Delegating part of your legal caseload saves you time and allows you to concentrate on other more productive matters. But what to delegate, when to delegate and to whom must be given due consideration in order to leverage the efficiency and profitability of your firm.
Efficient Partners Delegate
Delegating is not shirking and is, in fact, a trait of the most successful managers. The first question normally is: What should I delegate? The most obvious answer is: that which I am not expert at. No one can be an expert on every matter that is dropped on his or her desk, and it is, therefore, in the best interests of both the firm and the client to pass such a matter along to someone who possesses proficiency in that particular area of law. Time spent in researching or consulting as one plods along the learning curve may generate a larger billable fee, but that does not necessarily translate into overall efficiency.
Up, Down or Sideways
If a firm’s partner versus associate hourly fee schedule is disclosed to the client, then delegating horizontally from partner to more skilled partner makes sense. Partner-level billable hours remain intact while the matter is handled with proper expertise. On the other hand, if the firm has a set hourly fee schedule arranged with the client regardless of whether the matter is being handled by a partner or associate, then passing the file down to the lower cost yet still competent associate is an internal accounting matter that benefits the firm.
Administrative and Support
There are routine or non-professional administrative and support tasks that must be delegated in order not to overtax the partner or associate with functions that do not require a law degree and license. Many aspects of routine pleadings, trial preparation, discovery, data retrieval and research matters can and should be sourced to the lowest cost level in the office.
The Team outside the Office
Firms that delegate to Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) services find that it provides all the benefits of having associates perform research, document review and specialized drafting—but at a fraction of the cost. It eliminates the need to add fulltime staff for short-term cases. LPO delegation frees up partners to focus on their core business and strengthening the practice areas that made them partner in the first place.
Major law firms have successfully leveraged their internal resources by sourcing their compliance needs and cases requiring subject matter expertise to GreenPoint Legal’s team of Risk and SME attorneys. Contact GreenPoint Legal today to learn how delegating to our team can benefit your team.