- December 7, 2016
- Posted by: Ryan M
- Category: legal research attorney
If you’re considering outsourcing a legal research or legal writing project, there are some important factors to consider when selecting the right legal research lawyer / legal research company.
Over the past 5 years, the number of online legal research companies has expanded considerably. With more choices than ever, here’s what you need to know to select the right legal research lawyer for your next project.
Experience = You’re putting your reputation and client relationship on the line. While there are tons of overseas lawyers and recent law school grads offering cut-rate legal research and writing, that option may not end up being as cost-effective as you originally thought. An experienced research attorney can not only identify the “heart” of your issue quickly, but experienced researchers avoid the mistake of falling down the “rabbit hole” when researching an issue. We’ve all done it at some point as young lawyers. You start researching a specific issue for a senior attorney and you come across a body of law that may be related, so you start researching that area of the law, and then you discover another body of law that’s related. Before you know it, you’ve spent six hours researching issues that have little to no bearing on the actual task at hand.
Cost = Most of the well known legal research firms offer an hourly rate in the range of $85 – $150 an hour. My company comes in near the middle of that range, at $105/hr.
Reliability = Is the company or legal research lawyer you’re considering a fly-by-night operation? Are they well established and easy to communicate with? Do they have a history of meeting deadlines and producing quality work product? These are all important questions to ask. There are a lot of inexperienced, out-of-work attorneys offering their services on the internet for a bargain-basement fee. My company is not the cheapest you’re going to find, but as far as value is considered, I’m confident that it ranks at the top. I have the experience to not only quickly get myself up to speed with your case and key issues, but I can also provide strategies and arguments you might not have considered. I’m great at following directions, but there’s no need to spoon feed me your issues. That’s an important factor that separates myself from most other online research companies.
Relationships = Do you know who is actually going to be working on your legal research project? Unlike many competitors, when you call my company, I’m the one answering the phone, not some project manager who is going to farm your work off to another legal research lawyer. Make no mistake, there are several well known companies who have legal research attorneys that serve only as project managers. Sometimes they disclose this up front, oftentimes they don’t. These project managers discuss the case with you and pitch their own knowledge and experience. Once retained, however, they farm your project out to a recent graduate or overseas lawyer. That’s their business model. They can take on hundreds of hours of work every week, because they’re not actually performing any of it.
My company works a little different. Over the past five years, I have built close working relationships with many attorneys across the United States. Some use my services every months, others I hear from just a couple times a year. Either way, when they call they know that their work and their reputation are in good hands. These attorneys routinely send me their most difficult legal research and writing projects, and I’m often asked to develop an argument from scratch. Sometimes its a client who works as a sole practitioner, who calls on his way to court and wants to pick my brain about an issue or strategy. I never bill for telephone calls, and that’s a free service I provide all of my clients.
I’ve worked extremely hard over the past five years to develop lasting business relationships with solo and small firm lawyers. Let me put my expertise to work for you.