It ought to be a matter of simple math. Paralegals lower the cost of services for clients and increase law firm productivity, so it makes sense to use paralegals. This does not cost attorney jobs, but grows the legal profession. One major British firm has done the math, according to legalweek.com:
Addleshaw Goddard has grown the number of paralegals in its recently-formed transaction services team (TST) in Manchester to more than 40 as the national law firm prepares to send more chargeable work to the centre in a bid to keep costs down for clients.
The firm has increased staff in the team from five at the time it was piloted in November last year to 42, with the intention of boosting numbers to more than 60 as it is used by more practice areas.
The initiative was established to free up associates to work on client-facing matters by sending some administrative and process support work to the paralegal centre in Manchester.
Most of the work is due diligence and document management for the litigation and corporate practices, but Addleshaws is also looking to extend its remit to include more transactional support for the firm’s commercial and banking practices…
Addleshaws employment head Andrew Chamberlain, who oversees the project, commented: “Clients are telling us they don’t want to pay a lawyer hundreds of pounds an hour to do this type of work, but they also don’t necessarily want it to be sent overseas, either.
“This is the happy medium – we’re able to keep costs down and our associates are able to develop their skills in other areas.”…