Four Benefits of Hiring Lawyers Through a Digital Platform
By Derek Kan
As consumers, we buy products and services online all the time. Yet, the legal industry still doesn’t hire legal talent digitally even though lawyers have become more technology-enabled. Axiom’s platform addresses General Counsel’s biggest concerns with sourcing talent online, offering a solution that allows them to take advantage of the benefits of a digital bench.
For years, General Counsel and heads of legal departments at companies across the country have relied on Legal Process Outsourcers (LPOs), Enterprise Legal Service Providers, and law firms to complete their departments’ overflow of high-volume, low-complexity, and commoditized work. What’s left is a growing amount of non-commoditized work that needs to be addressed by experienced attorneys with specific skills and expertise.
In large part due to changes ushered in by the pandemic, legal departments have had to grapple with higher volumes of novel, complex issues particularly to address new areas of risk in labor and employment, security, and privacy. This isn’t expected to change any time soon. In-house counsel expects 25% greater workloads over the next three years, according to a 2021 study conducted by EY Law and the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession.
A digital bench of high-quality lawyers who have been pre-vetted for pedigree, education, experience, expertise, and in-house acumen can help alleviate the burden additional workloads are placing on in-house teams already stretched thin, while also decreasing both risk and costs. Here’s how.
1. Improved risk mitigation through greater resourcing options
Risk mitigation has never been more front of mind for in-house teams. The EY and Harvard Law School study also found transforming risk management is a GC’s top priority, and few are “very confident” in their department’s ability to manage complex risk. As in-house departments have navigated newer and more complicated issues over the past couple of years, many find that they need to reevaluate traditional resourcing options and proactively weigh resource decisions for specific areas of work. A digital bench of always-on, flexible talent is primed and ready to supplement in-house expertise, offering flexibility, particularly during times of market volatility. This on-demand bench can help implement another layer of risk mitigation strategy by pairing the right resource to the right matter at the right time.
2. Increased speed to hire
Hiring in-house lawyers, even under the best circumstances, can be a lengthy process. A few years ago, it took an average of six weeks to fill an open legal position. Now, however, we’re in the midst of a battle for talent. While legal recruiters would have once described the hiring market as robust, lawyers are often fielding multiple job offers, extending the hiring process by weeks or even months.
Building a digital bench of on-demand talent drastically cuts down on the time it takes to both find the right talent to join an in-house team and get them onboarded. An online platform allows GCs to view lawyers with both near and long-term availability, offering an unprecedented level of flexibility, transparency, and accessibility when it comes to hiring. It also imbues the legal team with institutional knowledge of the company without the fixed cost of full-time employees.
3. Extended expertise by limiting what needs to be sent to a law firm
Utilizing a digital hiring option allows legal departments to expand their expertise, while GCs are able to be more strategic about how and when they outsource non-commoditized work to a law firm. Sending surplus, non-commoditized work to law firms can be costly, but the novel issues legal departments are navigating carry increased enterprise risk. GCs have typically relied on big law firms because they need to be able to trust their external resources to handle this more complicated work. But what many legal departments are missing is an agile layer of flexible talent – a bench of trusted, on-demand lawyers with expertise aligned to emerging risks and workload surges. This bench should be curated based on subject matter expertise that aligns with anticipated risks, allowing GCs to limit what is sent to a law firm to include only exceptional matters. Axiom talent has, on average, 15 years of experience within a full array of practice areas and various enterprise sectors, and the ability to lend their expertise to in-house legal departments, combining both their law firm and commercial talent to offer a solution GCs can trust.
4. Decreased costs
Hiring in-house counsel can be expensive, and the cost of outsourcing work to a law firm adds up, particularly in an inflationary economy. With a legal bench, the benefits to the department are two-fold:
First, GCs can implement a framework that limits the work sent to expensive law firms like our Core-Bench-Firm (CBF) Model, which consists of a digital bench that sits in-between the in-house team and law firms. A CBF model reduces fixed costs to the legal department.
Second, a digital bench of attorneys on-hand offers greater transparency into legal rates and drivers of both price increases and decreases. A virtual platform offers general counsel and heads of legal departments greater visibility into rate evolution and billing variances by lawyer type and tenure, allowing them to more easily and successfully budget for their department’s needs.
To learn more about the benefits of utilizing a digital bench, download our recent white paper “Will In-House Lawyers Ever Really Be Digital Buyers?”
Will In-House Lawyers Ever Really Be Digital Buyers?* Required
Derek Kan is the vice president of Product at Axiom. His experience includes building, scaling, and managing global product, ux/ui, and data science teams. Prior to joining Axiom, Kan was the vice president of Product Management at Monster where he acted as the global head of product for Monster’s B2C product suite.
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