Paralegal support provided to attorneys, legal corporate departments, organizations, government entities and individuals is an important function for the delivery of quality service. The legal profession would have a hard time operating without the help of paralegals. Hiring a paralegal with sufficient education and experience can be a daunting task, especially in time sensitive cases. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is on the rise and is very beneficial to firms seeking to improve processes while cutting cost. The information age has revolutionized the world’s capacity to do business; however in the legal profession there is a level of accountability for attorneys. Many law firms and legal departments have outsourced services off shore because of cheaper labor rates; however hiring domestic paralegals would be in the best interest of the company long-term through the development of an on-going business to business relationship. My motto is: “If it is done right the first time there is no need to repeat the effort.” In essence you get what you pay for. Quality of service is a valuable asset. Five reasons to outsource paralegal support services domestically:
1. Timing and Cost: The fundamental question during the decision making process is whether or not there is sufficient time for the project to be outsourced? Time is a valuable asset. A domestic relationship allows ample time for the project to be completed in an efficient manner. Who becomes the responsible party in the event of production failure of the outsourced project?
2. Quality: Experience matters. The legal profession is complex; specialization in a particular subject matter is desirable for service delivery of a high grade of excellence which every client deserves. Knowledgeable and experienced staff should be a prerequisite. The credentials of most paralegals can be verified through the University or technical school they have attended, Paralegal Associations, and Bar Associations.
3. Communication: Communication is the bridge that connects worlds; however not all people speak the same language. Most telecommunication companies’ have a call center offshore and I know that you have received or have called and spoken with a representative who couldn’t articulate your message or vice versa. The battle can be quite bothersome and the moment you are unable to obtain the result anticipated the line of communication is dropped. Communication is key. The work performance objective must be outlined in details and domestic paralegals are well versed in this arena and are able to assess your needs.
4. Skills and Resources: The paralegal firm performing the outsourced work should have the appropriate training and understanding of federal, administrative, state or local laws and regulations. Evaluating your supplier to ensure they possess access to the resources necessary and the ability to perform the task which includes both primary and secondary resources. Anyone can tell you they can perform a particular task, but the delivery speaks volumes. Staffing capacity plays an essential role in the delivery as well. A due diligence check can provide you with all the answers you are looking for. It is much easier to check out your supplier domestically.
5. Confidentiality, Privacy, Liability: The National Federation of Paralegal Association, the leader of the paralegal profession, developed a Model Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility Guidelines to enforce rules of professional conduct. Paralegals have an ethical responsibility to the legal community to uphold the character and integrity of their profession.
A supplier agreement or any other contractual agreement between businesses within the United States can be imposed and executed under the governing law. In essence it boils down to relationships, accountability and reputation. The cost savings from outsourcing domestically in relationship to outsourcing off shore can be actualized once costs of management, review time, error frequency, process efficiency and accountability have been factored. Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) to domestic paralegal firms will not only increase your bottom line it will also enhance the economic climate of the legal industry domestically.