strength to your practice. It is a way to be flexible with your staffing needs, and is a low-risk, low-cost way to handle your work. Give it a try the next time you’re scratching your head, wondering how it’s all going to get done!