Stay Focused on Priorities and Delegate the Rest
We think we’ve found a tool worth exploring for those of you who want to start leveraging your time early on in the growth process by outsourcing less intensive legal work and without spending $50-100k on hiring another attorney. Our friend Jack over at Book-It Legal will share more. Pay close attention especially if you’re ready to start outsourcing and delegating.
Advances in technology, the changing landscape of the legal profession, and the rise of the on-demand economy have created the need and opportunity for a faster, more efficient way for attorneys to delegate legal tasks to law students eager to gain experience. Many lawyers, especially those at smaller firms, find themselves in the position of having more work than they can handle during parts of the year but are unsure whether they have enough year-round work to justify making another full-time hire.
Book-It Legal’s online platform gives attorneys on-demand access to a pool of top law students across the country for help with legal research, editing and proofing, document review, writing articles, deposition summaries, and whatever other tasks they have on hand. Finding students through Book-It Legal can help attorneys quickly delegate smaller projects so they can focus on higher-level work. And because attorneys name the price they are willing to pay to have a job performed, it’s easy to budget and passes along cost-savings to clients.
The Small Firm Lawyer Use Case
Take as an example, David, who works at a small firm and juggles a heavy caseload. He spends most days meeting with clients, taking depositions, appearing in court, developing new business, and running the firm. Advocating for clients in court and negotiating with opposing counsel are his strengths and what he loves most about his job. Legal writing and research, editing, doc review–not so much.
David often delegates research and other tasks to students and likes to hire a summer clerk each year if possible. This year he decides to engage students through Book-It Legal to find the best candidate for his full-time summer position. He assigns the same time-intensive research project to three students and synthesizes their work for the matter he’s handling. Based on his experiences working with each student, he can also make a better decision on who to hire for the summer. The process also gives him a relatively easy way to provide mentorship, something he might not make time for otherwise.
For another example of how lawyers are using the service, check out a case study from a solo practitioner in Georgia here.
Three ways to leverage a network of law students:
- Delegate smaller projects so you can focus on priorities—assign the things that keep getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list but still need to get done.
- Reduce your time spent on a matter to reduce client costs—if a given task will take you 3 hours at $250/hour to complete, but you can have a student spend 10 hours on it for $250, you’ve just saved your client $500.
- Use as a vetting tool for summer or full-time hiring—it makes more sense to base a hiring decision on a candidate’s actual work product and your experience working with them than looking at a resume and having a short interview. Bad hires end up costing you time and money.
Bottom line: Book-It Legal gives attorneys an affordable, go-to outsourcing option. When the workload heats up, and there are projects that can be delegated, consider leveraging Book-It Legal’s network of top law students to get an extra hand quickly.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.