The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
In the Wisconsin Law Journal’s June 8, 2009 article “Experts offer 5 ways to raise law-firm revenue”, utilizing paralegals is included as a way for firms to economically provide client service and survive these difficult economic times.
No. 3: Leverage expertise.
“Ironically, as clients have become less willing to pay for an inexperienced associate to work on a matter, they are more willing to pay high fees for the experienced go-to lawyers in any field,” says Greene.
Associates are your firm’s future, but they shouldn’t be seen as significant revenue sources, in his view. Rather, consider the use of properly managed, well-qualified paralegals to help you provide better client service at a lower cost, while at the same time providing greater profits for the firm.
This, of course, all depends upon your firm’s current circumstances, notes Altonji. If you’ve got work for them to do, it’s a great time to hire associates. You can find some very high-quality associates, that small firms in the past might have a hard time attracting.
Most of the other recommendations on the list are applicable to paralegals that are currently working in law firms and want to help their employers survive the economic downturn. Paralegals can apply the advice to their daily work activities to:
- Help provide top-notch customer service. Remember, clients are first and pay the firm’s bills – and your paycheck.
- Help the firm screen clients to ensure that the firm is accepting “high-quality”, viable cases. As the paralegal often takes the intake calls and attends initial meetings, your observations and input should be a valued part of the screening process.
- Help cut costs. Paralegals are often in charge of obtaining quotes from vendors. Do the research to make sure that the firm is getting the best service at competitive rates. Don’t be afraid to negotiate better terms.