Big Hand Report 4 of 5

Evolving Support Structure Best Practices Now and in the Future

As more law firms seek improved utilization of resources without disrupting client delivery, the models are evolving.  As Big Hand’s recent “Evolving Support Structure Best Practices Now and in the Future” Report Four details, 39% of firms will be increasing lawyer to legal secretary ratios.  This increase has given rise to ARC’s (Administrative Resource Centers), which move repetitive, non-client tasks to centralized resource hubs where this work can be accomplished and intentionally made more efficient.


A key to  these efficiencies is  streamlining workflow and establishing new processes which allow for automation.  Many law firms embraced these principles in building support teams, but often lack the metrics to drive true utilization without the help of outsourced partners like Integreon, who focus solely on operational workflow efficiencies.  Additionally, resource flexibility is very difficult to achieve at many firms.


Direct support between lawyers and support functions has grown significantly during and since COVID.  40-65% of task received by Integreon legal support services come from Associates and Partners without intervention from other support team members.  Streamlining this support through task driven inputs results in clear instructions, direct issue resolution and preference considerations which achieves ongoing successes.


The skill building needed to increase utilization of support teams is critical, as outlined in BigHand’s findings.  This factor is more critical now than ever with Generative AI, Copilot and Prompt Engineering being skills required to navigate these eventually pervasive tools.  Committing to foster these skill enhancements is costly and difficult to execute being that the technology is rapidly changing and the use cases for such skills increase daily.


Ultimately, the approaches firms take to achieve ideal support staff utilization are to be recognized and applauded.  Each step builds stronger firms.  As BigHand’s report points out, the process of centralizing and balancing support teams can be accelerated even further by combining  workflow technology and expert resourcing, tech enablement and workflows from Integreon to achieve even faster results.


Murray Joslin

Executive Vice President, Creative & Business Solutions