Litigation is increasing in every practice area. New filings daily in both state and federal courts. Project attorneys can lessen the load.
In 2019, law firms and corporate legal departments have seen large increases in litigation work across almost all practice categories. While profitable, complex litigation can be a significant drain on the time, resources, and manpower of a law firm or legal department. And, attention to detail is more important than ever! From the daunting initial task of document review and research to depositions, settlement, trial or appeal, litigation work requires the time and attention of numerous attorneys, paralegals and clerical staff for the duration of the case.
Due to the very busy nature of litigation, getting busier by the month, it is increasingly difficult to predict accurate headcount to handle all that is required of a caseload. At some point or another, lead attorneys have found themselves shorthanded or stretched thin; this is especially true when new matters are signed.
Because the work cannot suffer from either delays or inaccuracies, many law firms and legal departments have turned to a range of flexible staffing solutions to help. This includes utilizing temporary or contract attorneys to quickly ramp up litigation support during all phases of pretrial and trial, legal research, writing and certainly document review. The current wave of legal court filings and proceedings is also increasing the demand for temporary legal staff professionals who can also be tasked to support litigation efforts.
Contract attorneys (and legal staffing professionals) for litigation work can benefit both the firm and the attorney in many ways:
- Lower cost – Contract attorneys are typically paid less than full-time staff, and they do not receive benefits through the law firm. This allows firms to increase the number of workers without incurring administrative expenses. The contract attorneys typically receive their benefits through their staffing agency.
- Specialization – Instead of spending valuable time in training, a specialized contract attorney can hit the ground running. Furthermore, a staffing professional can identify higher-level contract attorneys with experience in certain matters.
- No long term commitment – When litigation is settled, and the workload goes down, the contract attorney’s job is complete.
- Try before you buy – Both law firms and attorneys have the opportunity to work together and determine if the personalities and culture are a fit for a longer-term commitment. Temporary-to-hire is rapidly gaining traction as a reliable way to add qualified staff.
The current demand for litigation work is still increasing, and law firms, large or small, that can quickly respond will thrive in today’s litigation practice arena.