If you’re running a small or solo firm, you may not be able to have an in-house professional for each separate task. Outsourcing these duties to a trusted professional or company may fit the bill.
By Benjamin Lewis, Business Consultant for Law Firms
Expand your family law practice by delegating one or more of these 10 tasks that family lawyers commonly outsource. Like most companies, law firms experience growing pains when business picks up and spreads your team too thinly. Let your associates, paralegals, and support staff concentrate on their core competencies while you outsource some of the most intensive legal tasks.
10 Tasks Family Lawyers Commonly Outsource
Outsource your accounting duties until your firm grows large enough for an in-house accountant or bookkeeper.
Some of the tasks that family lawyers commonly outsource involve bookkeeping. The most outsourced accounting tasks include:
- Settling accounts payable
- Invoicing clients
- Reconciling IOLTA accounts
- Preparing taxes
- Reporting finances
When outsourcing your bookkeeping, the American Bar Association (ABA) recommends you stay vigilant regarding fraud, theft, and IOLTA violations.
Outsourcing your marketing efforts remains an obvious solution for small-to-medium-sized law firms maintaining strict budgets.
Unless someone in your firm has five or more years of digital marketing experience – and it makes sense to apportion some of that employee’s time to advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) – you will want to hire an agency that specializes in family law firm marketing. Outsourcing your law firm’s social media management remains an option as well.
3. Office Administration
Some firm managers feel hesitant about outsourcing office administration tasks that traditionally get completed in the office. However, in the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, more firms have begun to outsource the following administrative duties:
- Answering phone calls
- New client intake
- Scheduling appointments
- Maintaining live chat channels
- Posting job opportunities
Many law firm managers have discovered that outsourcing admin tasks works well once efficient protocols are put in place and understood by all parties.
4. Document Review
Perhaps the most outsourced legal task, third-party document review has created an entire outsourcing industry unto itself. Document review companies will proofread, edit, and even scan your documents so you can access them digitally. The digitization of document review saves big law firms tens of millions of dollars per annum.
Few lawyers enjoy going down to the courthouse to file petitions, briefs, writs, and other documents. That’s why we assign the job to student law clerks. But what if a safer, more reliable solution exists? During the lockdowns that followed the emergence of COVID-19, outsourcing of filing duties exploded. Many firms decided to continue the practice out of convenience.
Various states have put forth ethical IT mandates that require attorneys to periodically check their online presence, including their social media accounts. In response, many firms have updated their agreements with IT professionals and trained them to look for advertising violations.
Even if your firm hasn’t posted anything in years, changes to your social media platforms could result in the mislabelling of your attorneys’ skills, resulting in a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
7. Legal Transcription
Outsource your legal audio transcription by hiring a trusted legal transcription company.
You can make one of the most tedious tasks in the entire legal field a lot easier by outsourcing legal transcription services. Just email your paperwork, videos, or audio files and receive your transcribed documents in your inbox. You can even find legal transcription companies that will send someone out to transcribe proceedings in person.
Here are the top legal transcription services that most family lawyers work with:
- Fiverr. Fiverr is a well-known platform for all kinds of freelancers and services. You can find legal transcribers on the platform itself, and you can negotiate prices there.
- Upwork. Upwork is one of the biggest platforms for freelancers in the world; you can easily find someone there who can do legal transcription for you. Upwork has its own system for paying freelancers.
- LexTranscribe. LexTranscribe is one of the top legal transcription service providers in the United States. LexTranscribe works with small, medium, and large-sized law firms and legal institutions across the country. This legal document platform guarantees fast delivery and confidentiality.
8. Legal Research
Save money by assigning your legal research tasks to a professional outsourcing company.
Busy family law practitioners see a lot of the same types of cases governed by the same set of statutes and case law decisions. However, if you take on a new case that requires a little extra research, outsource it so you can focus on your core business. That way, you can stay on top of your caseload and avoid getting caught up in protracted legal research.
9. Brief Writing
Manage your time more efficiently by outsourcing your brief writing.
Drafting a brief represents one of the most time-consuming tasks for a family law attorney. So, if you intend to outsource your legal research, you might as well delegate your brief writing tasks to the same company. They remain in the best position to draft a compelling brief that reflects the current state of the law.
10. Human Resources
Find the perfect new hire by outsourcing your human resources tasks to a recruiting agency.
Most law firm managers fancy themselves as above-average hirers. However, without training, tools, and technology, hiring is a game of chance. Even experienced human resources personnel with the best tools still get it wrong sometimes. But, you can increase the odds of finding the perfect recruit if you delegate the task to someone who makes employment matches all day, every day.
Did we forget any tasks that family lawyers commonly outsource? Do you outsource at your law firm? In the comments below, let us know which duties you outsource so we can add them to the list for our next update.
Benjamin Lewis worked for several years as an estate planning and tax attorney before becoming a sought-after business consultant for law firms and multinational corporations. He enjoys writing about law, medicine, travel, and food. www.lextranscribe.com
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