Think Before You Outsource

Last year, I wrote a blawg post, “Are Your Legal Processes Ready for Outsourcing?” targeted at the corporate legal department.  But small firms and solos can gain valuable economies of scale from “legal process outsourcing” (LPO), too.

LPO is not just for big firms and legal departments.  It is perfect for any work that has a high degree of repetition.  Rather than spend your time with mundane or cookie-cutter activities, you may be able to pay someone else to do them for you at a rate that lets you cut your costs and increase your volume.  At the least, you can focus your time where a higher amount of judgment and personal attention is required.

Just like you might outsource lawn care, plumbing, hair care and housekeeping services to people who focus their skills on a single service and perform that service repeatedly for many customers, you can outsource document preparation and other services to give you more capacity without adding permanent staff.

There are important steps to take before you shop for an LPO firm or company, however.  “Know thyself” applies here perfectly.  Do you have enough standardization and consistency in the “workflow logic” that you can describe the legal processes clearly enough for someone else to do them at least 90% of the time without having to ask you to make a judgment call?  Just because you can do something repeatedly does not mean you have written out the directions so well that someone else could do the same thing the way you want it done.

Read the blawg post and get the book (ordering info at right).  ThenStart and Grow Your Limited Scope Practice!



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