Corporations and law firms have been using contract, or temporary, attorneys with increasing frequency since the inception of the concept in the 1970's. The increase in demand for contract attorneys has been accompanied by an increase in availability of high-quality contract attorneys.
Firm Advice maintains a database of thousands of resumes of attorneys whom we have located through many avenues. These attorneys are looking for contract work for varied reasons. The pool of attorneys seeking contract work includes recent graduates who are just starting on their legal careers and those who are well into their careers but are seeking lifestyle changes from the typical legal practice. Contract attorneys also are those who are returning to the work force, are between jobs, or are retirees.
Years of experience in the legal and placement industry have educated us about matching the skills and experience of these attorneys with the needs of our clients. We carefully screen qualified applicants, including conducting exhaustive in-person interviews, before we submit their resumes to our clients for consideration. Not only do we check information in the public domain, such as schools attended, bar admissions and the references they provide us, but our relationships in the legal market, both in-house and in law firms, enable us to obtain information about the candidates that is not readily available to others.
We assist our clients in determining the level of skill and experience they need in a contract attorney, help our clients evaluate the type and level of experience that is required, whether the position should be full- or part-time, when the contract attorney should start, and the duration of their need. Consulting with our clients, we will identify a few attorney candidates' resumes. The client may choose to interview any or all candidates by phone or in person. Some of our clients, especially our repeat clients and clients who need an attorney for basic legal work, take advantage of the temporary nature of the arrangement by having the attorney begin work without an interview.
Organizations use contract attorneys for many reasons. Since all organizations are subject to legal scrutiny, any organization, whether a law firm, corporation or association, can benefit by using contract attorneys. The use of contract attorneys will have grown 650% between 1992 and 2005, according to a 2002 Staffing Industry Report. There are numerous reasons for this increasing use of contract attorneys.
Contract attorneys are cost-effective. Hourly rates for contract attorneys are typically lower than the fully-loaded salaries of employed attorneys. The rates Firm Advice bills for its contract attorneys are less than one-third the rate of comparable attorneys in law firms. Benefits that frequently must be provided to those employed by an organization are costly, often exceeding 40 percent of salary. Using contract attorneys can eliminate that burden, and provide a low cost solution to any staffing need.
Contract attorneys enable organizations to meet effectively their cyclical workload and staffing demands. The ability to pay for staff only when needed, particularly during these tumultuous economic cycles, enhances an organization's ability to meet its budgetary constraints. A contract attorney may be used to handle a general overflow of work, replace a worker who is on leave or vacation, or to add specific expertise when the expertise is not necessary on a regular basis.
After we have narrowed the list
of prospects from the thousands available to just a few, our client selects
from the resumes whom to interview. Our clients usually interview one
or two of the candidates, or in some cases, they simply have the attorney
start work for them. If one of the attorneys is appropriate for the position,
as is usually the case, the attorney will show up for work at the designated
place and time. The contract attorney keeps track of the time they work
each week and Firm Advice pays them. We bill our clients only for
the time approved by the client. We make sure that our clients involvement
with paperwork is minimal.
We keep in close contact with the client and the attorney during the project
to ensure everything is going smoothly. We are immediately available
to answer and resolve any questions or problems. When the client
no longer needs the contract attorney, we will inform the attorney that
the position has ended. A contract attorney's leaving the organization
avoids the decrease in morale that often accompanies loss of an employee.
Please feel free
to contact us for more in-depth information on the steps we take to ensure
that we find the right attorney for your need. We endeavor to ensure that
the process of using a contract attorney is a positive one and that any
organization that uses our services once will use Firm Advice again and