What Can Appearance Counsel Do for Your Firm?

by Jana
Oct 19, 2021
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One of the most pressing problems for legal firms today is finding enough experienced talent to maximize their productivity. After all, without enough experts to fulfill current obligations, how can you even begin to think about expanding your legal practice to capture new business?   

In order to begin scaling up, you must tackle some of the challenges that result from a thin workforce. With stretched — and stressed — staff, it’s easy to get derailed from important projects when immediate needs for court appearances pop up. Hiring a contract attorney to make a court appearance is the smartest step you can take to create more capacity for your firm.  

What is Appearance Counsel, and How Can It Help Your Firm?

Appearance lawyers are legal professionals — experienced court professionals from a variety of legal fields. Also known as appearance counsel or court appearance professionals, appearance attorneys perform different functions than other contract attorneys.

Appearance attorneys appear in court on behalf of a client’s primary attorney (absent the client’s presence). They may make an appearance to provide pertinent documents, reschedule hearings, and update the judge on the status of a particular case. Depending on their experience, appearance attorneys can also attend various motions, mediations, trials, or settle the case per client instructions. Appearance counsel can be used for collections hearings, bankruptcy, and even family law proceedings. Following a hearing, the appearance attorney submits a detailed summary of the outcome of the appearance.

These attorneys prefer short-term assignments and are usually part of a larger service provider company. While contract appearance attorneys have been helping firms for decades, now, they have a new way to do so. Today, cloud-based platforms provide streamlined access for firms to swiftly locate and hire appearance counsel in their local jurisdiction.

Outsourcing in the legal industry is not new. In fact, it is already a common practice, with $6.2 billion spent annually on outsourcing providers. This market is projected to reach $35.9 billion by 2025. Outsourcing appearance counsel is an effective and efficient way to perform required tasks while enabling you to dedicate valuable time to other pressing matters — like growing your firm.

The Benefits of Hiring Appearance Counsel

Routine tasks like appearing in court with required documentation can be intensely tedious and time-consuming, especially if you must travel to a jurisdiction several hours—or even states — away. Here are some compelling reasons to consider hiring appearance counsel.

Find the most convenient solution
The most obvious reason why you may want to hire an appearance counsel or collection attorney for your firm is that you don’t have time to make a required appearance yourself. Therefore, you need to find a local professional who can quickly learn about your case and cover your court appearance with very little notice. Working with an appearance counsel platform backed up by robust technology enables you to get help whenever and wherever you need it.

Tap into local expertise
Every jurisdiction is different. Hiring an appearance counsel who is familiar with the local court system ensures that their appearance is effective. The court appearance attorney will better be able to respond to the needs of your client rather than expend excess energy navigating courthouse protocol.

Save Time and Be More Productive
Keep your best minds working on the tasks that need critical thinking. When you choose an external platform provider of legal services, you gain flexibility in allocating your full-time staff. Your experienced attorneys will not waste valuable intellectual capital on a task that could be automated.

Outsourcing appearance counsel is also very helpful for firms that cannot slow down long enough to find and onboard new professionals. Considering this benefit, it’s no surprise why 48 percent of law firms use contract attorneys, with 62.1 percent reporting that making this move resulted in significant firm performance improvement.

Save Money and Enhance Your Bottom Line
Many law firms have come to realize that hiring appearance counsel adds to their bottom line. By assigning routine tasks to a contract attorney, firms can increase their billable hours by utilizing full-time staff to increase earnings. This allows full-time staff to focus on the core services of the firm while contract attorneys deal with the time-consuming tasks involving court appearances.

Hiring an Appearance Counsel Made Easier

Outsourcing appearance counsel helps you get the job done without taxing your best talent with rote appearances or incurring the expense of hiring new full-time staff. Hiring an appearance attorney through a vendor takes this step to an entire new level.

Appearance counsel providers help you access the best talent in a tight time frame, yet not all hiring solutions are equal. Some appearance attorney platforms promise the world but don’t take time to qualify attorneys or follow up with detailed communication and timely reporting. By working with a platform like Docketly committed to managing the entire process and only offering high-quality court appearance attorneys, your firm can realize the benefits of hiring an appearance counsel on contract.

Our team takes the time to make sure appearance attorneys are FDCPA trained, experienced, and held to a high-performance standard. With Docketly managing the entire hiring process from start to finish, firms can direct staff expertise to higher order tasks, thereby making significant efficiency gains.

Using a vendor with a custom-built platform like Docketly provides firms with transparency on many levels—detailed information about each attorney is readily available through our website. A secure website provides real-time information from a user-friendly dashboard. Here, firms easily upload files, post hearings, and access reports that are consistently formatted (eliminating the need for a paper chase just to find essential details). It’s the best of both worlds —a robust technology solution that can automate processes backed by an extensive support team providing personalized service with a human touch.

Schedule a demo with us to see how we can help your law firm access the best-in-class appearance attorneys today.

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