Outsourcing Small Jobs and Grunt Work

Steve Anderson a LinkedIn “influencer” posted a quick piece yesterday on “outsourcing small jobs and grunt work.” He listed writing, research, and data entry, among others, as jobs that can be outsourced in order to “augment your staff and free them up for more important work of interacting and building relationships with your existing customers.”

While Steve’s background is in insurance, his suggestions are no less applicable to the legal industry. Not long ago, I heard Washington State Bar Association Executive Director, Paula Littlewood, distill what lawyers do into four categories. She then told the more than one-hundred lawyers in the room that they should focus on only two of the activities and stop doing the other two:

She illustrated the four activities in this simple grid:

Paula stated that lawyers should cede the “low-touch” activities of process and content, effectively the “small jobs and grunt work,” to technological or outsourced resources that can do them much more efficiently (such as LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, or a legal process outsourcer (LPO)). I’ve documented others‘ suggestions that lawyers of the future must focus on the skills in the top two quadrants. Further, in line with Steve’s comment about freeing up your staff to focus on building relationships, I’ve also discussed how utilizing those top quadrant skills would be a better use of lawyers’ abilities.  However, Steve’s recent and succinct post about what to outsource and even how to begin provides practical implementation of Paula’s grid in a way I hadn’t quite considered.
What small jobs and grunt work do you do as a lawyer that can be outsourced so that you can focus on the important work of advocacy, counseling, and building relationships?

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