Use of associates for document review
It’s time for lawyers to get out of the business of document review. Gone are the days where you can use inexperienced associates for document review. Not only are they too expensive, they simply don’t get it right.
Document review accounts for 73% of all e-discovery costs and your clients want to reduce legal spend without decreasing the quality of their representation. Legal spend is an operational expense that hits your client’s P&L and every dollar spent comes off the bottom line. One of the easiest ways to reduce the costs of e-discovery and litigation in general, is to lessen the cost of document review. Your client has learned that using contract attorney review lowers the cost of e-discovery but does not lessen the quality of the review. In some instances, it actually increases the value of the review.
The second problem with using associates for document review is that technology is not being used to its fullest potential to minimize the document population, which drives document review costs up. Loading data into a review platform and performing linear review does not provide you with a competitive advantage over other firms vying for the same business you were just awarded.
Finally, associates are just too expensive for document review. There are dozens of outsourced services that cost a fraction of what associates do. They are more experienced and technically trained in the technology they use. This means your review is done better, faster and less expensively.
Law firms can say that their business model isn’t structured to support the use of outside services, but they do so at their peril. If you aren’t finding a more cost effective way to use third-party legal services, your clients will. And, they will find a law firm structured in a way to manage that team. The choice is yours.
What are your options? Certainly, long-term you need to find better ways to use associate time but if you partner with the right third-party resources and use your associates more strategically both you and your client will benefit in the long-term.