Without the resources of larger law firms, solo and private legal practices struggle to put in billable hours – can ALSPs help?
According to a recent study published by Clio, only 29% of a lawyer’s workday is spent on billable time. In a typical 8-hour workday, that means less than two and a half hours are focused on client work.
Where does the rest of that time go? The brunt of a lawyer’s workday (nearly half) is spent on administrative tasks such as sending bills, continuing education, and office administration. The rest of the time is spent finding new clients.
These tasks are all crucial to the function of a legal practice. Yet it also isn’t the most efficient means of time spent. Lawyers depend on billable hours to keep their business running smoothly. How can this time be earned back?
Solo and legal practices need to consider every possible avenue to help ensure that their business is both functional and profitable. For practices of this size, hiring isn’t always an option – alternative legal services providers, or ALSPs, offer an attractive alternative.
Breaking Down Your Workday
To understand how ALSPs can benefit your workday, consider what tasks unrelated to billable hours are taking up the most of your time. While smaller practices have a degree of freedom unavailable to larger practices, it also requires you to think on your feet and wear many hats. Unfortunately, this also leads to interruptions and distractions.
A study at George Mason University concluded that distractions not only hinder our ability to complete tasks, but also affects the quality of the work that we do. Disconnecting from interruptions is no easy feat. While working on work for a client, a lawyer might find themselves having to take calls, answer emails, or other related tasks.
The obvious solution to this might seem to be hiring new employees that these tasks can be delegated towards. Yet this comes with two costs: time and money. Solo practices might not be able to afford hiring a full-time employee, even if they are in desperate need of a receptionist to process new clients or paralegals to take up that slack. More, time is needed to train them in on the work.
For this reason, many have turned to ALSPs to perform these tasks on a case-by-case basis. Paralegal service providers and live legal receptionists can help alleviate the workload of lawyers so they can focus on client needs first.
Fractional Delegation of Tasks
The needs of prospective and current clients are rarely uniform – more often, client needs come in feast or famine cycles. For the instances where prospective clients need to fill out documentation or paralegal services are required, in-house staff can provide a tremendous boon. In other cases, they might be idling or performing tasks that are outside of their expertise.
ALSP service providers come with all of the training that they need, without the burden of maintaining them on staff full-time, and can be billed as-needed rather than as salaried employees with benefits.
Paralegal Service Providers
Contract paralegals operate much in the same way that any paralegal operates, although their specialties might be more specific or specialized for various fields of law. They are typically billed on an hourly basis.
Before utilizing concierge paralegal services, consider how they will fit into your practice. Is a paralegal service provider optimized to your practice, or do they fit more specific niche roles? A conversation with a service provider should give you all of the information you need to make a sound decision.
Live Legal Receptionist Providers
Receptionists are the gateway between attorney-client legal relationships – as the first contact, it is vital that they are both efficient and professional. Virtual receptionist services can provide this even outside of typical business hours, as well as bilingual receptionists for lawyers whose clientele might vary.
While virtual receptionists for lawyers are often billed by the minute, our legal receptionist services are more precise: we charge by the second. With customized messaging for your practice, our receptionists function as a direct extension of your business.
More Billable Hours with ALSPS Equates to Greater Profit Margins
ALSPs offer a slew of benefits to solo and private legal practices – professionalism, scalability, cost-savings, and more. As a private legal practice, you need a trusted partner that can provide these services as your business evolves.
More than just an office space, Amata Law Office Suites provides these as part of our services targeted at our community. We operate on your time, helping you put time back in your pocket and accrue more billable hours. Contact us today to learn more about our legal support staff.