Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In a Recession, Keep Paralegals

It seems like such a good idea: in hard times, keep the lawyers and cut the paralegals. But clients think otherwise.

Thanks to the economy, many clients are demanding lower hourly rates -- and taking their business elsewhere when the rates don't budge. One alternative is to chuck the billable hour. Another?

One foreseeable cost-saving trend is pushing some duties down the ladder from a senior-level associate to a less experienced one. Or, from the less experienced to a paralegal. The firms avoid an actual rate reduction but wind up charging less at the end.

Think about that for a moment. A good paralegal probably knows more than a first-year associate and costs the firm half as much to keep.


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