Legal Back Office Support
Updated: Aug 23
Successfully operating a law firm demands more than just legal knowledge and skills. It necessitates the presence of a productive and streamlined back office support system that can ensure compliance with regulations and facilitate seamless operations.
According to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2017, 37% of law firms reported outsourcing legal back office support. This number has likely increased in recent years as outsourcing becomes more mainstream and widely accepted within the legal industry.
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Front Office Vs Back Office: Which One is More Important to Law Firms?
In the context of law firms, it is hard to determine which part is less significant comparing front office vs back office.
The front office comprises the client-facing roles, such as lawyers and paralegals, who directly provide legal services to clients. In contrast, the back office consists of administrative and support functions, such as finance and IT, that help the law firm operate efficiently.
Both the front office and back office are equally important for the success of a law firm.
While the front office generates revenue, the back office provides support to ensure that the law firm operates efficiently and effectively.
Without one, the other cannot function optimally, and the law firm's overall performance and success will be compromised.
Benefits of Legal Back Office Support for Law Firms
The importance of back office operations is well-known to all businesses. Law back office support can provide numerous benefits for law firms. Let’s look at the top 4 benefits of getting back office support for law firms.
1) Compliance with Regulations
Ensuring compliance with regulations is an essential element of operating a law firm. Failure to comply with regulations can result in legal issues and penalties, which can be costly and damaging to a law firm's reputation.
Legal back office support providers are experts in regulatory compliance and can ensure that a law firm is following all necessary regulations. This includes compliance with data privacy laws, anti-money laundering regulations, and other legal requirements.
By outsourcing compliance tasks to a legal back office support provider, law firms can reduce their risk of legal issues and focus on providing high-quality legal services to their clients.
2) Time and Cost Savings
In addition to ensuring compliance with regulations, legal back office support can also save law firms time and money.
Law firms can focus more on providing legal services to their clients by outsourcing tasks like bookkeeping, billing, and administrative tasks. This can lead to increased productivity and revenue for the firm.
Additionally, outsourcing these tasks can be more cost-effective than hiring in-house staff to handle them. Legal back office service providers can offer these services at a lower cost due to economies of scale and specialized expertise.
3) Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Law firms can improve productivity by outsourcing back-office operations. So, the billable hours of the firm will increase, and it will generate more revenue.
Additionally, the specialized technology provided by outsourcing partners boosts time to completion. More work is done within a limited time frame.
4) Flexibility in Workload Management
Legal back office support providers offer law firms the ability to scale up or down their operations quickly to meet changing client demands without the need to hire or lay off staff.
The Cost of Outsourcing Legal Back Office Operations
Law firms seeking to cut costs may find outsourcing legal back office operations to be a fruitful decision. It is important to fully comprehend the financial consequences of such a move before taking action.
Some outsourcing providers charge on an hourly basis, while others offer fixed-fee arrangements or a combination of both. The cost of outsourcing legal back office operations can also vary depending on whether the outsourcing provider is located domestically or abroad.
Initially, the cost of outsourcing the back office for law firms in the United States starts at $10 per hour. Offshore outsourcing companies like ASL BPO charge only $6 for legal back office support services.
Common administration services
More legally connected services
Directly impact making services
Virtual assistants with less or little legal knowledge
Required legally expert agents
Requires lawyers and trained assistants.
Cost: $10-$50 / Hour
Cost:$25-$100 / Hour
Cost: > $100 / Hour
Identify The Services Needed: Determine the specific tasks that need to be outsourced, such as document review, contract drafting, or bookkeeping.
Determine The Level of Expertise Required: Consider the level of expertise needed for each task and whether the outsourcing provider has the necessary qualifications and experience.
Obtain Quotes from Multiple Providers: Research and compare outsourcing providers to get an idea of their rates and services. Obtain quotes from several providers to compare costs.
Negotiate the terms: Once you have selected an outsourcing provider, negotiate the terms of the agreement, including the pricing structure, payment terms, and service level agreements.
Top Services Offered by Legal Back Office Support
Now, let’s explore the top services offered by legal back office support outsourcing companies.
Bookkeeping and Accounting Services
One of the top services offered by legal back office support outsourcing companies is bookkeeping and accounting. These companies can handle all aspects of a law firm's financial management, including accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and tax preparation.
Another important service offered by legal back office support outsourcing companies is document management and organization. The documentation process includes scanning, indexing, and storing them in a secure, cloud-based system.
Legal billing refers to the process of creating invoices and collecting payments for legal services provided by a law firm. This includes tracking billable hours, calculating fees, preparing detailed invoices, and following up on unpaid bills
Legal Research and Writing
Every law firm goes through a bunch of legal research and writing daily. This includes researching statutes, case law, and legal precedents to support legal arguments, as well as drafting legal briefs, memoranda, and other documents for use in court proceedings, negotiations, and other legal contexts.
Legal back office support outsourcing companies can also provide marketing support to law firms. . Outsourcing marketing tasks allows law firms to focus on their core competencies while benefiting from the expertise and resources of experienced marketing professionals.
Legal back office outsourcing is poised for growth in the future as law firms seek to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve service delivery. As outsourcing becomes more accessible and cost-effective, we can expect to see more law firms leverage this trend to gain a competitive edge in the legal industry.