If you are currently considering whether to hire an in-house legal counsel, the more relevant question to ask yourself is what is the difference between an in-house attorney and a traditional legal services provider. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages between the two roles will likely guide you to the correct decision as to which one would work best for your requirements.
The Advantages of In-House Legal Counsel
There are many advantages to using an in-house attorney rather than an external legal services provider. However, in this article we’ll focus on those which are relevant for most businesses.
1. Potentially lower cost
While outsourcing certain areas of your business can be more cost effective, an in-house attorney can actually help to save your business money. This is due to the fact that traditional lawyers will charge you based on time increments, e.g., 6-minute, 15-minute, 30-minute or 1-hour increments. This can end up costing a business much more than hiring an in-house attorney, if they have a regular requirement for legal services.
2. Business and legal advice
As discussed in a recent post, the roles and responsibilities of an in-house attorney are quite varied. They usually have a background in legal and business areas, which means they can provide legal advice that has been conceived with business knowledge in mind. As such, your in-house counsel is more valuable to your business.
3. In-depth business knowledge
When you have a requirement for legal services, would you prefer to call a stranger for advice or someone who understands everything about your business? By hiring an in-house counsel, you can benefit from strategic business and legal advice based on your specific needs. Not only will they be knowledgeable about various aspects of your business, they are also personally invested in its success.
The Advantages of External Legal Services
Similar to an in-house legal counsel, outsourcing some or all of your legal service requirements can be beneficial to your business, depending on the size and structure of your legal team. Here are a few advantages to using external legal services.
1. Access to highly-specialized experts
If your business has a very specific issue that requires urgent or immediate attention and your in-house legal resources are unable to handle the issue, perhaps due to time or experience constraints, working with external legal services can be very beneficial. With a wealth of experts available on the market, your business can quickly work with highly-specialized legal experts.
2. Less commitment
In some cases, a business will require legal services on unique projects for a designated period of time. Additionally, these projects may not require the full-time attention of a lawyer. As such, it can be more beneficial to a business to outsource certain projects to a specialized legal service, which has the resources and staff to complete the project with a high degree of experience and doesn’t require a long-term or full-time commitment from your business.
3. Varied experience
Given the nature of their business, an external legal services provider is able to dispense legal advice based on experiences across a wide range of industries. In this way, your business will have access to a unique perspective, whereby an out-of-the-box idea might be the best solution for your case.