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Legal Outsourcing Trends That Will Get a Boost In 2018
To stay competitive in an intense business world, most organizations resort to cutting costs and focusing on primary objectives. Thus, there is no wonder why outsourcing is considered as a first, and in many cases, the only option by most companies longing to stay relevant and grow their business.
Outsourcing is becoming increasingly common in the legal industry, with more than 65% of the employers ready to outsource legal counsel in some way or the other. Today, the whole legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry is worth more than $1 billion, and by 2020, this industry is expected to grow by as much as $8.6 billion.
Top 8 Legal Outsourcing Trends for 2018
Today, most legal firms and companies are ready to outsource anything from discovery to patent search and document review, among others. The future of legal outsourcing is bright and will see many companies embrace new technological innovations to streamline their operations while benefiting greatly from the enhanced cost-effectiveness. Some of the top trends in legal outsourcing include -
Hybrid Onshore/Offshore Outsourcing Will Continue to Grow
Many legal firms are still apprehensive of sending all their legally-sensitive and confidential tasks overseas. For such companies, hybrid outsourcing is a boon which allows them to devise the most efficient workflows while retaining elements of both onshore and offshore outsourcing models.
Hybrid outsourcing models allow work to take place 24 hours a day, allowing for easy handover between two different delivery centers while ensuring that all suitable data privacy measures are met in-house without having to outsource them. This trend will see an upswing in 2018 and beyond.
E-discovery is here to Stay
Today, most of the competent legal outsourcing vendors follow extensive cyber security measures and have trained personnel who can help them vastly improve their existing electronic discovery processes. This process of identifying, collating, and finally producing confidential, electronically stored information is fast becoming a norm during lawsuits and investigations.
Since this electronic information can be available in the form of emails, documents, voicemails, audio and video files, etc. therefore legal outsourcing companies not only guarantee the safety and confidentiality of such documents but also ensure they are ready for presentation as and when required.
Virtual Law Assistants are Now a Reality
Today, with the influx of technology and web-based computing, virtual law firms and assistants are becoming increasingly commonplace. Such virtual assistants deliver complicated legal services through the means of built-in client portals in a simple and effective manner.
Outsourcing to virtual law firms or assistants help to create new opportunities and discover new revenue channels, all the while improving process efficiencies and reducing overall costs. Based upon your requirement, virtual law firms can handle both complex and mundane work with the same amount of professionalism that you expect out of your own employees.
Legal Social Networking is In
There are many trends which come and go with time, but if the technology is a proof, then social networking is not only here to stay, but is already fundamentally changing how several industries interact with their clients and customers.
The launch of Foxwordy, a social network for lawyers only emphasizes the importance of this technology in big law. By outsourcing your social networking tasks, not only do you save a considerable amount of time but also change the way your firm recruits new professionals, network with other law firms, interact with clients, locate and discredit witnesses, etc. Even the usage of popular social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allows you to reach out to a whole new audience, while swiftly accomplishing your branding, client development, and advertising goals.
The Demand for Secure Cloud Services will Rise
Cloud technology has already permeated many areas of our lives. Today, it is one of the key trends in legal outsourcing as more companies start looking out for accomplished outsourcing vendors who can provide the desired services at a cost.
Cloud technology enables law firms to expertly manage data and use the latest technologies without having to invest heavily in hardware setups and software installations. At the same time, cloud technology has its own pitfalls, and insecure cloud networks can easily expose sensitive data to hackers. Thus, in the future, we can expect the requirement for highly secure and established cloud technologies to grow in legal process outsourcing.
The Requirement for Centralized Outsourcing Vendors will Increase
Most law firms already are on the lookout for outsourcing vendors who not only promise enhanced security and established processes, but also a centralized system which can address all their requirements under one roof.
Centralized outsourcing vendors will help in reducing the overall turnaround time required for most projects while removing usual outsourcing bottlenecks and process slow-downs caused due to complex workflows.
AI and Law Process Automation Will Take Center Stage
2016 was a year which saw top technology companies realize the benefit of AI and implement them in myriad, interesting ways. This trend of intelligent technologies becoming a part of our industries and our daily lives will continue strongly in 2018 as well.
For law firms, this technology holds many untold benefits. Imagine having access to an AI which can naturally converse with your clients while handling their day-to-day requests and follow-ups, while allowing your backend team to focus on more important tasks. Outsourcing will help companies benefit from such technologies while allowing for in-depth process automation which would replace their legacy manual processes with more agile, forward-thinking, and cutting-edge technologies.
Clients Will Demand Ethical LPO
One of the top legal outsourcing trends 2018 is the gradual rise in demand for ethical LPO. The truth of the matter is that not all legal process outsourcing companies are similar, and there is bound to be a severe breach in company code and ethics somewhere down the line, sooner rather than later.
Therefore we can see many law firms move ahead to set straight guidelines which they and their outsourcing partner need to follow while partnering up for outsourced projects. These guidelines could include many things such as -
Obtain client consent to use LPO process as a part of their requirement
Ensure the LPO is ISO-certified and has capable policies which would prevent any conflicts of interest especially since an outsourcing vendor would work with different firms