+ Defining Outsourcing
Recognized as an integral business strategy since 1989, outsourcing is
a business practice that involves hiring outside parties to perform
services either previously performed in house or services the business
needs and cannot perform itself.
+ To Outsource or Not to Outsource:
That is the Question
Outsourcing work at a law firm is done to be
competitive, competent, efficient, and smart about
how the work is accomplished.
One common issue small firm lawyers often face is
deciding when – and how – to delegate.
Should you hire new employees or outsource certain
This is a difficult decision since the work of small firm
lawyers often ebbs and flows, and hiring staff on a
whim may prove to be problematic down the road if
business slows down.
+ Time is Not On Your Side
Reports suggest lawyers spend up to six hours a day doing non-billable
work. The whole point of outsourcing is to leverage your time. Imagine
how much time you could recapture if you outsourced just one thing.
+ What Should You Outsource?
For solo &small firm lawyers, some of the best
outsourcing available is for tasks that:
eat up a lot of your time
are critical to your practice’s success
are irritating enough that they do not get the
+ In 2019, nearly everything can be outsourced.
So, where should you start? With an assessment.
+ Advantages of Outsourcing
It saves on time
It saves on costs
May increase profitability
Access to specific resources and skills
Increased focus on practicing law
Increase in efficiency of
+ Disadvantages of Outsourcing
Breach of confidential information can occur
when third parties access a law firm’s
network and digital properties
Signing contracts between two parties
require legal review, which
shouldn’t be as big of an
issue in the legal industry as
it is in other industries
+ Deciding WHAT to Outsource
There’s no sense in contracting out your strengths. Instead,
when deciding what to outsource, consider the following
+ 1. What You Struggle With
Decide whether to outsource based on two
Can you hire an internal team member for less
than the cost of an agency fee?
If so, do you know someone who’d do at least as
good of a job as the prospective partner?
If you can’t answer “yes” to both questions, then
outsource it. Spending the time to recruit for a
role you can barely afford isn’t a bright bet.
+ 2. Expertise You Don’t Have
Just as in the cases you handle, your law firm
likely won’t have the budget to hire a full time
engineering expert, but it might be able to retain
an experienced individual as an outside advisor.
Think of outsourcing as you think about hiring
experts in your cases.
+ 3. Mundane Tasks
Be sure neither you nor your best workers
are spending time on tasks that don’t fit their
skillset or level of expertise.
Automate what you can, and outsource the
+ 4. Creative Work
While you may want to DIY, amateur design
doesn’t get the results you want.
It might cost you
more, but you get
what you pay for,
so pay a specialist.
+ Ethical Considerations When Outsourcing
It is important to work with a marketing firm well-versed in
the legal industry because of the unique market and ethical
considerations involved in lawyer advertising.
+ Don’t Be a Rule Breaker
Attorneys have legal and ethical rules they must follow. If
you hire someone who doesn’t know those rules and ethical
boundaries, it can get you into big trouble!
+ Pay Close Attention to Your Website
When hiring a marketing professional to build
your website, make sure to be closely involved
in strategy and choosing content.
Write your own copy or at least edit the
vendor’s copy to avoid violating Model Rules
7.1, 7.4, and 7.5, which involve communications
about you or
by your firm.
+ … But Maybe Outsource Your
Content marketing generally does not fall
under attorney advertising rules because
what content marketing
really does is convey useful
information to the public,
not solicit business.
Make sure you explain to
anyone helping you exactly
what would cross the line into advertising.
+ Ready to Work With An Outsourced Vendor?
Once you’re ready get started, vendors will need access to a
variety of your firm’s digital assets.
+ What a Marketing Vendor Will Need
to Get Started
Domain name hosting provider (GoDaddy, Network Solutions,
Website (administrator level access)
Logo files (NOT just a .jpeg or .png file... preferably an .ai,
.eps, or .psd file)
Social media channels (login credentials for Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Instagram, and more)
Google Suite (Google My Business, Google Analytics, Google
Tag Manager, Google Search Console, YouTube)
High resolution photos of the attorneys
Part II: Which Vendors Matter For
Marketing and What They Do
+ Marketing is Here To Stay
Today, very few of the top producing law firms
rely on just “word-of-mouth marketing” or
Firms have either made the commitment to
assemble an in-house team, or they work with
an established legal marketing firm to
implement a strategic plan.
+ Which Law Firm Vendors Are Important to Marketing?
That will depend on what functions you keep in house and what
you outsource. The following are the most common outsourced
vendors that touch upon law firm marketing in a meaningful way:
+ Domain Name Registrar
Every website you visit online has a domain
name, which means that every website owner
went through the process of buying and
registering that domain name. It’s one of the
first necessary steps
involved in starting a new
A domain name registrar is
a company that sells Internet
domain names and manages
+ Website Host
Web hosting is the place where all the files of your
Web hosting is a necessity for any
website — it is the physical location
of your website on the Internet, an
online storage center that houses
the information, images, video,
and other content that comprises
Web hosting service providers maintain the
server where the data associated with your website
resides, and also manage the technology that makes
your website connect to the Internet.
+ Website Designer
A web designer's main job is to design web pages.
There is a lot to consider in the design of websites
which may not be immediately apparent when
looking at a webpage for the first time.
A web designer is an
IT professional who is
responsible for designing
the layout, visual
appearance, and the
usability of a website.
+ Website Developer
A web developer or programmer is someone who
takes website design files created by a website
designer and turns them into a website.
A website developer is responsible for using various
components to construct a fully-functional website
that is error-free in its
+ Website Developer, cont.
There are three main types of website developers:
Front-end developers develop what a user sees when
they visit your website;
Back-end developers develop how the owner of the
website can access it and make edits;
Full stack developers do both front and back end
Full-stack developers understand both front and
back-end strategies and processes, which means
that they are perfectly positioned to oversee the
+ Campaign Managers
These people are the main points of contact, and
manage client communication.
