Strategies to Leverage Paralegal Capabilities

10/01/2011
From: The Bottom Line, August 2011

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My Section colleague, Cynthia Mascio, ACP, an advanced certified paralegal, has kindly shared with me a presentation she recently made on the cost and revenue impact that paralegals have in law firms. Her well-demonstrated point is that paralegals improve a firm’s bottom line.

Like every other profession and trade, the practice of law is a business. This means we are governed by the formula: P = R – E: profit (take home pay) equals revenue collected less expenses. For a widget manufacturer, this equation shapes the question, “Can I sell enough widgets to cover all of my costs and have something left over?” Replace “widgets” with “hours” or “value” or “solutions,” and you have the question that goes to the heart of “The Business of Law®” for law firms.

This article will look behind the cost and revenue numbers and analyze the strategies that firms can use to maximize the bottom line impact of their paralegals. These paralegals may be in-house, or they may provide outsourced services in a virtual relationship. Either way, paralegals epitomize the highly effective concept of leverage as a way that law firms can enhance their profitability. Leverage shapes the right strategies for maximizing paralegal capabilities.

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