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Flex talent: Bankruptcy attorneys who won’t break the bank

Eric Schultenover 03 / 16 / 21

The volume of corporate bankruptcy cases tends to surge and shrink based on numerous factors, including the macro state of the economy and credit markets, changes in government policy, industry distress, and the availability of financing to support reorganization and restructuring efforts.

As a result, law firms may receive an overwhelming influx of cases followed by a dry spell that can last for years.

An effective way to quickly grow or downsize your legal team for such variability in caseload is to use flexible legal talent. Legility has a robust bench of flexible talent lawyers with bankruptcy backgrounds who can step right in on your cases without the additional or sustained cost or ramp-up of adding more associates trained in that area of law.

Challenges in staffing bankruptcy legal experts

Bankruptcy is a unique law practice that combines litigation, transactional work, frequent appearances in court, all at an accelerated pace. The practice demands attorneys who are trained and experienced specifically in bankruptcy law. In most cases, it is not possible or effective for firms to reassign attorneys from other areas of law for bankruptcy cases.

Given the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, law firms are expected to see an uptick in bankruptcy cases given the widespread availability of financing for companies that are still viable to restructure or reorganize amid the new market realities.

However, like with historical spikes in bankruptcy cases, the workload is unlikely to remain consistent.

Benefits of using a flexible legal talent model in bankruptcy

Legility’s flexible talent model gives you the agility to optimize your team size when your firm’s needs change. It’s a win-win model for law firms and their corporate bankruptcy clients because a flex attorney’s hourly rates cost just a fraction of those of a lawyer with a firm. That means that the law firm can still turn a profit but also can charge the client less than what the firm would charge for equivalent associates.

Your associates will appreciate having a relief valve during the increase in caseload while having the peace of mind that cases are continuing to move forward.

Our bench of flex attorneys on an as-needed basis means it is easy to flex up or down as your needs change.

What to look for in a flexible legal talent staffing partner

A good staffing partner exhibits a desire to understand your firm’s needs and culture, and the types of attorneys who will thrive in the firm. Look for a staffing partner that will provide excellent candidates who have been thoroughly assessed in their expertise, relevant skills for the role, and capacity to commit to the job. Legility’s attorney recruiters understand the special needs of bankruptcy law and the level of professionalism that law firms expect from flex lawyers with whom they will work, and we select candidates accordingly.

Last but not least, seek a partner with excellent customer service – one that will communicate with you at every stage of the engagement from initial sourcing through placement. Certain searches present challenges due to supply and demand, and a good partner will help educate you about market conditions, appropriate compensation for the role, and any adjustments you can make to expand your potential candidate pool.

What to look for in a flexible legal talent for bankruptcy matters

In selecting candidates for these types of roles, we look at the attorney’s specific expertise, where it was acquired, and how it aligns with the law firm’s cases. The attorneys must be experienced in bankruptcy law. Law firms don’t have the time or the patience to train people; they need someone who can hit the ground running.

We also consider the culture of the firm and the associates with whom the flex attorneys will be interacting with to help determine the best fit, including experience, temperament, and demeanor.

Being prepared for bankruptcy growth

As your law firm prepares for possible growth in bankruptcy cases, Legility’s bank of flexible legal talent is on hand with the expertise, experience, and agility to assist you with these cases for as long or as short as needed.

Learn more about Legility’s flexible legal talent solutions.

Legility is a legal services company providing data hosting and management, technology-enabled services, consulting, flexible legal talent, and managed review services to in-house law departments and law firms. Legility is not, and none of its affiliates are, a law firm and does not provide legal advice as part of its services and nothing contained herein should be construed as such.

About the authors

Eric Schultenover
Eric Schultenover

Eric Schultenover is an Executive Director at Legility and co-leads Legility’s Enterprise Legal Solutions Division, which offers multiple integrated services that allow corporate legal departments and their outside counsel to create consistent legal-driven processes and automate and track legal activities across the enterprise. Prior to joining Legility, Schultenover was a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP, practicing in the area of corporate restructuring and primarily representing secured and unsecured creditors, trade vendors and customers of debtor companies. He also has extensive experience in the automotive and health care industries, among others, both domestically and internationally. Schultenover holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law. He is an active member of the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations and on the board of directors for the Nashville Civic Design Center and the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute.

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