Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Alternative Legal Services Provider
Alternative legal services providers, or law companies, offer various legal-related services. They generally occupy niches that typical law firms and in-house legal departments can’t handle.
Law firms and corporate legal departments increasingly use these new entities to support their day-to-day operations. Among the key factors to consider when choosing an ALSP are:
Law firms that utilize ALSPs can reduce legal costs and increase efficiency. They can free up time and resources for other critical projects by letting ALSPs do the heavy lifting. The flexible ownership model of ALSPs allows them to be more thoughtful in assigning work based on experience and interest, which results in higher-quality deliverables.
Law firm partners are increasingly seeking alternative engagement models with outside counsel. According to a Thomson Reuters report, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) have raked in over $14 billion in market share and are growing at a 15% CAGR.
Rather than hire full-time employees, in-house legal teams can save money and improve productivity by outsourcing high-volume, standardized contracts to ALSPs. These include non-disclosure agreements and sales contracts, which often take up much of the in-house legal team’s time but don’t require specialized expertise and can be negotiated daily. These tasks can be analyzed with the help of a legal spend management platform to determine which ALSPs are cost-effective.
An alternative legal services provider like M&A Consulting offers cost-effective specialized expertise that delivers timely quality work. This is especially important for a law firm or corporate legal department needing more resources to tackle a complex matter on short notice. The best ALSPs also offer agile workflow processes that help to optimize costs and speed up service delivery.
Law firms and in-house teams are often flooded with contract requests that require review. This can take up valuable legal team resources that could be spent on a more complex matter. Instead, they can outsource these contracts to an ALSP that provides a standardized, volume-based contract review.
This disintermediation helps reduce legal costs by eliminating the need for lawyers to travel, reducing risk, and allowing in-house teams to focus on more complex matters. This is a significant trend driving the U.S. ALSP market. Legal technology is essential to this trend, enabling legal teams to deliver faster and better results at lower costs.
Rather than using a law firm to carry out day-to-day legal support, an alternative provider can offer more flexibility on a project-by-project basis. This can be especially helpful for short-term or unique projects that require a specialized skill set. Specialized ALSPs can also be more cost-efficient than a traditional law firm to provide granular support.
In addition to boosting efficiency, flexible legal staffing through ALSPs offers legal departments a means of handling increased workloads without hiring additional personnel. For example, in-house teams can use ALSPs to handle electronic discovery or other high-volume and laborious tasks that may tax their internal resources.
Despite being called ‘alternative,’ the role of ALSPs is a crucial part of any legal department or law firm. These companies rapidly capture market share from traditional law firms, offering clients and legal providers many benefits. The best way to evaluate an ALSP is to examine its pricing structure using your current legal spending data.
The best ALSPs have in-depth knowledge of a broad range of legal tasks. They can handle the most complex matters and offer high-value services at an affordable cost. They are also experts in their expertise and constantly work to improve their processes. This helps them deliver consistent and efficient results to clients.
They can do this by using legal technology and creating an alternative delivery model that deviates from traditional law firm models. This is a significant advantage over large firms, often constrained by a rigid structure and hierarchy.
They can deliver valuable legal services for the same or lower cost, which can be particularly useful for small and mid-sized practices that lack internal resources. In addition, they can help you save money on administrative expenses by eliminating the need to pay for expensive office space and technology. They can also provide a more stable and predictable workforce than large firms, which can be especially beneficial for smaller practices.