BAU, Bodywork Leasing, White Label: WTF? (An abbreviated glossary for legal outsourcing)
There are many acronyms, terms, and expressions that are casually used in the everyday parlance of legal outsourcing that you may not be so familiar with. As our industry becomes more determined to find ways to size work, harness technology and talent as needed, improve service delivery, increase margins, grow and scale. reduce flexibility and offer greater harmony between work and private life to attract and retain the best talent. and improving diversity, outsourcing can help your legal business achieve all of the above. Here are some terms that can help get you into the legal outsourcing conversation.
BAU: Business as usual. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it should be that BAU is an illusion. The world around us is moving faster than us, and it’s full of surprises. However, in outsourcing parlance, BAU refers to common tasks and types of work such as routine transactions that are often kept in-house but can be outsourced to ALSPs (as well as to law firms). lawyers who manage the ALSPs as a service to their clients).
Bodywork rental: A term commonly used in IT outsourcing, bodily leasing is the outsourcing of individual experts as opposed to entire teams. (But seriously, folks, can we please not use that term? It’s blatant!)
BPI: Improvement of business processes. Expect to see more technology apps designed to improve business processes (for example, marketing automation tools, collaboration platforms, and workflow management software) appear on the market every day.
BPO: Subcontracting. This includes front and back office functions such as accounting, invoicing, copying, mail, payroll, receiving, sales and others that support business operations. The business of law is business, after all. Many law firms and legal departments of all sizes can benefit from BPO (many already do and have been on the BPO bandwagon for years).
Digital work: Think: robotic process automation.
KPO: Outsourcing of knowledge processes. Seen as a subset of BPO, KPO focuses on specialized research and development, data management and analysis, reporting and performance management.
LPO: Outsourcing of legal processes. Legal support services such as patent services, document review, electronic discovery, corporate compliance, non-substantive court appearances and legal drafting.
Just for the game: A supplier who focuses on providing a specific product or service. Many ALSPs started out as pure LPOs and then gradually expanded their range of offerings over time, for example: expanding to KPO.
SLA: Service level agreement. SLAs define the specifics of the services to be provided by the service provider, including the type, quality and terms of the relationship.
White mark: The final supplier of a product or service affixes its mark and its quality assurance on a product or service provided by another party.
Yvonne Nath is CEO of ALSP advisor and a law firm strategy consultant with RightVision.