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Outsourcing Legal Secretaries

As early as 1991, Ron Friedmann thought technology should lead law firms to rethink secretarial roles, he writes at his Strategic Legal Technology blog. In 2003, he wrote an article for Legal Times, The Future of Legal Secretaries, in which he suggested that firms test the concept of secretarial teams in order to save money and improve client service. Now, in a new whitepaper, he presents his case for why law firms should consider outsourcing secretarial and document production tasks.

It should be noted that Friedmann wrote the whitepaper on the dime of an outsourcing company. But his arguments are compelling -- with cost a big one. Consider that secretaries and document processing are typically a firm's third biggest expense after associate salaries and rent. Friedmann estimates that the direct cost of a secretary in a major urban area, factoring in salary, benefits and taxes, is $85,000. That does not include overhead. But, he says, firms use only 80 percent of that secretary's time on the job. Throw in HR issues, variations in workloads and the sometimes poor fit between skills and tasks, and outsourcing begins to look compelling.

Friedmann's overarching point is that law firms should at least consider outsourcing as an option. "Outsourcing may be wrong," he says, "but decide that consciously, not by interia."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 16, 2006 at 04:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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