Companies and law firms of all types and sizes are engaging legal contractors today, bringing in skilled attorneys, paralegals, legal support and compliance professionals to help manage workflow in a variable business climate.

A combination of factors altered the legal hiring landscape over the last decade, particularly the economy’s effect in causing companies and law firms to downsize permanent legal staffing. This significantly impacted the number of law school graduates who by now would be experienced, mid-level practitioners. In the current environment, the use of contracted attorneys on a temporary or temporary-to-hire basis allows organizations to fill the void between junior- and senior-level attorneys, and efficiently respond to business and client needs.

A flexible and competent hiring solution

Hiring contracted legal professionals has become a wise business move in a field where total confidence in the economy is still in recovery. For most companies and law firms, it can be difficult to anticipate when overflow work will occur, when there will be peaks in transactional or litigation activity, or when staff attorneys move on or request leaves of absence, or medical or maternity leaves. The result is a talent shortage, overworked legal staff and sub-par performance.

Rather than keeping more attorneys on the payroll than are needed, or going to the extent and expense of hiring attorneys who may have to be laid off later in the year, organizations are choosing to hire experienced professionals without committing to a permanent hire – until or unless they’re ready.

Specialists are available for every function and practice area

Small, medium, large and multinational corporations, along with boutique, regional, national and international law firms are tapping Lucas Group for contract legal talent. We are receiving increased requests for litigation attorneys and transactional specialists for M&A and commercial real estate activity; however, there is consistent demand for virtually every practice area.

Regardless of the diverse, specialized needs that are arising, all organizations share three common denominators: 1) They don’t have the internal bandwidth to manage a current or impending workflow. 2) They don’t have time to conduct a lengthy vetting process for a permanent hire, and 3) They do not want to be forced into a rush hire.

Fortunately, experienced talent is available to organizations that have been running lean and mean for so long. While some organizations hire contracted professionals to take the load off so they can use their top talent where they need it most, just as many legal departments and law firms bring on attorney specialists to perform in a sophisticated capacity that the company or firm may currently lack. For the latter, there is a gold mine in highly experienced attorneys who are available for temporary assignments and consulting work.

There are no signs of slowing down

It is not surprising to see more and more organizations seize the option of contracting with legal professionals. The practice is ideal in a recovering and ever-evolving legal environment, where new fields of law are emerging, and companies and law firms are easing back into their confidence in the economy.

Given the speed at which talented professionals hit the ground running, this no-risk, high-value solution is successfully stemming attrition, and reducing hiring and recruiting costs for today’s hiring companies.

 

As Senior Partner with Lucas Group’s Legal division, Tennille Hall focuses exclusively on connecting corporations and law firms of all sizes with skilled attorneys and paralegals on a contract and temporary-to-hire basis.