Writing immigration briefs can be as laborious and time consuming as it is important. It’s a task that requires background research, careful drafting, and even more careful fact-checking and proofreading. Outsourcing the job of writing your immigration briefs to someone with more experience in legal writing, more agility with legal database research, or simply more time, can be an incredibly effective time-saver.
That’s what this article is about - getting help with and outsourcing immigration brief writing. First we’ll go through the benefits of outsourcing in general, and then we’ll share some ideas of how you can specifically outsource brief writing for your immigration firm.
Let’s jump in.
Five benefits of outsourcing legal writing
Outsourcing in the legal space is growing in popularity as law firms are quickly catching up to other industries that have been outsourcing for many decades. Today, we’re seeing more and more outsourced services for lawyers, including digital transcription services, virtual receptionists, and even paralegal services.
Indeed, the idea of outsourcing beyond administrative tasks is also gaining traction, including court appearances and legal writing, our topic for this article.
In general, outsourcing can:
- Help you offer competitive rates to your clients. Outsourcing tasks, including brief writing, to a contractor is more affordable than hiring an additional employee, especially if your volume of clients may not justify a new hire. Thus, outsourcing brief writing keeps your costs, which you can then pass on to your clients by way of more competitive rates, attracting even more clients as a result.
- Keep your practice flexible and sustainable. You may not always be financially able to hire an employee or keep an employee on staff, especially during down times. Outsourcing to a skilled legal brief writer allows you to keep the lights on and sustain your practice more easily regardless of what’s happening in your life or the broader economy that may impact your firm.
- Help you maintain focus on specific areas of your business, especially if you’re in the growth or client acquisition phase and need to allocate more time to business development than handling every aspect of your cases.
- Offer a high standard of representation. If one of your cases goes to court, whether the BIA, a Court of Appeals, etc., and you have never dealt with that before, it makes sense to work with a more experienced brief writer that has had success in immigration court, which is different to the “regular” court system. Hiring an experienced brief writer, especially if they’re an immigration lawyer, would help provide the best representation possible and would enrich your knowledge with the expertise of the other lawyer for more cases in the future.
- Foster the work-life balance you want: If you went solo after working for a bigger law firm that had seemingly unlimited resources, including on-staff brief writers, you may get burnt out from the writing aspect of immigration work. Outsourcing this task can help you manage your work hours more effectively and avoid overworking.
Whatever your reason for wanting to outsource, defaulting to outsourcing whenever you have a case going to court or require writing a briefing may be your go-to solution. Let’s go through some of the best ways to outsource this kind of work.
How to outsource legal writing work:
Some of the suggestions in this section are applicable to outsourcing in general, so we won’t spend too much time on them. However, there is a growing field of legal tech platforms specifically focused on outsourcing that we want to highlight here, as they may be great places to find a lawyer or other professional to work with on writing immigration briefs:
- Referrals through your personal network: Your personal network, including former law classmates, colleagues, acquaintances from professional events, lawyers you’ve connected with through social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook Groups, etc. Sometimes we forget that simply asking those around us for guidance or support can be the best way to get what we need!
- AILA and other bar association networks: The American Immigration Lawyers Association, and most state bar associations, will have a job board where both lawyers and other legal professionals looking for work and those looking for help can post and connect.
- Search online on gig economy sites, like Upwork or Freelancer, talk to prospective immigration brief writers and try them out. You may want to ask for a sample of a previous brief to be included with each application for you to review in the vetting process.
- Online platforms oriented to outsourcing legal work: platforms such as Lawclerk, Attorneyatwork, and Hire an Esquire exist for the purpose of helping lawyers outsource work. All point out the speed at which the concept of outsourcing work is taking hold among lawyers, and the growth projections for the field in upcoming years. Unlike a general gig economy site, all the professionals you’ll find in these sites are in the legal industry, which helps you narrow your search from the start.
One very important reminder before outsourcing legal writing is to check your state bar’s rules on disclosure of hiring contract lawyers. Some states require you to disclose, while others don’t, so be sure of that before outsourcing your immigration brief writing. Remember that you’re always responsible to ensure you’re in compliance with ethics rules and regulations in your state.
Manage your immigration law firm with Docketwise
Our main goal at Docketwise is to help immigration lawyers do what they do best - focus on doing great work for their clients while knowing that the rest of their practice is streamlined, automated and digitized.
Docketwise can help you streamline and digitize your practice so that you can spend more of your time applying your legal knowledge to achieve the most positive outcome possible for your clients. Should you need to outsource a court appearance, you can easily add your contract lawyer to your Docketwise account to collaborate with them, give them access to what they need, and remove them, as needed, when the court appearance is over. Docketwise makes document and information sharing seamless and helps you keep your clients’ information secure.
If you want to learn more about how Docketwise can help you streamline your practice — from client questionnaires to form-filling to case management and more — schedule a demo to talk to one of our team members.
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