Earlier this week, litigation support services firm Trial Solutions launched its Attorney Solutions, a nationwide attorney staffing service.
The company says the program will provide licensed contract attorneys under flexible terms to support a variety of case-based requirements, including document review and trial preparation and support.
The company also notes that this new initiative will support staffing requests for multi-lingual attorneys, a position that may have historically been difficult to fill.
According to a 2005 survey by Altman Weil, Inc., 62.5% of major law firms indicated that they had transferred non-core activities to a third party to lower costs or improve performance.
“In the legal industry, things are moving toward cost-savings. Post-Enron, the client wants to make sure they are saving money even though they are going forth with litigation,” says Thomas Graham, director of legal services for Attorney Solutions.
“Instead of hiring one brand-new law graduate, law firms can get the job done faster with twice the workers, and the client still saves money,” he says.
The smaller, sole-practitioner offices also benefit from staffing because “you might be a one-person firm and suddenly you’re a two-to-three person firm” when times get busy and additional legal support is needed.
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Graham says contract workers are highly talented professionals who perhaps want a slower lifestyle, or a lifestyle in which they can pick-and-choose assignments.
Each state’s individual bar requirements are not a problem, Graham explains, since all of the lawyers are licensed in their individual states. So it’s not a problem for a lawyer licensed in California to be researching a case to go to trial in New York, for example.
“To practice in that state, you have to be licensed in that state, but in these situations, the contract lawyers are working under another attorney, and he or she is the one making the final decision,” he says.
Echoing the popular and growing trend of work-at-home professionals, Graham says most law-related tasks are easily done via the Internet and other telecommunication methods.
“Since almost everything a lawyer needs to practice law, besides the actual courtroom, can be found over the Internet, you can be anywhere,” he adds.