Only 3% of Law Firm’s Support Structures Unchanged Since 2022, BigHand Research Finds

BigHand is excited to announce the release of its latest research on legal support teams. BigHand has conducted annual surveys gathering responses from over 800 senior legal professionals over the last four years. This latest analysis presents a year-over-year view of the most talked about data points from previous research reports along with data gathered, but not yet released, from 2024.

 

The insightful trend analysis sheds light on trends around team structures, turnover, costs and value support staff offer within a modern-day law firm. The research provides a comprehensive look at the changes law firms are making and includes commentary from expert Dan Safran, President/CEO of Unbiased Consulting as well as BigHand’s own tenured industry experts.

 

Key findings in “Trends Analysis for Legal Support Staff Structures, Costs and Value” from BigHand include:

  • In 2024, the most popular support staff structure is 75% centralized teams and 25% direct lawyer support
  • Support staff lateral hiring remains high with 50% of firms confirming it has increased in the last 12 months
  • 54% of firms now have technology in place for delegating legal support tasks and a further 13% have plans to implement it.
  • 39% of firms expect salaries to increase by up to 10%

 

In today’s economic climate, law firms are trying to figure out how to meet client demands for more cost-effective services while maintaining excellent service. Support staff turnover is high due to lateral hiring, forced exits and retirement for senior level team members.

 

  • It’s clear that the traditional model of support staff structures has been phased out over the last few years due to client demand for more for less, and how costly it is to replace and retain staff. More firms are moving to a more centralized way of working to support hybrid environments, increase efficiencies and keep costs down.

 

Many law firms realize that without data visibility, they do not have insight into the value of their legal support teams including utilization rates and the types of tasks they are working on. With advancements in workflow technology, law firms gain visibility with data-led insights that help inform the evolution of their support teams to create more value through optimal structures and processes.

 

Gain more insight into the trends BigHand has seen in its years of gathering data on legal support team structures and workflows by accessing the full analysis here. 

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