Thank you to Carolyn Elefant at the MyShingle.com blog for posting on legal outsourcing (ie the virtual worker model). She provides great links to a recent Law Practice Today roundtable discussion on whether it makes sense for law firms to outsource. and another article by Ed Poll on choosing a virtual assistant.
Here are some great money quotes:
- There is more going on that meets the eye. Business process outsourcing companies like Office Tiger are now targeting the legal market as the next candidate for outsourcing;
- As for my opinion, I think the biggest impact on law firms that "outsourcing" hype will cause is increasing the rate at which clients question the fees their attorneys are charging them;
- With outsourcing, you typically spend more time specifying requirements and monitoring performance.
- There is a compelling logic to this approach and there has been some push from clients as hourly rates for inexperienced lawyers have soared. The recent round of salary increases for starting associates will only cause more interest in this approach.
- Not only can outsourcing free people to do higher level work - in some instances it might help you get higher level work. People are generally both happier in their work and more productive when they are using their best skills.