What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Your Legal Transcription?

Benefits of outsourcing legal transcription and typing for law firms and law practices blog post image shows a computer with a contract legal agreement and a person sat typing and someone signing

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Your Legal Transcription?

It is fair to say that law firms have started to move with the times and are adapting and embracing different ways of working.  This includes outsourcing work to businesses that support law firms such as IT, accounting, marketing, and legal transcription firms.  Outsourcing these key process-based functions has allowed law firms to concentrate on what they do best; practice law.

When we think of outsourcing work, we often only think about the savings that will be achieved by getting the work done at a lower cost.  However, most law firms overlook the fact they benefit from a wealth of other factors in addition.

So, what are the benefits of outsourcing legal dictation for today’s law firms?

1. Helps You Increase Productivity

Legal practices, for instance, who believe that having fee earners type their own documents, are waking up to the fact that they are losing out on chargeable time as a result.  It is common practice that fee earners in this modern technological age, spend a considerable amount of time typing; more than they do practising law.

Why is Dictation More Efficient than Typing?

The simple fact is that we can all speak considerably faster than we can physically type, as demonstrated by these stats:

“The average person types between 38 and 40 words per minute”.

A “good rate of speech ranges between 140 -160 words per minute.

This means that dictation is four times faster than we can type. Therefore, simply dictating a document is more cost-efficient, giving fee earners more time to increase those all-important chargeable hours.

Did you know that a Grade A Solicitor (at £409 per hour) who spends two hours typing their own documents/emails could lose their firm up to £570.30 in chargeable time (as opposed to dictating and using OutSec)? A Grade D lawyer (at £138 per hour) could lose their firm up to £163.80.

Furthermore, a recent survey for “The Lawyer” suggested that “42% of solicitors said ‘their lack of Microsoft Word skills delayed responses to clients’.”

David Lee, IT Director at Womble Bond Dickinson said in the same report:

If you have a lawyer typing their own documents, taking longer than necessary, due to an insufficient understanding of the Word environment, it will naturally take longer to produce and therefore delay the time it takes to respond to the client. This can be unhelpful and isn’t the best use of the lawyer’s time.

Theodora Ahilas from Maurice Blackburn came to a similar conclusion:

“We time cost our work. It is much more efficient for clients that I spend 15 minutes of that hour dictating it and it gets typed by someone else, rather than spending an hour and a half typing it up and then I’ve used their quota or the amount of time allocated for the particular task.”

How Can I Calculate How Much I Could Gain by Dictation?

Why not download our cost calculator here. All you need to do is:

  • Firstly, add your chargeable hour rate; and
  • Secondly, add how many minutes you spend typing your own documents.

The cost calculator will show you how much money you could gain annually from dictating, as opposed to typing.  The cost savings are net (i.e. after deducting OutSec’s costs for transcription at our standard rate).

We think you will be surprised by the results.  So why not give it a go and increase your law firm’s productivity?

2. Gives You Access to Highly Experienced Legal Transcriptionists When You Need them

At OutSec we believe in having highly experienced legal transcriptionists. Every member of OutSec’s legal transcriptionist team has had over 10 years’ experience in the legal sector.

Many of OutSec’s transcription team have qualifications such as:

  • CILEx; or
  • London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Legal Secretary certification.

With their legal experience, they truly understand the importance of client confidentiality and accuracy in their work.

This makes OutSec’s legal team, one of the best in the industry and they are available to you and your law firm, at the touch of a button.

Are you:

  • having issues recruiting a legal secretary in your area?
  • struggling to find a legal transcriptionist with the right experience?
  • struggling with a backlog of work?

Then why not use OutSec?  You can have an experienced legal transcriptionist available to you and your firm at the touch of a button!

3. Reduces Costs

When you employ staff you must pay: monthly salaries, PAYE costs, National Insurance contributions, offer a pension scheme and pay a certain percentage of tax per employee.

You also have other fixed costs such as desk space and office costs per employee, and the costs of infrastructure like computers, telephones, workspaces etc.

Unproductive Time

What most employers forget is the indirect costs of employment such as “unproductive” time.  Recent research suggests that:

“In an eight-hour day, the average worker is only productive for two hours 53 minutes”.

Clearly, by outsourcing your legal transcription needs, you eliminate any unproductive time.  By using OutSec, you pay per minute of recorded dictation (rounded up to the nearest minute) which means you are not paying for any unproductive time.

Reduces Expensive Office Space

Obviously, by outsourcing your legal transcription needs, you can reduce the amount of office space you need.

According to Business Matters Magazine: “The average cost to rent an office space per person, per month is between £650 and £1,500” in London.

This means that the cost of desk space in London is therefore somewhere between £7,800 to £18,000 per annum.

Just on this cost alone you could approximately have somewhere between 6,500 and 15,000 minutes of dictation typed up by OutSec instead!

Reduces HR Costs

Hiring, training and supervising your firm’s secretarial staff can require an investment of solicitors’/practice managers’ time.  There are costs involved in advertising for qualified legal transcriptionists.  By outsourcing, you never have to worry about any of these HR-related costs.

