Top Ten Reasons Why Law Firms Should Consider Selective Legal Outsourcing

In the last quarter of 2008 America faces economic challenges never imagined even a few months ago. How will businesses manage and survive the limitations on credit, demand and growth? How does the economic downturn impact lawyers and law firms which service the business community?

It is an obvious fact that businesses can only look at modifying two revenue streams, income and expenses, in order to increase profitability. If income is down and not expected to increase markedly in the near term, clients of law firms will take the hatchet to expenses in order to survive. Legal fees will be under extreme scrutiny. Legal outsourcing, while still a nascent industry, is gaining momentum, being considered in more corporate boardrooms. As the pressures to outsource build, lawyers ponder whether they should embrace outsourcing legal work offshore or resist it. In the face of global economic challenges coupled with the increasing loss of American jobs why would a U.S. law firm want to even consider legal outsourcing? Are there valid reasons why targeted legal outsourcing should be considered by every U.S. law firm?

Several weeks ago I received an email from a lawyer who was considering outsourcing some of the legal work of his law firm. Facing resistance and challenges from many in his law firm who wanted to maintain the status quo, he asked for my advice as to what he should tell his partners. Why should the firm outsource legal work offshore, a practice seen by some as adventuresome and risky, instead of staying the course, doing it “the way we have always done it.” I answered him with the top ten reasons why every law firm should consider selective legal outsourcing:

1. PRUDENT, TARGETED OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN REDUCED LAW FIRM OVERHEAD

Outsourcing some legal work to qualified providers in India will result in significantly lower overhead to the outsourcing law firm. In assessing the comparative costs the law firm will be wise to carefully calculate the real costs of employing one lawyer or paralegal. Those costs include salary and bonus, health insurance, vacation and holiday pay, sick time expense, FICA, office space and equipment for the lawyer, paralegal and secretarial staff assigned to that lawyer, pension and profit sharing, auto and parking expense, CLE seminar costs, and other employment benefits such as disability and life insurance. The real annual cost of one lawyer earning a base annual salary of $150,000-$175,000 is more likely in the range of $250,000 to $300,000 per year. NONE of these customary expenses accrue to a law firm utilizing supplemental offshore legal providers.

2. OUTSOURCING WILL ENHANCE LAW FIRM EFFICIENCIES

Selective outsourcing will improve the efficiency of your law firm. Because Indian lawyers work while American lawyers sleep, it will be like your law firm has a full time, fully staffed night shift. Some work can be assigned by a partner at 6 p.m. in the evening and the completed task on his desk when he arrives at the office the next morning. Litigation cases will move more rapidly through the court system with less need for extensions of time.

3. OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN IMPROVED LAWYER MORALE

As a child not many of the sermons I heard from my pastor stuck with me. But one, when I was fourteen years of age still rings a bell. He said: “Ninety percent of any worthwhile endeavor is pack work, plugging, day in and day out. Only ten percent of our work tasks are necessarily fun and enjoyable.” I have always remembered that statement. In more than two decades as a trial lawyer I enjoyed strategizing and trying cases to juries. But I did not necessarily enjoy all of the trial and deposition preparation, research and briefing, document review, and other mundane essentials of the practice of law. A law firm which incorporates outsourcing into its practice will inevitably foster more contented lawyers who devote their time and energies to the more challenging, fun and rewarding parts of the practice of law. Only the “chore” legal work is outsourced with the “core” work staying onshore. This allows more time for client interaction and development by the firm’s lawyers.

4. OUTSOURCING WILL RESULT IN OVERALL SAVINGS IN LEGAL FEES TO CLIENTS

Clients of law firms, particularly business clients, are searching far and wide for ways to cut their legal expenses. Many ask why they should pay, for example, $200 to $300 hourly for document review. Gone are the days when legal bills are simply paid without scrutiny. Likewise, the annual increases in hourly rates will not be well received by clients looking to cut costs. Wise law firms put the interests of their clients above their own. What is good for the client will ultimately be good for the law firm itself.

5. THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE OUTSOURCING CONSIDERATION

The Rules of Professional Conduct of require that: a. “A lawyer should seek to achieve the lawful objectives of a client through reasonable permissible means.” (Rule 1.2) b. “A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions about the representation.” (Rule 1.4 b) c. “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.” (Rule 3.2)

A lawyer is required to explore and discuss with his client all reasonable means of accomplishing the client’s objectives. A lawyer is not permitted to charge an unreasonable or excessive fee. It would seem that a lawyer is arguably required to discuss selective outsourcing as a way of reducing the client’s ultimate fee obligation and furthering the interests of the client.

