Law firms are under pressure to reduce the cost of legal services and provide more competitive legal fees and cost-effective alternative fee arrangements. As a result, the way legal services are processed and delivered is changing. Legal teams with blended rates are being employed which means more work is being moved down the legal food chain to the law clerks. Delegation is essential in order to provide cost-effective and efficient delivery of legal services.
Because many departments in law firms have been operating in their own silos, I am uncovering redundancies in not only tasks but also resources across various departments in a firm. Not all firms are using the systems, processes and technology that are available today to help to drive efficiencies and to bring costs down for the firm and their clients resulting in increased revenue.
Consequentially, a close look at the skill set and professional development of law clerks is essential as well as the delivery of law clerk services. Law firms are investing in commoditization of law clerk services through:
In addition, law firms are looking at changing the management of law clerks to a formal management system to support and administer the law clerk services.
LRC has been working with the top tier law firms in Toronto to maximize law clerk efficiencies and revenue. The scope of the work involves analysing the structure, technology, processes and systems currently in place and making recommendations on how best to organize and utilize the skills of the law clerks, taking into consideration the following components:
- Structure of the practice areas
- Staffing levels
- Duties of the law clerks in the practice areas
- Efficiencies to be implemented
- Effective systems, technology, database, and processes
- Revenue generation
Upon implementation of the LRC recommendations, law firms benefit from increased law clerk skill, productivity, profitability, service standards and revenue. Most importantly, the law firm has a low cost and high efficient legal resource that it can offer its clients.