Hire an Esquire, the first online service for law firms to locate, manage, and pay freelance lawyers makes traditional staffing agency inefficiencies— and their 50-100% markup on attorney hours—obsolete.
Philadelphia, PA & Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) January 24, 2012
Headlines of the past decade documented the fall of the American lawyer: a once high salaried hot shot now frequently unemployed, indebted, . . . and a factory worker? Or so it seemed from prominent stories describing conditions and wages for attorneys performing electronic discovery or “e-discovery.” Yet e-discovery—often involving large teams of temporary attorneys reviewing millions of documents in corporate litigation—could still break the budget of Fortune 500 companies. Law firms and clients wondered if costs could be contained. Lawyers wondered if dignity could be restored to their profession.
The newly formed Digital Legal - Hire an Esquire, LLC partnership addresses both issues. Together they provide a local-remote e-discovery solution that dramatically reduces costs while providing attorneys with better hourly rates and improved working conditions.
“REMOTE-LOCAL”: THE MOST ECONOMICAL E-DISCOVERY SOLUTION
Digital Legal’s web-based e-discovery review tools allow attorneys to work remotely from their own offices and computers, eliminating the typical facility costs of renting office space and computers for temporary attorneys. Hire an Esquire, the first online service for law firms to locate, manage, and pay freelance lawyers makes traditional staffing agency inefficiencies— and their 50-100% markup on attorney hours—obsolete. With this combined solution, law firms can easily locate local, US-barred attorneys who can work remotely while still being available to meet on site with in-house counsel, partners, and associates as necessary. With 400+ attorneys and firms registered nationally since its launch in 2011, Hire an Esquire has specialized in allowing firms to locate a variety of independent contractor and per diem attorneys for legal research and writing, court appearances, specialized expertise, and local counsel. With Digital Legal, a national provider of electronic discovery and litigation support services, Hire an Esquire has entered the e-discovery market.
“In recent years, onshoring e-discovery to low cost U.S. cities became more economical and convenient than outsourcing. Now local attorneys will trump onshoring in cost and convenience,” says Hire an Esquire co-founder Julia Claire, Esq. “The local-remote solution also eliminates the expense and hassle of travel. East and West Coast-based counsel frequently had to make trips to Midwestern onshore location. This solution makes life easier for firm attorneys and wages higher for project-based attorneys, all while firms support their local economy and clients see e-discovery costs cut in half.”
FROM OUTSOURCING TO CROWDSOURCING:
With Digital Legal’s newly designed IDS software, firms can track the progress of remote attorneys even more closely and accurately than if they were in the same room. Ezra Silverman, Director of Technology for Digital Legal, explains, “the IDS platform makes tracking your reviewers simple and accurate. With in-depth information you can see your overall review progress and individual reviewer productivity reports. The software even outlines attorney coding decisions that are out of line with other attorneys so that you can ensure you’re getting accurate results from your team.”
Case review software has increasingly become web-based and designed to secure highly confidential information accordingly. Thus, many firms have begun to allow attorneys to review case documents from their own computers off-site. Silverman notes that, “Digital Legal's web review platforms all feature secure login portals to protect all of the hosted data; the portals are secured using a variety of methods. Attorneys can be restricted to accessing data from specific physical locations, documents, and portions of the case.”
The Digital Legal - Hire an Esquire partnership arose from firms and clients increasingly exploring and requesting the cost efficiencies of a local-remote solution. Together, the companies make this solution simple to execute and manage.
ATTORNEYS GAIN AUTONOMY, REGAIN PROFESSIONALISM AS FIRMS CUT COSTS
Hire an Esquire provides attorneys with better lifestyle options and hourly rates by electronically facilitating a direct relationship with law firms. Currently, attorneys who contract directly with firms can earn 50% more than those who work through staffing agencies for comparable work.
Hire an Esquire promotes a freelance law model that allows attorneys to choose the type and amount of work they take on and enables them to build their own diversified book of law firm business. Firms can then match attorney power to business cycles. With even storied law firms downsizing or permanently closing their mahogany doors, few lawyers can entrust their careers to a single firm. And few firms can afford to spurn the latest cost-saving solutions and technology. The Digital Legal - Hire an Esquire partnership allows both attorneys and firms to enjoy all the benefits of freelancing for e-discovery—making “attorney factories” a relic of the turn of the century.
ABOUT HIRE AN ESQUIRE, LLC AND DIGITAL LEGAL:
Hire an Esquire is the first national online service to help law firms and legal departments locate, manage, and pay per diem, contract, and local counsel. Digital Legal is a national provider of electronic discovery, litigation support, and document management services.
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