Legal markets around the globe are following the trend of using freelancers.
When pondering the future and “innovation," the image that comes to mind is a world controlled by robots, and run by machines that can answer the needs of mankind. But innovation is also the ability to think out of the box, and improve our quality of life with what seem to be small but meaningful changes.
Part of innovative thinking is changing our working culture, becoming more and more productive while trying to save time, energy and resources – shifting what is salvaged to our other needs - health, hobbies and family. One way to do so is by smart resourcing, a management method, implemented in the last few decades, allowing increased efficiency along with cost saving.
In May 2014, the Israeli parliament established a lobby dedicated to self-employed individuals within the market, aspiring to empower them as a significant and growing sector. One out of every ten workers in the Israeli market is independent, and the main concern of these workers, is their ability to earn a satisfactory income working independently.
A main sector which is saturated with freelancers is the Israeli legal market. Israel boasts the highest per capita ratio of lawyers, with one attorney for every 148 civilians – a not so happy fact if you are an attorney.
Though some steps have been taken by the Israeli Bar Association and the Ministry of Justice in order to reduce the number of attorneys, newly certified attorneys continue to join this saturated and competitive market annually.
This trend threatens talented veteran attorneys, some of whom uphold rich resumes with impressive legal experience.
Law firms, who wish to enlarge their activity without adding permanent manpower, are starting to dip into this pool of talent more and more often, maintaining the high standard of their legal work. This includes not only Israeli attorneys, but more importantly – foreign and dual qualified attorneys that are often struggling with finding job opportunities due to cultural and lingual barriers.
While entire innovative industries such as the film-making one for example, are run completely by freelancers, it seems like legal markets around the globe are following this trend in a fashionable delay, probably due to its conservative nature.
It’s important to emphasize that it’s not an Israeli ‘patent’ but a well-known phenomenon around the world. Both "Axiom" (in the US legal market) and "Lawyers on Demand" (in the UK legal market) succeeded to 'educate' the legal market to rely on the great help of freelancers. The two firms nowadays uphold impressive pools including thousands of attorneys.
Due to technological developments and the growing need for saving costs, it seems like every company that aspires to be innovative should adopt this modus operandi as well.
The benefits of outsourcing work to freelancers make sense both on a financial level and a practical level.
Legal resourcing allows regulating the conflicting pressures: the constant growth of the number of attorneys and the hyper-saturated market, allowing selective picking of manpower for specific assignments.
And it’s important to emphasize that the legal resourcing is a perfect match to the startup community in Israel, being often called as the ‘Startup Nation’ – providing fast and high-quality legal assistance to startups and entrepreneurs that can not afford in their current status such services. From the high tech perspective – legal resourcing allows getting a panoramic legal aid, providing vast legal opinions from various expertise.
The use of freelancers is a trend on the rise that will continue to expand alongside technological innovation as part of humanity's progress, and nobody, it seems, will want to be left behind.
Ms. Shira Reich is the Business Development Manager of LawFlex – Israel's first legal resourcing venture. LawFlex is a member of IATI (Israel Advanced Technology Industries).
This was also published in The Jerusalem Post.