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As a corporate legal team or law firm looking to rebalance your workload, access specialised expertise, or scale capacity to meet changing needs, hiring a freelance legal consultant is an excellent option. This approach affords you flexible access to a trusted helping hand during times of need. The only challenging part is deciding how to source the right candidate for the job.  

You or HR may be tempted to save money by posting the opportunity on a generalist recruitment site or networking platform like LinkedIn, but is it the best option? It may seem simpler and more budget-friendly initially, but there are various important considerations to keep in mind.

We explore the advantages of working with an alternative legal services provider (ALSP) that has the resources and knowledge to seamlessly connect you with top legal talent and offer added benefits that you may not have initially thought of.

Here are eight ways partnering with an ALSP can help you unlock more value:


#1 Access the right candidate from a large talent pool  


In the legal industry, the need for specific and nuanced skills can make it challenging to find the right candidate for the role. This is where an established ALSP can offer an edge. With access to a vast network of highly skilled and talented legal professionals – including junior and senior lawyers, barristers, general counsel and paralegals – an ALSP can quickly connect you with the right consultant for your project.

While all that may be achievable (with a lot of heavy lifting) when hiring directly, ALSPs do much more than just match a consultant’s skills to your needs. They also assess whether the individual is a good cultural fit for your team and project. This is because ALSPs have already personally interviewed and evaluated the candidates, giving you the peace of mind that the legal consultant you work with aligns with your team’s values and work approach.


#2 Save time and control costs  


By handling the time-consuming and extensive screening, interviewing, and pre-vetting process, ALSPs free up time for your legal team or HR department. They also ensure that they only put forward candidates who are ready to work, as opposed to sourcing someone who may only be available in a few months, so you have a resource that can get up and running quickly, contributing to your project almost immediately. Additionally, ALSPs take on the costs of networking, advertising and headhunting, saving you more time and money.


#3 Benefit from specialist recruitment expertise


Partnering with an alternative provider not only streamlines the hiring process but also adds a level of focus and objectivity that can often be challenging to achieve in-house. ALSPs have dedicated staff who are knowledgeable and experienced in attracting and retaining top-notch freelance legal talent. Additionally, they have the skills to negotiate innovative working arrangements that best meet the needs of your organisation and the consultant.


#4 Ensure compliance and contingency planning   


Rather than leaning on a busy HR team or managing everything yourself, you can delegate all your compliance needs related to equal employment opportunities, worker safety, and data privacy to an ALSP that is well-versed in all the relevant laws and regulations. They also verify references and conduct background checks on candidates for you.

Should your legal consultant fall ill, a reliable ALSP will be able to quickly re-assign the work to another suitable professional within their network, ensuring that your service delivery is not disrupted.


#5 Increase your team’s agility   


Change happens fast. An ALSP can assist an overburdened legal team by quickly providing access to legal experts who can start within a short time frame, sometimes within hours. Partner with an ALSP and you’ll have a go-to source for all the flexible legal talent you need, whether you have one urgent piece of legal work or require ongoing services. This allows you to maintain a high level of quality and productivity, regardless of unforeseen fluctuations in your workload.


#6 Get ongoing support


When considering the options of hiring through an ALSP or going directly, legal teams often overlook the added benefits that an ALSP can offer in the form of continuous coaching and support. An ALSP not only provides ongoing education and professional development opportunities, but also offers constant support to freelance lawyers and paralegals, enabling them to perform at their best.

The ideal ALSP plays an active role in managing your service delivery, regularly checking in to ensure that your work meets the highest standards and adheres to the agreed Service Level Agreements. This level of oversight helps to ensure that your legal team is well-equipped to deliver quality work at all times.


#7 Streamline with tech


ALSPs have often invested in advanced technology platforms that allow them to quickly pinpoint the right candidate for a role from their carefully handpicked talent pool. This ensures a fast and reliable matching process, without sacrificing the quality of the talent being placed. Whether you need support for a one-time project, such as drafting an NDA, or a more extensive project like a 12-month repapering exercise, a digitally-enabled ALSP with a large network of skilled lawyers and paralegals can be relied upon to resource your projects successfully.


#8 Build a more diverse, inclusive and innovative team


Partnering with an innovative ALSP like Obelisk Support that has a long history of championing flexible, hybrid, and remote work arrangements, can help you build a more diverse and inclusive legal team. A more flexible approach to resourcing attracts highly skilled legal professionals from a range of backgrounds and life stages who value flexible opportunities and may not be available to work a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.

This allows your organisation to break down diversity and inclusion barriers, and  provide more opportunities for talented legal professionals, regardless of their identity, background, or circumstances. It also enables you to infuse diverse perspectives, ideas, and experiences into your legal team, with a positive impact on innovation, decision-making and performance.

Ultimately, when it comes to sourcing legal talent, partnering with an ALSP provides numerous opportunities to save time and add value. ALSPs offer the necessary expertise and resources to help you access top talent, as needed, from a large pool of skilled, experienced, pre-vetted candidates. With this approach, you can quickly adapt to change and build a future-fit legal team.

The UK government’s Psychology of Loneliness report, published in July 2020, defines loneliness as “When the social connections people want don’t match their actual experience of relationships with others”. Whilst everyone feels lonely at times, and it is not a mental health condition on its own, chronic feelings of loneliness can impact on our mental health, leading to anxiety, depression or distress. Likewise, mental health conditions can make people feel more lonely, leading to a negative spiral of emotions.

In a professional context, loneliness can lead to burnout, to feeling less productive and to feeling less engaged with the organisation you’re working with, which can all impact on your performance and long-term success.