It is typically the solo and small firm lawyer who offers limited scope representation in an “unbundled” style. The LSR Practice can be as simple as a few extra tasks offered to a few clients on a limited scope basis amid the lawyer’s regular, full-scope practice.
But to get economy of scale in LSR, you need to deliver it often enough to recover your investment in standardized documents and processes. While you may have the substantive knowledge necessary to create the content for form documents and web pages, you may lack the technical skills to put it all together into document assembly systems or an easy-to-navigate website. Likewise, you may have the skills needed to translate legal documents into English from other language or vice versa, or to build email contact lists from scanned pages of addresses, but it would not be the best use of your time.
It is time for help. Think like a “big law” firm or corporation: if it can be done by someone at a lower pay grade or done faster and cheaper than you can do yourself, you should seriously consider outsourcing the task or project. Legal Process Outsourcing is a growing trend that is well established in corporate legal departments and law firms outside the United States but is starting to spread here, too. But you may not have the amount of recurring work (yet) to make your project attractive to a traditional LPO provider or your project may not even be a “legal process” that you want to offload.*
That is where open marketplaces such as Guru.com come in. Guru.com bills itself as “the largest marketplace for online talent.” The range of skills represented by the freelancers in such virtual staff marketplaces is enormous. From teenagers adept at formatting ebooks to web design experts who build websites to tax lawyers willing to take on complex cases, the list is much too large to list here.
My point today is this: do not think you have to do it all yourself or that you have to bring on permanent staff to start and grow your limited scope practice. You can be a team leader of a virtual team of “gurus” who work on a contract basis as often as you need them. Look at freelance marketplaces like Guru.com and read through their helpful advice on how to post a project and evaluate the freelancers who respond, then get going as you Start and Grow Your Limited Scope Practice!
* In a later post, I will address the ethical considerations and risks in using offshore staff to work with confidential client information, but if there is no confidential or privileged client information involved, there is no absolute bar to using staff from most places in the world.