Law Practice Management

More Law Firms Embrace Cheaper Alternatives for Back Office Work

Last week Foley & Lardner became the latest law firm to send more of its administrative tasks to an outsourcing company.

The work of Foley’s records department will be handled by Williams Lea, which already provides mailroom, copying and reception services for the law firm, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

Foley’s move is part of a trend to cut the costs of back office functions, the story reports. Firms are hiring outsourcing companies or moving their back-office functions to cheaper locations such as Nashville, Tenn. (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), Lexington, Ky. (Bingham McCutchen), and Rochester, N.Y. (Nixon Peabody). And more firms are considering such moves, according to Deloitte Consulting principal Mark Klender.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog summarizes the article. “Law firm managers are warming up to something their corporate clients learned years ago,” the Law Blog says. “If you can’t goose your top line by raising prices, to turn a profit you have to start paring away at waste and excess further down the line. As a result, more firms are setting up back-office centers in flyover country, where rents and labor costs are cheap.”

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