The Cost of in-House Law Firm Staff vs. Outsourcing (Temporary or Virtual)

October 25, 2017 - 8:34 am / News

Lawyers who practice with little or no support staff often lose money as they end up doing administrative tasks that could be better spent on billable hours. Assuming that most lawyers have moved past this inefficient way of working, which hiring method is more cost-effective? Is it better to hire permanent employees to help manage the law firm or outsource the administrative and non-legal tasks to temporary or virtual legal assistants? The best way to measure this is to compare the costs of each.

Cost Considerations When Hiring Employees

The first thing that comes to mind for any law firm when it comes to hiring a legal assistant is the cost of that legal assistant‘s wage or annual salary; the range can be extensive, depending on their seniority. Next is what the legal assistant expects for benefits such as insurance and medical plans and paid time off. The expenses can start to add up quickly for a law firm.

A law firm also must keep in mind its costs for additional office space for the legal assistant to work in. This can lead to higher rent costs, additional office furniture, separate phone lines, computers and other overhead costs. Additional possible expenses can incur when an employee no longer works with the law firm; the firm may need to pay out vacation or accrued paid time off, and severance pay.

Cost Considerations When Outsourcing

Law firms can benefit by using an outsourcer/recruitment agency like Boost Legal Support from the very beginning of the hiring process. The law firm does not need to make any plans for how they are going to interview the new legal assistant or spend time contacting their references; instead the lawyer should be using this time practicing law. The law firm provides the outsourcer information on what qualifications they want the legal assistant to have and the recruiter/outsourcer does all of the leg work for an agreed upon fee.

Another option is hiring a temporary legal assistant or a team of virtual legal assistants. Virtual and temporary workers are not employees of the law firm, instead they act as an independent contractor. This means that the law firm can avoid costs such as taxes, CPP, EI, WCB, paid time off, benefits, as well as regular salaries and wages. If the virtual legal assistant works from home the law firm can also save costs on office space and other expenses that come with an office. By using a temporary legal assistant or a team of virtual legal assistants with Boost Legal Support, we will always have someone available with the skills required to get the work done. The firm decides what days an assistant is required and the agency ensures they have coverage for that time whether onsite or virtually.

Consider all of the costs associated with hiring permanent staff. To be efficient and to save money in the long-run, law firms can use an outsourcing company to hire temporary legal assistants or hire a team of virtual legal assistants who are always available to get the work done.