Law firms and corporate legal departments often look at contracting outside attorneys as a dollars-and-cents proposition. Law firms have found they can save money on routine work that can be performed less expensively externally, while freeing up associates to perform higher-level tasks that can be billed at a premium. Similarly, corporate legal departments view contract attorneys as a means of keeping in-house counsel focused on higher-level work, which helps them reel in outside counsel costs and, often, manage expenses more seamlessly through flexible billing options worked out with their alternative legal service providers (ALSPs).
But working with contract attorneys can offer advantages that go well beyond increasing margins and decreasing costs. And while these benefits may not be as obvious, they are important to consider as staffing decisions are being made. Some of these hidden benefits include:
Attracting top talent—regardless of location. The capabilities of contract attorneys are by no means limited to document review, discovery, due diligence and contracts. When a higher level of experience or specialization is required, corporations and law firms have access to a diverse, geographically agnostic talent pool. For example, if you occasionally need Silicon Valley M&A expertise but are located in a region that lacks talent with that particular area of specialization, you can reach out to a tech-savvy contract attorney in New York, Chicago, San Jose or other large metropolitan market that offers it. Remote work protocols established in 2020 are making these long-distance relationships more common than ever before, to the benefit of law firms and corporations nationwide.