The word temporary can sometimes give the wrong impression. You might think of someone with purely admin duties, or equate it with staff that is merely passing through. The truth is, those employed as temporary legal staff have the same expertise as permanent staff, and many are hoping to land a lasting position. So, in many cases, the only real difference is that they do not yet have permanent employment.
While it is true that some legal professionals prefer short-term contracts in order to avoid a long-term commitment, it is my experience that most use temporary jobs as a way to assess firms before making a more permanent choice. Temp-to-perm positions are popular on both sides of the employment stage, because both employer and potential employee get a chance to do a real-world evaluation. This leads to higher retention rates if they are eventually hired permanently because they already know that they fit in well with the existing staff and work environment. For those already certain about where they want to build a career, long-term contracts or even get direct hires are possible through temporary staffing agencies.
While expertise and duties are similar between temporary and permanent legal staff, you may find a few other more subtle differences. When the economy is thriving, temporaries may be younger and slightly less experienced. In today’s environment, however, more than new grads are flooding the market. Many legal professionals with advanced degrees and substantial experience find themselves looking for temporary jobs as a reentry point for their careers.
Honestly, the biggest difference between temporary staff and permanent staff is the hiring process and the associated cost. Temporary agencies do all the recruiting work and save legal firms the cost of adding employees. That’s a great benefit when you’re unsure about whether your business can support another full-time employee in the long run.
Temporary legal staff comes with various degrees and specialties, just like any other employee. They can fill the role or legal assistant, paralegal, billing/accounting manager, or firm administrator. Our pre-employment screening process ensures that you find not just someone passing through, but someone who can really play a vital role in your firm…no matter how long you need them for.