Outsourcing is growing

In yesterday’s USA Today, the paper took a snapshot of “outsourcing” saying that 47% of legal service firms have outsourced a portion of their business. This is a huge number but bodes well for future efficiency in law firms.

“Outsourcing” does not necessarily mean that the work was sent to India (or elsewhere) as GE does. Many firms, both large and small, use “contract lawyers,” back office services (e.g., Pitney Bowes and others do mail room work) and what is now called “virtual assistants.”

It makes sense to focus on your core capabilities. During the era of mega-mergers, Corporate America forgot this. When financing (and profits) became more difficult to attain, business began to look for ways to shed unprofitable activities. That’s when “returning to one’s core skills” became a popular phrase.

The principle remains the same: Do what you do best and let others (even if outsourced to another company) do what they do best, most efficiently and at least cost to both you and the client.

This is not a new principle but one that law firms are becoming more focused on as law firms realize that they, too, are a business and must provide the best services at the least cost for the benefit of the clients they serve.


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