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How Flexible Legal Talent Can Help Law Departments Navigate Coronavirus

Patty Wise 05 / 18 / 20

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created an unprecedented level of uncertainty across the globe. With every industry disrupted, law is no exception — and general counsel are being forced to act quickly in uncharted waters. Flexible legal talent can help.

"Our department is dealing with the COVID crisis on top of several attorneys already being out of the office for extended periods,” says the Director of Legal Operations for a large organization. “Having access to flexible legal talent through Legility has allowed us to quickly tap resources to augment our attorneys and provide seamless customer service."

On-demand legal talent can help legal departments handle the challenges posed by COVID-19.

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Flexible legal talent can drive cost savings

Spending is under more scrutiny than ever in the age of coronavirus. Uncertainty about the length and ultimate impact of the crisis means that many general counsels are being asked to do more with less. Flexible talent allows legal departments to keep up with essential business needs while staying within budget.

On average, a flexible lawyer’s hourly rate is about one-third that of the equivalent lawyer at a law firm.

The cost savings increase with experience. The cost savings are significant, and no long-term commitment is required. Corporate counsel can deploy the legal resources they need and start or stop anytime. It’s a very conservative approach to doing business.

Legal departments save 50%+ using flexible legal talent as compared to traditional models.

On-demand lawyers drive legal efficiency

The flexible-talent model is built for efficiency. It’s designed to accommodate any timeframe for both tactical and strategic legal assignments. Attorneys are able to ramp up and down quickly — and, critically in the time of coronavirus, work remotely without any changes in process. Remote working is business as usual for most of Legility’s flexible attorneys, with approximately three-quarters of our talent pool experienced at working offsite.

While much of the corporate world is grappling with how to work remotely, Legility has an expansive global roster of lawyers who are working exactly this way, with tech capabilities and dedicated home offices already up and running. This kind of flexibility and efficiency are core to our business.


On-demand lawyers provide valuable legal expertise

Coronavirus has created a whole new world, not only in terms of how lawyers work but also what they work on. Legal departments may find themselves fielding work that requires expertise in areas that are new or underrepresented on their teams.

For example, coronavirus is likely to create an increase in contract volume. Contract lawyers may be suddenly overloaded as supply chains, vendor agreements, leases, and other aspects of doing business are affected by the pandemic. Flexible attorneys who are experienced with contracts can help ease the burden on in-house lawyers.

On average, a flexible lawyer’s hourly rate is about one-third that of the equivalent lawyer at a law firm.

Overnight, there’s going to be a need for subject-matter-expert bandwidth. With so many workforces suddenly impacted, many in-house departments are likely to be hit with an increased need for employment-law expertise. Healthcare specialization will be in demand as well, as that sector grapples with everything from supply shortages to property management. Universities, retailers, and all subsets of the hospitality industry will face similar challenges. Flexible talent provides a pathway for general counsels to access specialized attorneys quickly.

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.

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About the author

Patty Wise
Patty Wise

Patty is an executive director at Legility, a leader in legal operations, where she provides executive oversight over the flexible legal talent business. Legility provides consulting, technology, managed solutions, and flexible legal talent engagement services to corporations and law firms. The company has more than 1,000 lawyers, engineers, consultants, technology and data specialists, and operational experts serving one-third of the Fortune 100 and one-quarter of the Am Law 200. Founded in 2000, Legility works with corporate legal departments and law firms to improve operational efficiency.

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