They are responsible for the management of any
marketing campaigns for your
firm, and utilize your feedback to
optimize the campaigns.
+ Communication Mechanisms
Internally, if you have an internal intake department, how
does your phone system route calls to them? If someone
takes an intake call, who documents to whom the call was
transferred for screening and how is it documented?
“Hunt groups” can make intake calls rotate
among a preset group of extensions so that
only the right people in your firm ever have
the chance to talk to a lead.
On the outbound side, ensure your caller ID
is the business name.
Be sure to utilize online call tracking and recording.
Local versus toll free numbers versus vanity numbers.
+ Communication Mechanisms, cont.
Preprogram your answering service to ask the basic
questions anyone can ask to save you time once you take
Have them ask for name, DOB, contact information including
email, and their reason for calling. They can email this to you
contemporaneously with live patching the call.
Preprogramming your answering service is also useful for
after-hours and weekends.
+ Communication Mechanisms, cont.
Make sure you use pictures of named partners (not just
stock photos) and your firm colors so the live chat graphic
interface looks like it’s part of your site.
Ensure your service will only charge you for valid leads and
not existing clients, solicitations, etc.
The provider should also
provide you with a login into
an online portal in addition
to real time emails of live
chats so you can follow up.
+ IT Systems
What distribution lists will you use
for contact form submissions?
What email will be associated
with all of your accounts (such as
hosting and social media)?
Will you have a general info@
or contact@ email?
Will you put individual lawyer emails on your website?
Internet Service Provider
How fast or slow, uptime/downtime… everything matters for how
well things work receiving and processing leads (especially if you
have a VOIP phone).
+ IT Systems, cont.
Case Management Software/Database
Where is it hosted: cloud vs. your server vs. provider’s
What level of customization is available
Do you have intake screens?
Can you transfer intakes from person to person?
Does it handle contact
What training is offered
+ You’re the Boss
Once you outsource any function of your law practice, you
automatically become a client yourself who takes on the role
of Vendor Management.
+ Vendor Management 101
Managing multiple outsourced vendors
requires its own set of skills.
Vendor management enables a firm to
research, vet, enlist, and be serviced by
various vendors while ensuring service
It also helps you hold your
vendors accountable, and
ensures they are delivering
what they promised.
+ Don’t Delegate This Interview
Interview each outsourced vendor as if they were as
important to your business as your best paralegal because
they will likely wind up costing you more money.
+ Ask Vendors These Questions
Have you worked with law firms before?
How many attorneys have you worked with?
Do you have a law firm like mine I can contact as a
Do you offer exclusivity?
Who will be my point of contact/
managing my account?
What portion of vendor charges is a
management fee vs. the actual
What will be your reporting frequency and
+ Having the Tough Relationship
Contract Terms: Website ownership, duration, etc.
Responsibilities and expectations: Explicitly settle
on the terms of your relationship from the start to
ensure an alignment of responsibilities and
Communication and Feedback: Provide lead
feedback to help optimize your campaigns and ask for
an oral review of reporting to ensure you understand
Termination Process: Changing passwords and
+ Having the Tough Relationship
Risk Management: A key part of vendor management is
to be aware of the risks associated with third-party
vendor outsourcing, and how they should be managed
It’s important to consider the types of data accessible by the
third-party, what types of transactions they perform on your
behalf, where these activities are being carried out (and by
whom), and where the data is hosted, etc.
Determine the risk level associated with each vendor.
+ The Proof is in The Pudding
Don’t accept reporting you don’t understand or that you feel is
inadequate. A good vendor should be able to answer your
questions and provide meaningful reporting.
+ Own Your Google Assets
You can only hold an agency responsible if you
have the same level of access to the data that they
do. Insist that you are the owner of your Google
Analytics account so you don't risk losing access in
Do not allow an agency to collect data in a Google
Analytics account that
they own. Make sure that you
own your account. You can
easily provide the vendor
access to your Google
+ But Don’t Just Track: Analyze
Set regular calls and/or meetings and come prepared
with your own analysis of their reporting, your data, and
Start your marketing journey with a solid understanding
of your expectations, marketing goals, foundation, and
potential. This background and benchmark data – which
can be collected at initial meetings or via an
assessment tool – helps you
set realistic campaign goals
and allocate resources to
strategies with the highest
+ Make Sure You’re Getting The Data
Part of good reporting is providing data on metrics
that matter most to you.
These metrics should be agreed upon at the outset
of the campaign.
They need to be reported on within a set time frame
(weekly, monthly, etc.).
Metric definitions should
remain constant so a true
comparison can be made
to the baseline.
+ Track Everything
Even when using an outsourced vendor, it is ultimately up to
the firm to keep track of its marketing metrics to ensure it
meets its marketing goals.
+ Internal Reporting Metrics
Database entry and health: Is the client data entered
uniformly and accurately? Is your system bloated with
duplicates or useless information?
Intake conversion rate: Marketing vendors can report the
total number of conversions they generate,
but it’s up to you to track how many of those
leads are converted into signed clients.
Acquisition costs: How much does each signed lead
cost to acquire?
Projected case value: How much is each
signed case worth to the firm? Knowing this
informs how much you are willing to spend on acquiring
+ External Reporting Metrics
Google Analytics/Tag Manager/Search Console:
These free tools tell you how many people are
visiting your website, what content is performing
well, and if Google sees any problems with your
Search engine rankings: Know how
your website ranks in organic search
results, for what keyword phrases, and how the
rankings trend over time.
Social media key performance indicators:
Understand how your social media content performs
by tracking engagement (likes/reactions, comments,
shares, follows, etc.)