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November 2, 2020

4 Myths About ALSPs and the Benefits You Could Be Missing

Nearly 75% of corporations and 87% of large law firms currently use Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs), according to a 2019 Thomson Reuters study in partnership with Georgetown University and the University of Oxford. Small and mid-size law firms use them as well, at 57% and 81%, respectively. Still, there are some prevailing myths surrounding ALSPs that need to be dispelled if the legal industry intends to modernize and continue to grow. If your firm is considering an ALSP but hasn’t yet pulled the trigger, it could be due to prevailing myths. Here are four that are no longer a factor:

ALSP Myth #1: They’re Expensive

Firms are facing greater cost pressures. In fact, more than 80% of respondents to a recent study plan to reduce legal function costs over the next two years. One way to do that is through partnering with a reliable ALSP. A high-quality ALSP can save you money in the long run by handling non-billable tasks, such as filling out routine forms and documents. The key to making it work for you is in the strength of the relationship. Your ALSP should be a trusted partner that understands your firm’s preferences, needs and objectives. This way, they can save you time and money by providing legal services in specialized areas at a lower cost. That’s because they’re able to assemble a wider variety of talent than you might have available. For example, hiring an ALSP to provide accounting and staffing services for your human resources department can be a great way to manage labor costs while keeping up with client demands.

ALSP Myth #2: They Put Data at Greater Risk

According to IBM research, nearly 25% of data breaches are caused by human error. Another 33% of breaches involve social engineering; the most common form of which is phishing, according to Verizon. Phishing is a form of cyberattack that preys on people’s emotions and manipulates them to reveal sensitive data by logging into a webpage or clicking on a link that can result in data being stolen. In a recent poll, an astounding 80% of law firms reported phishing attempts. The fact is that in today’s world, every company should have a clear policy and procedures in place for maintaining privacy and securing data, especially those facing strict regulatory and compliance standards. Cyber criminals are most certainly doing their best to capitalize on the state of remote work and workers’ fears surrounding the pandemic. The best way to protect your company’s data from a cyber threat is to make sure you have strong cybersecurity protocols in place. That includes setting up permission levels for temporary and contract workers and including these professionals in company-wide trainings to ensure they know how to recognize and respond to specific threats.

ALSP Myth #3: Lower Quality of Work

We know that law firms and corporate legal departments typically measure work quality by output accuracy. When it comes to ALSPs, it’s the high-volume tasks, such as document review, that are most frequently outsourced. In a large law firm or company, these tasks are typically turned over to paralegals or junior associates. In this case, there’s no reason to believe that the quality of work would suffer. In fact, many ALSPs provide niche or specialized services that require specific training, credentials or experience these firms don’t possess in-house. While their use is largely centered around high-volume, standardized tasks, evolving technology, combined with the increasing sophistication of ALSP providers, will likely lead to corporations and firms becoming more comfortable using these services and the providers playing larger roles in increasingly complex services.

ALSP Myth #4: It’s a Band-aid, Not a Strategy

ALSPs were born from the need to provide law firms and legal departments with a temporary fill-in for a professional out on leave or a project that required additional staff for a short period of time. But with the proliferation of technology and the wide-ranging uses of ALSPs, experience has shown that having the right professionals with specific skill sets as part of an operation model is a business strategy that can give firms a competitive advantage. Partnering with a trusted ALSP partner allows you to focus on your core capabilities and cut costs while providing exceptional service to your clients. It allows firms to deliver legal services in innovative ways and adds value to clients and partners.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for unexpected changes in market conditions. Working with an ALSP partner allows you to scale to meet client needs quickly and efficiently and respond nearly in real-time to fluctuations in workloads to help your company maintain a competitive edge, at all times. JurisTemps has a large pool of temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire legal professionals with a wide variety of experience. Learn more about our recruiting process, submit a staffing request or view our current job openings–we look forward to assisting you!

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