Many organizations believe using outsourced legal service providers (alternative legal service providers) versus insourcing (or doing it in-house) to be an either-or proposition. Yet as organizations search for creative solutions for legal tasks, many are discovering the benefits of an integrated solution, one that merges internal and external resources.
The Benefits of Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) vs. Insourcing
Let’s take a closer look at the rationales for insourcing and outsourcing, the complications that may arise with both, and some recommendations for choosing the appropriate provider.
The value of insourcing
The popularity of insourcing can be attributed in part to the need for increased efficiency. Additionally, this approach allows an organization to tap and cultivate an in-house collection of talent.
There are a variety of benefits to insourcing, including a greater level of control. Using an in-house team allows companies superior quality control and oversight. It can be a positive for morale, as it shows a willingness to invest in and develop the skills of internal staff. Finally, it allows employees to feel important to the business' overall success while building synergy between different teams and departments.
The limitations of handling legal processes in-house
There are some limitations with a strictly in-house approach. Businesses with limited budgets and resources may not be able to keep up with the heightened costs of insourcing. Building (and rebuilding) a team from the ground up is often time-consuming and very expensive. Should you choose the wrong personnel, the costs may be even more severe.
Businesses should perform a rigorous review of overall legal workflow/activities/tasks requirements to determine which would benefit from being outsourced to a legal services provider. Proprietary or elevated risk work may be best suited for an internal legal staff, whereas recurring and commodity-type services such as completing and filing forms with state and local agencies, document retrievals from state and local agencies, filing and maintaining business licenses, and entity compliance monitoring may be best handled by a more cost-effective solution such as a legal service provider.
Pros and cons of legal outsourcing
Businesses must be nimble in order to fully serve clients without incurring added overhead or time-consuming administrative issues. The same amount of money spent in-house can actually go further if an outside provider is chosen due to their expertise and efficiencies built into processes.
Legal process outsourcing offers precisely this kind of agility. It improves return on investment, eliminates the concerns that are intrinsic to employee management (absenteeism, productivity), and reduces administrative and training costs. It also shifts the expensive and complex burdens of employment taxes and insurance.
Despite these benefits, the results of outsourcing don’t always align with expectations. While outsourcing may reduce costs, if implemented incorrectly it may result in quality control issues. Fixing such errors can essentially eliminate any cost savings realized through outsourcing. That’s why it’s critical to choose the right provider — a reputable and responsive company offering high-quality work.
When to consider legal outsourcing
There are a variety of situations where legal outsourcing makes sense. If an organization is under a strict deadline and lacks the time or expertise to complete the task, a service provider could prove helpful. If the cost of doing business externally is less expensive than an internal option, a legal service provider may be the right choice. Outsourcing allows firms to dip into an experienced talent pool.
Outsourcing also allows a company to focus on their core business. It’s perfectly designed to fill in the gaps for high-volume seasonal work and provides immediate expertise without a long-term commitment.
If in-house counsel opts to outsource, it’s important to remember that the work will largely be performed by people without knowledge of the corporate culture. While this may not be a major consideration, it’s worth bearing in mind.
Identifying the right LPO vendor
There are a few standard questions one should ask when in the process of selecting a service provider. They include the following:
- Do they have the right expertise?
- Can they work without extensive direction?
- What are the services offered?
- Are they flexible in terms of demand or usage?
- Does the provider come recommended by peers?
- Does the provider have a good reputation?
- Will they customize and adapt their solutions to meet your project’s needs?
By fully exploring these questions, businesses can maximize the odds of finding the right provider.
Outsourcing legal services offers a variety of benefits, including cost savings, increased bandwidth and enhanced flexibility. It also works well as a complement to existing in-house services. With the right provider, businesses can improve the bottom line while better serving the needs of clients.
It’s important to have a trusted partner on your side. To learn more about how CT Corporation can help you better manage your legal service needs, contact a CT representative at 844-206-9033 (toll-free US).
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