As with any business, growing a law firm is a little like walking a tightrope. It’s a balancing act to provide high-quality legal services to existing clients while expanding the firm’s number of attorneys. In this article, world-class legal process outsourcing experts, National Legal Staffing Support (NLSS), examine how outsourcing addresses the growth balancing act.
At the heart of growing any business is how to increase overhead costs incrementally so they maintain a fixed relationship with revenue. Hiring too many support staff too soon will strain the firm’s budget, but it’s challenging to generate additional revenue without additional help.
The difficulties associated with finding the right balance to enable growth have given rise to the burgeoning legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry. LPO providers disrupt the legal industry by offering creative delivery models, specialized services, advanced digital capabilities, and cost-effective pricing.
Overhead refers to the ongoing business expenses not directly attributed to providing legal services for any specific client or case. It is essential for budgeting purposes and determining how much a law firm must charge for its services to profit.
Overhead includes office rent, phone and internet service, utilities, office supplies, and even new office furniture. Over and above tangible items, overhead costs can also include salaries for paralegals, receptionists, researchers, assistants, or investigators. Pretty much anything the firm pays for that doesn’t directly generate revenue is overhead.
According to Law Crossing, a typical law firm spends between 45% and 50% of overall earnings overhead costs. From this perspective, it is easy to see that significantly increasing overhead — let’s say by hiring additional staff in anticipation of growth — could be a disastrous decision. Conversely, failing to increase support staff soon enough can result in a drop in the service level the firm can provide its clients.
This scenario illustrates why LPO has become so popular. The ability to scale labor overhead costs to align with increased revenue is a game-changer. If growth happens slower than anticipated, keep more of the support services in-house. If the firm grows faster than expected, you can quickly scale the outsourced services to keep pace with the increased revenue.
Sometimes a law firm’s growth strategy includes expanding into new areas of the law. Rather than only take on more cases of the same type, they may decide that adding a specialty is the way to grow. This strategy adds a layer of complexity since the number of staff scale up. Not only must the new staff need to have the appropriate training. LPO can, of course, help with this type of transition as well.
A well-qualified LPO firm will have paralegals and other support staff already trained in the intricacies of the various types of law. Whether it’s criminal law, bankruptcy, intellectual property, medical malpractice, or any other specialty, the right LPO can provide services appropriate for that legal area.
As law firms search for creative solutions to help them walk the growth tightrope, LPO firms, like NLSS, stand ready to assist by providing scalable and trained support staff.
About National Legal Staffing Support
National Legal Staffing Support is a Florida-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider serving consumer protection law firms. The team at National Legal Staffing Support (NLSS) provides world-class paralegal support and pre-litigation services. NLSS also offers a groundbreaking document management solution that saves time, money, and office space. Work processes are streamlined thanks to improved record security, efficient filing, and document retrieval.