Lawyering Up: MSPs Find Growth Among Small Legal Firms

Lawyering Up: MSPs Find Growth Among Small Legal Firms

Computer crimeLaw firms have been emerging as a managed services vertical. The latest example involves Total Attorneys, a Chicago-based MSP that focuses on small law firms and solo practitioners. The MSP plans to create 100 new positions by year’s end. Here's the story so far.

Recent hires include David Dahl, a former Orbitz executive, who now serves as chief technology officer. He’s in charge of Total Attorney’s project management organization, software development group, and IT/hosting. The company is also hiring a range of personnel including software developers, paralegals, and marketing staff.

Total Attorneys employs a SaaS approach to offer small law firms such services as legal process outsourcing, search engine marketing, call center, answering services and customer relationship management.

Ed Scanlan, chief executive officer of Total Attorneys, attributed the company’s business growth to a push for greater efficiency among law firms.

“The economy being down has given everyone a chance to look at how they are operating their business,” he said.

Scanlan said his company takes on marketing functions and administrative chores that are not strategically important to exist within a law office. In hiring an MSP, law firms can focus on devising legal strategies for clients rather than how to bid key words on Google, he explained.

Total Attorneys’ pricing and contract model has also encouraged business growth, according to Scanlan. The company doesn’t ask for upfront fees or hold customers to long-term contracts. Customers are billed monthly for the services they use.

“Our barrier to entry with these firms is low,” Scanlan said.

Total Attorneys, founded in 2002, says it has more than 1,100 law firm customers nationwide. Most of the company’s resources are based in Chicago, with a small footprint in India, Scanlan noted.

Total Attorneys’ aim to ease the marketing/administrative burden and utility-like pricing appears to have won over small law practices. Other MSPs have focused on hosted e-mail or virtualized solutions for e-discovery. Law firms are looking for an efficiency edge in a recession and MSPs may be in a position to help.

Contributing blogger John Moore covers Master MSPs, Web hosts and emerging opportunities. Follow MSPmentor via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; and Twitter. And sign up for our Enewsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center.

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