Aligning the best litigation support can be a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. There are many interrelated factors to weigh. Each piece of the puzzle can impact the cost and outcome of your workload. In this article, National Legal Staffing Support (NLSS) offers insights into some of the considerations that law firms should assess before hiring a litigation support specialist.
The first piece of the puzzle is to assess your staff’s current skills relative to what you may need in the future. Consider cases you have in-house and cases for which you expect to be hired. Think about the level of support the attorneys in your firm or department will require to provide high-quality legal services for this work.
Consider potential pre-litigation, pleadings, interrogatories, briefs, general correspondence, due diligence, and pretrial case preparation. You may also have needs related to building and maintaining databases, reviewing documents, retrieving records, and developing trial presentation materials. These are all areas in which a litigation support specialist can help.
Compare these needs to the legal support resources you currently have. You should consider not only the abilities of your current staff but also what other tasks and assignments those staff members can fulfill. It’s not just a question of having someone on your team that can review documents, for example. You need to consider the best allocation of resources.
After completing the skills needs assessment, you will be able to identify where there are gaps and shortfalls.
Once you have determined where the skills gaps lie in your organization, you’re ready to move on to deciding what makes sense financially. The key here is to consistently apply the most expensive resources to the most profitable work. In short, avoid having an experienced attorney perform work that support staff could do instead. That’s an extreme example to illustrate the point, but the idea applies throughout your organization. If everyone in your organization is working at the top of their expertise level, you can fill in the gaps with the legal support staff at a cost that makes sense.
Time is money, especially in the legal profession. Another puzzle piece that impacts all the other pieces is time. How much time do you have to complete a case? How much can you save if you finish sooner, or how much more will it cost if you take longer? If hiring additional staff can significantly impact the amount of time it takes to conclude a case, and if that time saving represents cost savings, you have identified a good argument for bringing in additional help – either permanently or temporarily.
By identifying what skills your firm needs to add, where those skills can be applied most economically, and the cost impact of time savings, you can identify where a litigation support specialist will fit. Whether it’s for a single large case or an ongoing workload, bringing in support staff that fits your firm’s gaps at the right price can complete the puzzle perfectly.
About National Legal Staffing Support
National Legal Staffing Support is a pioneer and leading provider of legal process outsourcing. Located in Boca Raton, Florida, the company offers front- and back-office support to experienced consumer protection attorneys that specialize in debt resolution. National Legal Staffing Support offers paralegal services, document management solutions, pre-litigation support, pre-filing analysis, research, and client communication management.