6. OUTSOURCING “CHORE” LEGAL WORK PROMOTES CLIENT RETENTION AND DEVELOPMENT

Clients have long questioned ever-increasing legal fees for basic, “chore” legal work. However, they felt as if they had no alternative. They needed the legal representation and wanted good quality work. As there was not a significant degree of fee variance from law firm to law firm, clients tended to “stay put.” This trend is beginning to change as clients learn that they have options. Lawyers who outsource selectively are reporting a more contented, loyal client base. Clients who perceive that their lawyers are looking out for the entirety of the their interests, including fee costs, tend to remain committed to their existing law firms and even refer other clients (whose lawyers refuse to outsource).

7. THE COMPETITION IS OUTSOURCING

If your law firm is not outsourcing, be certain that your competition is. On August 21, 2007 Bloomberg. com reported that even long-established AMLAW 100 law firms like Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis are outsourcing under pressure from clients.

8. OUTSOURCING U.S. LAW FIRMS MAY CHARGE A REASONABLE SUPERVISORY FEE

It is reasonable and acceptable for U.S. law firms outsourcing legal work offshore to charge a reasonable supervisory fee in conjunction with outsourced legal work. It is axiomatic that a lawyer who outsources legal work, whether to an associate, contract lawyer or offshore provider, ultimately remains responsible to his client for the quality and timeliness of delivery of the legal product. If a lawyer assigns the research and writing of a brief to a junior associate, the assigning lawyer will not customarily submit the final work product to the court without review and supervision. So it is with offshore legal outsourcing. Published ethics opinions of the San Diego, New York and American Bar Associations indicate that a lawyer who outsources offshore may charge a reasonable supervisory fee.

9. CLIENTS ARE INSISTING ON SELECTIVE OUTSOURCING TO ACHIEVE COST SAVINGS

Clients talk to one another. Executives of major companies golf and have lunch with one another. Corporate General Counsel attend meetings and CLE seminars, sharing information and ways to increase efficiencies and cut costs. They know about offshore outsourcing and the dramatic cost savings that can be achieved. It is unacceptable, therefore, to ignore legal outsourcing and, as one managing law firm partner told me, have “no appetite” for it.

10. OUTSOURCING WILL HAPPEN.

Doing nothing is not an option. Some are outsourcing. Many more are considering it, whether prompted by keen business sense or financial realities. Outsourcing is like a large, ominous wave a few miles offshore. It is preferable to surf the wave than wait to be engulfed, overwhelmed by its power and left wondering what happened.

British economist Herbert Spencer is credited with originating the term “survival of the fittest” in the mid 19th century. Although also having application to biology, Spencer applied the concept of survival of the fittest to free market economics. In a free market, companies and businesses will do what is necessary to survive. If that means outsourcing some U.S. legal jobs for the greater good of survival of the entity itself, then so be it. The model of ever increasing salaries and expenses for law firms followed by even higher legal fees charged clients cannot sustain itself any longer. Legal outsourcing is here to stay. The wise will take notice, survive and flourish.

The Secret Beyond the Secret – 11 Forgotten Laws

First we had the Secret and now I’m talking about the secret beyond the secret. Along with all the hidden laws and secrets and the 11 Forgotten Laws, it’s a wonder any of us know anything at all.

The reality is that we were created with all we need to create a life of abundance and fulfillment. Deep within us we know that or we wouldn’t have the desire to create or improve our lives in any way; but we have forgotten how to do that. If there is a secret beyond the secret, it is just that we have had the answer all along. Not only do we have these abilities through the power of our mind, but teachers have been sharing this message and showing us how since ancient times.

More recently early and mid twentieth century authors have written about the Truth of who we are and that we have access to all the secrets. They are neither hidden nor forgotten. So why aren’t we out there manifesting the lives we were intended to have?

Since the popularity of the book and the movie “The Secret”, many have become frustrated in their attempts to use the Law of Attraction. Millions in fact have been asking themselves and others what is the secret beyond the secret? What is it that I’m missing? What am I doing wrong? Why haven’t I been able to manifest the good in my life that the Secret told me was possible? So we have felt as though something was missing or hidden from us.

In the 11 Forgotten Laws program, the very first chapter of the text, workbook and audio presentations is called the Working of the Law. Notice that word-working. Could that be the secret beyond the secret? Did we really think that after a lifetime of conditioning, the constant media barrage telling us about the world of scarcity we live in, and the fear based headlines we come up against every day, that it was not going to take some effort on our part to change?

Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey in their presentation of the 11 Forgotten Laws, come right out front and tell us that Working with the Law takes effort. The reason that people fail to manifest or see visible results is because they become inpatient with the process.

