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Insource, law firm, or outsourced legal specialist: Which approach is best for routine legal work?
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When it comes to handling non-core tasks like legal processes for high-volume NDAs, vendor contracts, engagement letters, and other standard documents, many companies struggle to find an efficient, high-quality, and cost-effective solution. For most, it usually comes down to compromising and deciding between insourcing the work or outsourcing it to a law firm. However, there is a third option that offers a more viable solution: an outsourced legal specialist.
Outsourcing recurring legal work to an expert legal service provider that offers both specialist lawyers and advanced technology produces the most cost-effective and highest-quality results.
While insourcing and law firms may seem appealing at first glance, a closer inspection of staffing, technology, and cost considerations reveals that outsourcing to a trusted expert is the best approach to routine legal work.
Outsourced legal specialists provide the right people
Routine legal work still needs to be done right.
When you insource the work, it typically receives only a portion of the time and attention of employees who specialize in other matters, may not benefit from a formal legal education, and who were hired to handle core business tasks. Having them spend time on routine legal work means less time spent generating more substantial business value.
Outsourcing to a law firm similarly fails to result in the right staffing. Typically, the work is handled by less-experienced junior lawyers and is neither the main focus of the firm nor in their highest area of expertise.
What you need is a dedicated team of top-tier lawyers who are specialists in the specific types of contracts and tasks being outsourced. Only expert legal outsourcing providers offer the right staffing to get your recurring legal work done accurately and efficiently.
Outsourced legal specialists have the right technology
Technology is revolutionizing the way we handle routine legal document processes, and you need a solution that incorporates the most recent technological advances.
Insourcing creates significant challenges, because most companies have little to no technology specifically designed to aid the negotiation and management of routine legal documents. Moreover, they employ decentralized and inconsistent processes that are not enabled by technology, meaning they’re inefficient, are prone to human error, and could significantly increase legal and reputational risk.
Law firms are usually even more lacking on the technology front. Most firms do not specialize in technology and offer no solutions designed to provide efficient document management or contract data extraction and reporting.
The best solutions are offered by legal outsourcing providers. Some leading providers may offer a software platform that organizes documents and workflow, leverages the power of AI and machine learning to make processes more efficient, and captures legal and business information as data points to generate insightful reporting that makes future negotiations more effective and helps with managing obligations.
Outsourced legal specialists can be engaged at the right cost
The costs of recurring legal work can quickly add up. You need a solution that can handle that work in the most cost-effective manner possible without sacrificing quality.
At first glance, insourcing may appear to cut costs when you view it from a pure dollars-and-cents perspective. That view, however, ignores a number of hidden costs that come with insourcing, including opportunity costs, oversight costs, task-switching costs, and turnover costs, among others.
When you outsource to a law firm, you’re charged the same steep billable hours that the firm would charge for the more complex, nuanced work you need to solve your most challenging legal issues.
One of the main drivers behind finding the right solution for routine legal processes is reducing cost. By outsourcing to the right legal services provider, you could see an average cost savings of 70 percent or more. Some providers even offer transparent, flat-fee pricing structures that result in dramatically lower legal costs compared to insourcing or outsourcing to a law firm.
The answer to routine legal work
When you compare insourcing, law firms, and outsourcing to specialists when it comes to staffing, technology capabilities, and fee structures, outsourcing to a specialist is the clear answer for handling high-volume or recurring legal work. Outsourcing to a legal specialist that offers a complete solution combining experts and technology is even better.
By some estimates, the cost of internally managing routine legal work can be 10x in-house counsel salaries.
In this guide, you’ll learn the critical selection criteria for B2B service providers.