The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Robert Half Legal, a staffing service for legal professionals, has released a new white paper, Delivering Value-Added Legal Services in Challenging Times, summarizing research results from the firm’s ninth annual Future Law Office project.
Key findings include:
- Demand for legal services is growing in practice areas such as bankruptcy, litigation, intellectual property and environmental law.
- Experienced attorneys with a book of business are finding new employment opportunities, but recent law school graduates and generalists are encountering a competitive market.
- Many law firms face steep revenue goals, prompting them to rethink client service methods.
- Alternative billing practices are gaining wider acceptance as clients ask for more flexible arrangements from their law firms.
- Corporate legal departments are limiting spending on outside counsel to the most strategic areas and reassessing the allocation of legal work.
- Increasingly, corporate legal departments are using project professionals to manage rising workloads and meet demand for their legal services.
The Future Law Office site includes a section entitled “Clients’ Wish Lists”, which indicates that clients want better communication, as well as alternate billing arrangements (a topic that is frequently discussed in the Twitter legal community).
Paralegals are key to effective client communication. They form close relationships with clients and are often in a position to respond immediately to clients’ questions, especially if the lawyer is unavailable.
After working in the legal field for more than 20 years, I’ve heard many clients repeatedly say that they want the following from their lawyers and staff:
- Someone to take the time to listen to their concerns
- A helpful response within 24 hours of their email, voice mail or telephone call
- Ongoing feedback regarding the status of their most immediate or emergent legal problems
To obtain a free copy of the white paper, contact the Robert Half Legal office in your area by calling 800.870.8367.