Sickness Absence

According to the National Office of Statistics, an “estimated 141.4 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK in 2018, the equivalent to 4.4 days per worker“.  The most common reasons for sicknesses were:

  • Minor illnesses;
  • Mental health conditions;
  • Musculoskeletal problems.

Holiday Pay

Whilst statutory paid holiday entitlement in the UK is 28 paid holiday days, most employers in the UK give considerably more holidays to their employees.

Indeed, “the average UK holiday entitlement including public holidays is 33.5 days – that’s more than a week above the statutory minimum”.

Clearly, by outsourcing your legal transcription needs, you eliminate this cost to your firm.

Changes a Fixed Cost into a Flexible Cost

Many law firms recognise that replacing a static fixed cost with a flexible skilled outsourced provider has many positives.  If your typing requirements are low, then the costs are low. This also enables upscaling support as the firm grows or in times when workloads are high.

Consequently, OutSec can offer support by either acting as a complete, secure, outsourced solution or as an overflow, allowing your law firm to keep up with the demands of your business.

4. Business Continuity Planning

In 2020, businesses around the world had their business continuity plans truly put to the test, as Covid-19 swept the globe.

Whilst some businesses were forced to close their doors when lockdowns came into effect, OutSec continued to operate as normal.

OutSec continued to be able to support our clients and those that needed our help, during this difficult time.  As one of our clients stated:

“We are so glad that we have you as it certainly makes it less stressful not having to worry about getting typing completed.  I know some firms are really struggling if staff cannot get in”.

Using OutSec affords your legal practice a business continuity solution to enable your law firm to access experienced legal typing support that expands (or contracts) with your firm’s specific needs. You can also use OutSec for upscaling support as the firm grows, without the need for employing additional typing staff (or indeed, any of the employment costs or risks thereof).

5. Eliminate the Need for Temporary Staff

As any Practice Manager or Senior Partner knows, the need for temporary legal transcriptionists or secretaries can easily fluctuate over time.  We know that staff are likely to take the majority of their holiday entitlement in the summer months. Unfortunately, it is harder for a law firm to predict unexpected illnesses. We can, of course, predict that in the winter months someone may come to work with a cold (and in a matter of days, everyone has come down with it!). This is especially true for those who work in open-plan offices. Environmental factors such as snow, or other extreme weather events, can also result in staff being unable to make it into the office.

By using OutSec, you can access a legal typist in times of absence, whether it is through illness or extreme weather, reducing the need of using expensive temporary staff to bridge the gap at a cheaper cost.

Does Outsourcing Benefit All Types of Law Firms?

The simple answer is yes. Outsourcing some (or all) of your legal transcription benefits practices of all shapes and sizes.

It is the perfect solution for sole practitioners and small practices, who need typing assistance on a pay-as-you-go basis.  Our legal transcription service provides a cheaper alternative to employment (and its associated costs).

Practices find using OutSec the ideal solution to provide additional support when demand is high.  As a result, there is no longer the need to employ temporary staff for holiday or illness cover.

Medium to large firms, for example, use OutSec to:

  • Reduce secretarial staff (completely or partially). As a consequence, this reduces the need for expensive office space;
  • Provide an effective solution to enable your fee-earning staff to work remotely. (Or to enable you to offer attractive flexible working). Thus providing further opportunities to reduce expensive office space or increase your fee earner headcount;
  • Provide additional support to meet demand at times of high workloads. The beauty of OutSec is that it can flex to meet your business demands, quickly and easily;
  • Provide a business continuity solution to enable law firms to access secretarial staff in times of absence.  Or for upscaling support as the firm grows without the need for employing additional staff.

What Makes OutSec Different to Other Transcription Companies?

At OutSec we believe in having dedicated legal transcriptionists. Consequently, for each fee earner, we would allocate two experienced legal secretaries to carry out their work.

This makes our offering unique from other transcription companies in the market, where work is often farmed out randomly to huge banks of typists (some of which have never worked in the legal profession). This allows your dedicated typists to build a bond, in the same way as an in-house secretary would.

With OutSec there is no minimum spend. Accounts are free to open. There are no monthly fees or hidden charges. You are charged on a per-minute basis (rounded up to the nearest minute).

About OutSec the UK’s Leading Online Transcription Company

OutSec is the UK’s leading online transcription company whose business has grown substantially since 2002. We are one of the most successful transcription companies in the United Kingdom.

OutSec are both ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials certified.

If information, data security and confidentiality are important to you, do not just cross your fingers when outsourcing your legal dictation to meet your transcription needs.

Therefore, if you are agreeing a contract that deals with sensitive data, demand ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials compliance.  They are more than logos! These information security standards set the bar high.  It takes constant review, challenge and action to receive and retain them. They therefore also provide assurances that OutSec is indeed GDPR compliant.

Why not open an account today. What do you have to lose?

Why not visit our Legal Division’s web page here. Alternatively, you can contact Mark Hope on 0208 123 3422 (direct dial).


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