In the last post, Benefits of Paralegal Support Services for Solo Practitioners and Small Firms, I mentioned that savings is the bottom-line with paralegal support services – whether in the form of time, business, or clients. Really, that’s the case for each of the four types of practicing attorneys (solo/small firm attorneys, mid- to large-size firm attorneys, corporate attorneys, and public service attorneys) mentioned, even though each faces distinct challenges.
This week, let’s consider briefly the challenges faced by attorneys in mid- to large-sized firms and how paralegals and paralegal support services help with those challenges.
Larger firms already have it all: Plenty of office space (most of the time) and equipment, partners, associates, paralegals, legal secretaries, support staff, office manager/bookkeeper, and even benefits. What challenges could they possibly face?
- Growth (Congratulations!);
- Insufficient office space for more employees;
- The occasional spike in the number of active cases;
- Occasional conflicting needs when more than one case is progressing toward trial at the same time;
- A large case that requires more work than can be handled by current staff;
- Large document productions or document reviews; and
- A staff overwhelmed by existing and increasing workloads.
Most of these problems are temporary problems. They don’t warrant an extra employee (even if you have room for one). And, even though they’re temporary, they’re substantial enough that they exceed current staffing abilities. On the other hand, if your firm is growing or your staff is regularly overwhelmed, you might decide that you need an additional employee, except you’re at that in-between point when you and your staff need help but don’t have enough work to hire someone.
The solution: Paralegal support services
I can only begin to tell you how much I wished for a backup system when I worked in private practice. What a relief and improvement in morale to know you have help when you need it. That you don’t have to come in when you’re so sick you can barely pull yourself out of bed, even though that “one thing” has to be done today. That you and your staff don’t have to stay until 9 p.m. because you didn’t have enough help to get that mass service finished.
That dream I had then, I live now. Now it’s my job to make sure you and your support staff have that back-up support when it’s needed. That boost in morale. That extra surge of energy to accomplish the project, because now there’s someone to help you through it.
Paralegal support services work with you to fill that void when it’s needed. To lend extra eyes on document reviews. Extra hands on document productions. Extra support for the larger than usual case. As-needed support to get rid of those growing pains, until you reach the point when you’re firm has enough regular work to warrant hiring an employee.
I love what I do. How about you? If you’re not loving what you do and your staff doesn’t seem energized anymore, it may be time to bring in the reserves.