What is it?
Alternative Service Providers (ASPs) are legal services businesses that can provide one or more services that law firms would traditionally offer, but often at a lower cost or with other advantages, including increased expertise, flexibility, and speed.
Because they do not have to fit into the structure and hierarchy of a typical law firm environment, ASPs may be free to alter their business practices to increase efficiency using technology or other innovative practices. In fact, it’s really this outside-the-box approach to common tasks and the willingness to adapt to such practices as off-shore outsourcing, web-based services, and IT automation that has characterized alternative legal service providers.
ASPs are used by both corporations and law firms alike.
The most common tasks of ASPs are:
– Litigation and investigation support;
– Legal research;
– Document Review;
– eDiscovery; and
– Regulatory risk and compliance
– Contract review
Why is it important?
ASPs are redefining the modern legal industry and can be a source of efficiency and cost savings for both in-house legal departments and law firms alike.
ASPs increase flexibility for their clients by managing tasks on their behalf, allowing them to focus on other tasks and goals. ASPs can become strategic partners for their clients by offering services that would be too costly or impractical to execute internally. ASPs are often specialists who handle particular tasks with expertise, although many offer a variety of services. ASPs often incorporate state-of-the-art technology (third party or proprietary) that adds additional value for the client.
What to look for in an ASP?
When selecting an ASP, look for a company that aligns with your culture and goals. Look for a partner that will be responsive to your needs but encourages you to seek innovations yielding efficiencies. A best practice when looking for an ASP to conduct a short form RFP with at least 3 potential providers to gauge their pricing, strategy & fit with the LD’s goals.