When you hear the word “outsource,” it’s only natural to immediately imagine someone with a thick accent and frustrating experience overall. In reality, outsourcing can be a tremendous benefit to any legal practice, and can just as easily take place domestically rather than abroad. If doubts over the inherent practicality of outsourcing litigation support overseas have you hesitating, maybe it’s time to consider onshoring—that is, domestic outsourcing—instead.
The New World Order (of Outsourcing)
The concept of outsourcing in general has taken off in a big way over the last decade or two. For simpler issues or for the manufacturing industry, it’s easy to see why offshore outsourcing is tempting. Yet, when it comes to more complex matters like litigation support, it’s equally easy to see why law firms may feel uncertain. Whether concerned about the quality of the work, security concerns or the potential for unforeseen complications due to cultural differences, offshore litigation support has been slower to catch on.
Enter domestic outsourcing, also known as onshore outsourcing. By opting to outsource closer to home, many of the common concerns associated with overseas outsourcing—such as unfamiliarity with legal expectations or language or cultural barriers— are mitigated, yet without sacrificing many of the primary benefits associated with outsourcing in general:
- Cost savings: Law firms can significantly reduce their overhead through domestic outsourcing; vendor attorneys often charge as little as half the going rate of an in-house attorney.
- Expanded talent pool: Need access to a specific skillset for a case? Outsourcing opens doors to a far more varied labor force whenever the need arises. Compare this to the cost of keeping a full complement of litigation support staff on hand at all times, even when their particular niche talents aren’t needed.
- Core refocus: Eliminating time-consuming yet necessary busy work allows the most valuable members of a litigation team to refocus their efforts where they can do the most good: right at the core of the firm itself. This promotes a much more robust practice with a stronger foundation for improved longevity over time.
Benefits of Domestic Onshoring
The beauty of domestic outsourcing is that legal practices can still save significantly compared to in-house staffing or increasing their hiring pool, without the potential vulnerabilities that offshore outsourcing may hold. There are some very specific outsourcing perks that are unique to the legal industry:
- Reduced error rates: Who’s going to be better at any task than someone who performs that task all day, every day? There’s simply no replacement for real-world experience, and domestic outsourcing means tapping into a specialized talent pool without shelling out the big bucks to keep a specialist on staff.
- Shorter cycle time: A quicker turnaround time for legal tasks is essential. Not only does a higher level of efficiency help lower client billing totals, but coordinating other legal efforts becomes more streamlined as well. All of this can be essential for winning your case.
- Happier clients: Obviously, clients are happier when they’re able to save money. Since onshoring helps accomplish this, it’s no wonder that it often leads to higher customer satisfaction ratings.
Tips for Success
Like any business venture, onshoring is far from foolproof. It’s absolutely essential for law firms to find a savvy, knowledgeable litigation support vendor when shopping for a domestically outsourced partner. With the right team in place, however, the sky is really the limit when it comes to developing and sustaining business growth through onshoring.