How Firms are Evolving Support Staff Structures

Video Transcript 

BigHand surveyed over 800 Law Firm leaders on how they are adjusting to new market dynamics and economic downturn.

The data reveals that 93% of firms have evolved their support structure since 2021 in direct response to changes in client demand, hybrid working policies and continued support staff attrition. While most firms recognize the need to evolve their support structure, BigHand's research confirms that there's not a one size fits all approach. Less than 1% of firms now have a traditional direct lawyer support model where each partner and associate have their own secretary with no centralized support team. 27% of firms now have 30% of their support staff in centralized or specialist teams taking on tasks such as document production, or reprographics. These firms still retain a 70% direct loyal to support model, but may have started to oppose secretaries between associates.

The most popular approach sees firms implementing an even split of centralized versus direct support. In this model, centralized support teams make room to include tasks such as archiving and billing, Secretary to associate and partner ratios may be further reduced, but each partner is likely to retain a primary secretary. 15% of firms have a 75% centralized support model, this approach might include the removal of direct support for associates and the introduction of a lawyer Resource Center.

Our data shows that there are multiple ways to structure your support model. The challenge, however, is to determine the optimal shape for your firm.

To learn more about how law firms are evolving their support structures and what management teams need to consider in their approach, read our market research report, evolving support structure best practice now and in the future.

About BigHand Workflow Management

To provide the best client service while supporting your bottom line, it’s vital to ensure your teams are working efficiently and smartly. Ineffective and outdated methods of delegating tasks makes it easy for things to be overlooked, means your workforce isn’t properly optimised, your tasks aren’t being delivered on time, and your bottom line is suffering as a result. BigHand Workflow Management is a task management solution that lets you turn your tasks into fully auditable, digital workflow entries. You can create tasks from voice, email, electronic or paper-based requests – from document production requests to reprographics and travel bookings.

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