Maintaining client relationships in the highly competitive legal field is invaluable to lawyers and law firms. These days, clients are more likely to spread their work around multiple legal service providers, depending on the nature of the work and the price point for the project. Lawyers must give more attention to staying in front of, and providing value to, their clients.
Establishing these relationships while providing quality work may require more of your attention, dedication and commitment – which equals more of your time. In larger firms, this approach is typically not a drain on resources; attorneys involved in any project can allocate lower level tasks to experienced paralegals and free up their own, more expensive billable hours for other projects, which keeps their firm’s prices competitive.
However, smaller firms or sole practitioners may not have in-house support – making it quite a challenge to maintain the level of service their clients have come to expect at the price point their clients need.
Consider the following true story:
Jim, CEO of a mid-sized company, needed a project completed, so he reached out and obtained a quote from an attorney in his network. It was a small project, but the attorney’s quote was still fairly expensive. Then Jim remembered another attorney he knew, Paul. Paul was a sole practitioner and Jim wasn’t sure Paul would have the necessary availability, but he decided to reach out anyway.
Although Paul could complete the project, he quickly realized he would not be able to handle it in the timeframe required, and he knew that Jim was cost-conscious about it. Considering the project did not necessarily require an attorney’s higher level expertise to complete, Paul contacted Strategic Paralegal Services to see if they might be able to help.
Strategic Paralegal Services quoted a competitive price, less than half of the quote Jim had received from the first attorney. And they had an experienced paralegal with the required amount of expertise to see the project through. Paul had Strategic Paralegal Services complete the project, which they did expertly and on time. Jim was pleased with the work and the savings.
Five conclusions can be drawn from this story:
- First and foremost, the attorney who provided the initial quote to Jim did not have support resources like Strategic Paralegal Services as part of his toolkit, and lost a client opportunity.
- Paul was able to keep a client happy, while maintaining ownership of a valuable relationship in the process.
- Paul generated revenue for his practice because the level of expertise provided by Strategic Paralegal Services was in line with Jim’s needs. Paul was able to bill their time at his firm’s established paralegal rate, generating revenue while still providing cost savings for his client.
- Paul discovered a resource for lower level tasks and support that can provide the necessary expertise as needed for specific jobs, without having to hire someone full time.
- Paul is able to operate his business more like the large firms, delegating lower level legal work to a less costly resource, and using his own more valuable time for more valuable endeavors, which helps to generate revenue and keep his fees competitive.
Utilizing a resource like Strategic Paralegal Services means small firms and sole practitioners don’t need to refer work to another firm or attorney just because they lack overflow support, or risk losing the work to those who do. By using outsourced paralegal service providers, you can maintain a lower cost while freeing up your own billable time – and keep your happy clients with you.
Best of all, your client relationships are strengthened; they’ll be more likely to return – and to refer their friends and colleagues.