The process of outsourcing legal work is not much different than any other type of work. What you must take extra care with are the qualifications and other technical details involved. Because of the nature of legal work, you need to meticulously screen and select the right legal assistant.
Of course, you would have to go through this intricate process even when hiring in-house. So, with outsourcing legal work, you aren’t losing anything. You can actually gain more time because several expert agencies already exist. You widen your talent pool when hiring online, and they have certifications you can easily check and trust.
In this post, we’re going to give you 15 legal tasks you can start outsourcing to an assistant. Let us know which ones helped you the most! We love getting feedback and testimonies!
1. Legal Research
Research is among the most hated tasks because it can be so tedious. Of course, there are a few people who actually love this type of work! As hard as it is to believe that, they do exist! Outsourcing legal work like this – the tasks you hate the most – can return even grater benefits because it alleviates so much stress.
Due diligence is necessary to ensure quality output in the legal field. Any lawyer worth their mettle needs help to avoid having to work 80-hour weeks because of the heavy research load. Legal research tasks include litigation and non-litigation research, statutory research, case law research, foreign law research, regulatory or compliance law research, and legislation research. Getting any of these off your plate can be a huge help.
2. Document Review
Electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, is the process of searching out and collecting electronically stored information, or ESI. This data is then sorted through to identify relevant bits to produce them as a judge might request in a law suit or investigation. The law also requires ESI in other cases, such as furnishing opposing counsel with copies of evidence. ESI can be anything from emails and databases to documents stored online or voicemails stored by phone companies. It can comprise audio messages and other social media or website content as well.
As you can imagine, looking for and collating this data can be time-consuming. It can also be challenging because electronic documents are more dynamic – they change, unlike hard copies of documents. This means that you need other items such as metadata to get time and date stamps. This is to prove when they were produced or last edited. This also applies to document authors and recipients, as well as other file properties. It can be a lot! So, document review will get expensive and unmanageable if you do it yourself.
3. Contract Drafting
Outsourcing legal drafting services can be very useful when you deal with a lot of them. These can include employment contracts, lease agreements, sale or purchase contracts, and the like.
Most small and medium-sized businesses don’t have legal departments. They simply don’t need a whole separate division to handle a legal document or concern here and there. Creating one just to draft documents would be a huge waste of resources. And you don’t want just anyone drafting these important papers because you want to ensure accuracy and compliance. Outsourcing means allowing experts to take care of these needs efficiently.
4. Legal Processes
Did you know that even law firms outsource various legal processes? Just like research, many legal tasks can be time-consuming and therefore expensive to do in-house. As the legal industry changes, many firms make adjustments in favor of serving customers better. This means not having to charge them too much for high-quality services. Legal process outsourcing is now a major trend.
Legal process outsourcing includes legal writing, paralegal tasks, litigation support, legal accounting, and similar work. This can get as granular as multi-jurisdictional surveys, motions, appellate briefs, trial briefs, legal memoranda, complaints, and pleadings.
5. Deposition Summarization
Depositions can consist of all the information that an attorney gathers for a case. As such, they can be hundreds of pages thick! Even if you have only one witness and their story is only five pages long, though, you still need a summary. The court does not need to, nor would likely be willing to, go through to the whole thing during the actual trial. Deposition summaries have excerpts of the highlights to facilitate the process.
Because these summaries are critical to cases, they must be meticulously prepared. Outsourcing legal work of this level of complexity is wise. You don’t want any error clouding your meaning when your testimony is presented in court.
6. Document Retrieval
Outsourcing legal document retrieval can increase your company’s efficiency. The people who work for you probably already have enough to do. Plus, they won’t likely have any legal know-how. This can make even the simple task of document management difficult. They won’t know what one or another type of document is called. They could skim right past it without a clue.
Legal document retrieval includes obtaining public records, duplicating official copies of legal documents, storing and processing documents, and submitting requested documents to law offices.
7. Transcription Services
Because of the sensitive nature of legal work, outsourcing legal transcription is the best option. Like anything else connected to legal work, producing error-free transcripts is essential. You need someone who can accurately convert audio or video data from discovery sessions, arbitrations, court hearings, depositions, jury instructions, and the like. With all the legal language involved and high emotional volatility expected, legal transcription can be tricky.
8. Client Communication
You can outsource any kind of client communication. It always helps to have someone on board to help in this area. When it comes to legal matters, however, you want to make sure that you’re getting expert help. Because it makes no sense to hire someone for this particular type of conversation, outsourcing works best.
9. Regulatory Compliance Checks
You are responsible for maintaining the integrity of your operations. This means making sure that you are compliant with all the applicable regulatory requirements. This will keep your business safe from the risks of money laundering and financial terrorism. This takes more than a good anti-virus program, though. When you outsource to a legal compliance firm, you get expert help to uphold the integrity of your business. This way, you can avoid the pitfalls of dealing with criminals and other shady characters. Non-compliance can bring more than hefty fines and damaged reputations. It can actually bring you to the point of closing your business and facing criminal charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is outsourcing legal tasks to online assistants secure and confidential?
If you are hiring someone on your own, you are responsible for securing every aspect of their work. If you hire an agency or offshore company, make sure that you read the fine print. They may offer security features, but you need to do your due diligence. Ultimately, you can still be held liable if you do not do all you can to ensure secure transactions and conversations.
How do I choose the right outsourcing provider for legal tasks?
Security is one major consideration. You must also look into their level of expertise and experience, as well as their niche. Not all legal areas are alike. You cannot, for instance, hire criminal law assistance to handle a case involving financial fraud.
Can I outsource both short-term and long-term legal projects?
You can outsource legal work of any kind, as long as it can be done online. Do make sure that you are hiring someone who has the right knowledge, though. Laws differ from country to country and even state to state, so you need to be very careful to check that you are asking the right people for help.
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Don’t forget that outsourcing legal work does not mean letting go of your legal responsibilities! You are still liable for the outcomes. So, we highly recommend that you maintain strict oversight of any partner you engage to do any type of work for you. Make sure that you also have a tight agreements, all properly documented. Start with the scope of work you will outsource, assurance of 24/7 access to databases, and strict confidentiality according to the laws that bind you, not just them.