As businesses go through their digital transformation, many are turning away from traditional service models in favor of the convenience and economy of self-serve, on-demand services. Industries affected by this change of direction run the gamut from finance and legal to cybersecurity, logistics, and beyond, as various as-a-service software solutions and platforms penetrate almost every aspect of operations.
In the legal profession, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) that provide such services and solutions are now commonplace, and many companies choose to outsource to ALSPs. ALSPs deliver value and convenience to the client, offering a way to get a wide range of legal work accomplished that they may not otherwise have been able to accomplish in-house.
But in recent years, technology has made its way into the legal profession and many have chosen to adopt software instead of outsourcing to ALSPs.
Do ALSPs Provide Value to Law Firms?
Legal firms themselves are accessing ALSPs in an effort to expand their service offerings. In addition to delivering value back to the bottom line, using an ALSP frees up time for their attorneys to focus on other activities, taking repetitive and time-consuming tasks like eDiscovery and contract management out of their hands.
In fact, a 2017 study conducted by Thomson Reuters found that more than half of law firms and 60 percent of corporate legal departments are using ALSPs to add value, mitigate risk, and gain efficiency.
What is an ALSP?
An alternative legal service provider offers an alternative to hiring an attorney for handling various aspects of a legal matter. An ALSP offers low-risk, standardized solutions for high-volume tasks as well as highly specialized expertise in several key areas, including:
1. Contract management
Contract management could be the most prevalent offering of an ALSP. This area covers contract drafting tools, collaborative access, and full contract lifecycle management resulting in a reduced time to completion while increasing the number of signed deals along the way.
2. Litigation support: eDiscovery, document review, investigative support
Litigation support as delivered by alternative legal service providers is many-layered, but its roots are in technology. Tasks in this area might include one or more of the following:
- Database design
- Data management strategies
- Various technological solutions featuring both out-of-the-box and custom-designed software
- A combination of paralegal services and technology delivered to render an end-to-end solution
3. Intellectual property management
Intellectual property (IP) management is a crucial ALSP service offering. It takes the massive task of tracking a company’s IP and automates it for fast, efficient results. IP management is relevant to patent applications as well as to issues of copyright infringement and can reduce human hours and human errors by a significant margin while getting products to market faster.
4. Regulatory compliance
Because of all the technology we use from day to day, there are privacy and security issues to address. ALSPs provide data security and compliance solutions that help to secure confidential client information and IP in a way that satisfies the complex regulatory landscape.
While a law firm may use alternative legal service providers for e-discovery support services and litigation support, a corporate legal department may use it to mitigate regulatory risk or for specialized legal services that they can’t source in-house.
The Benefits of Using Alternative Legal Service Providers
There are many benefits that an ALSP can provide, both to the corporation and to the law firm.
- Reducing the cost of service delivery
- Streamlining workflows
- Access to highly specialized expertise
- Shorten timelines
- Human error reduction
Can Software Perform at the Same Level?
An ALSP can provide a corporation or a law firm with fast, accurate, and efficient legal services that offer measurable value. They support regulatory compliance and data security while driving value from end-to-end, providing a way to dramatically lower the cost of legal services delivery while increasing efficiency and accuracy across the board. You may avoid the need to outsource this by using software solutions like synergist.io, where you can realize the same efficiencies.
Discover synergist.io and our innovative technology in document review and analysis, regulatory change management and contract management solutions today.