Our minds have actually been conditioned to think in an unnatural way. It takes practice, vigilance and persistence to recondition our minds to accept a new way of thought. This is the message of the first chapter called Working with the Law.

Just because we need to take action and study, doesn’t mean that we won’t see results right away; we may see immediate results. It does mean that consistent discipline of thought is required and I love that Bob and Mary point this out right up front.

In the 11 Forgotten Laws lessons, before we are even introduced to the Laws, we are given what I’m calling the secret beyond the secret. Working with the Law, the name of this Chapter and the book that the 11 Forgotten Law is based on, lets us know right away that study, patience and persistence are going to be needed if we are serious about making changes in our lives.

Large Independent Law Firms

Are you looking for a independent law firm? What are large law firms and how they work? We will let you know the answers in this article.

A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service provided by a law company is to advise clients (individuals or corporations) about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent their clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions and other matters in which legal assistance is sought.

Law firms range widely in size. The smallest firms are sole practitioners (lawyers practicing alone), who form the vast majority of lawyers in nearly all countries.

Large law companies usually have separate litigation and transactional departments. The transactional department advises clients and handles transactional legal work, such as drafting contracts, handling necessary legal applications and filings, and evaluating and ensuring compliance with relevant law; while the litigation department represents clients in court and handle necessary matters (such as discovery and motions filed with the court) throughout the process of litigation.

UK-based firms are the most prestigious and powerful in the world, and dominate the international market for legal services.

In looking for new member firms, legal network like Laworld seeks mid sized, independent firms which are well established in their local jurisdictions. These firms communicate electronically, and cover the main fields of commercial work. Every law organisation has decided a particular.

Any law company/firm can be the member of a law network. There are many legal networks available and they have their own criteria. Join the legal network and your law firm will be recognized globally.

The Other Laws of the Universe

There has been a great deal of publicity about the Law of Attraction and how it can magically create what you want in your life. Although the Law of Attraction is the dominant law in bringing about change, there really is more to getting what you want than just “ask and receive”. The Law of Attraction is only one of the laws in the universe. These laws work in harmony and we would cease to exist without them. Once we understand them we can use them in our everyday lives to our benefit.

There are seven primary Laws of the Universe that maintain flow and order. These laws cannot be changed or broken as they are universal and infinite. Even God must abide by them or chaos would ensue throughout the universe. You can choose to ignore these laws, but they will still impact every aspect of your life.

1. The Law of Mentalism & Perpetual Transmution: Everything you see around you began as a thought. Thought energy is a very potent creative force. Our thoughts always precede our actions. There is no destiny which we did not first conceive mentally. We are given the power to create our thoughts and the power to make decisions that affect every aspect of our lives. Be careful what you think about, you just might get it.

2. The Law of Correspondence & Relativity: All things are relative. Everything and everyone is connected and everything we see and experience is based on our perception. In other words, something we dislike will be greatly appreciated by someone else. Something we don’t do well someone else will do proficiently, and vice versa. When we compare ourselves to someone else it can affect our self esteem. There is no comparison, only perception.

3. The Law of Vibration & Attraction: Everything in the universe vibrates, nothing sits still. It is this vibration that connects us with every living thing. Like attracts like. This is why when you feel sad or depressed you seem to run into people and situations that “make the matter worse”. You attract what you think about. When you feel good about your life you attract other positive people and situations that improve your life experience.

4. The Law of Polarity: Everything has an opposite. There would be no positive without negative. No top without bottom, no up without down. If something bad happens in your life something good always come from it. It may take a while to recognize, but it is there.

5. The Law of Rhythm: Everything is constantly moving to and fro, in and out. When one space is emptied another is filled. You see this rhythm in the tides, the rising and setting of the sun, the cycle of life. Nothing remains the same. You cannot feel good 100% of the time, nor can you feel sad 100% of the time. It is the lows that let us appreciate the highs. You cannot know happiness without sadness. When you are in a down swing you can always change your focus mid-stream and begin the pendulum swinging the other way.

6. The Law of Cause & Effect: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is no such thing as chance and nothing happens by accident. Everything that happens in life was caused by another action. This is why when someone hurts you, you don’t need to react by lowering yourself to their standards. They will get what is coming to them. It is commonly referred to as Karma and you can relax knowing it is being taken care of.

7. The Law of Gender: Everything that exists in the universe is either male or female. Each male has an inner female and each female has an inner male. Both are necessary for creation and regeneration in all things whether they be animal, mineral or plant. This law also dictates that all seeds, physical or spiritual, have a gestation period before they manifest. In other words, if you ask God or the universe for something, it cannot be created in an instant. It takes time for all the necessary elements to come together.