Since 2006, the upheaval in the legal industry has created massive layoffs, law firm closures, and serious reduction in associate compensation. The shifting marketplace has changed the way “traditional” law firms approach hiring their associates, as contract attorneys are being brought in to fill the need. The traditional law firm seems to be trending as a thing of the past as legal outsourcing becomes the new normal for law firms.
The 2014 Law Firms in Transition survey of law firm leaders on the changing legal market, reported that the law firm leaders expect to see an increase in the use of contract attorneys. A whopping 46% of the law firms polled have already shifted to the new model and are using contract attorneys. Surprisingly, the larger firms (over 250 attorneys) are outsourcing 67.5% to contract attorneys, whereas the smaller firms are outsourcing at 38.4%.
Seventy-two percent of the law firm leaders polled are in consensus that contract attorneys will be a permanent trend going forward. Regardless of the projections for contract attorneys for the remainder of 2014, we’ve seen the rise in outsourcing since 2009 and the benefits are outweighing the….well, we haven’t been able to find any data against using a contract attorney.
Law firms must shift with the legal market, and they must do it quickly since a fast growing amount of attorneys are choosing legal outsourcing as a valid career, and the demands of the market make using a contract attorney a more cost effective measure. Companies such as Overflow Legal Network, LLC, assist law firms by placing experienced contract attorneys with the law firm on a project-by-project or temporary basis.
Don’t assume that you need to hire a new associate when your law firm’s overflow needs arise. Call Overflow Legal Network, LLC today and consider using a contract attorney who can do the work for you and at a much less expensive cost to your law firm.