What Is an Alternative Legal Services Provider?

Robert LilesCybersecurity and Vulnerabilities

Without question, technology is changing the way we do business and engage services. The legal industry is no exception. To keep up with demand in a changing landscape, there has been an increase in alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) to accommodate business’ needs.

Of course, attorney fees are notoriously expensive and time-consuming; this fuels the demand for alternatives. An ALSP is a focused, lower cost service that can provide niche legal functions while allowing in-house or other attorneys to dedicate more time and resources on other matters while the ALSP provides expert assistance in their legal function, including discovery and research.

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Cost reductions are one of the many benefits to ALSPs, but these outsourced services also feature flexibility, speed, and specialized expertise, as they may have improved processes and tools for their legal focus. Although a business may find use in an ALSP, an increasing number of major firms outsource some of their duties to an ALSP to reduce client costs and concentrate more on their specializations.

Upward Trend

Some businesses with in-house legal departments have even found ALSPs to help with some functions as document review and processing, electronic discovery, compliance, legal research, and litigation and investigation support. As with established firms, using an ALSP frees up in-house attorneys to use their resources and time more effectively.

Furthermore, as of 2019 33% of businesses outsource legal functions and an additional 41% would consider following suit. Such trends benefit ALSPs and ensure these services will continue to grow rapidly, as they have exceeded projections and boasted a greater than $10 billion market share by 2019, and nearly $14 billion by early 2021.

The growth of this niche within the legal industry has been explosive, as 71% of US companies and 79% of US law firms engaged ALSPs in 2020. Law firms and the legal system have already responded to technological changes, including permitting electronic filing with the courts, maintaining electronic documents related to a matter, and sharing documents among clients, the legal team, and third parties. ALSPs add another layer of electronic transmission and storage, which, of course, makes them susceptible to data breaches.

Legal Industry Breaches

Because of their access to such sensitive—and at times, lucrative—client data, law firms are a perpetual target of cybercriminals. Software provider Accellion faced a data breach in January 2021, which affected, among others, Goodwin Procter and potentially some of their clients. In late 2020, major firm Seyfarth Shaw suffered a malware attack, and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy found that an unauthorized third party accessed a file containing personal information of people associated with Google.

Although law firms are prime targets for cybercriminals, the meteoric rise of ALSPs is certain to attract their attention and potentially compromise law offices and their clients. While this can be costly to the ALSP monetarily in repairs, such breaches can also be damaging to its reputation and cost the provider existing and future business on top of compromising the firm’s clients’ confidential information.

A Secure Solution for Legal Professionals

SecureData understands how crucial it is for legal professionals and support services to protect their data. Our SecureDrive line includes drives with restricted access that require user authentication to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the data, and are hardware encrypted to add another layer of security.

Both the SecureDrive® KP and SecureDrive® BT provide extra security while also ranging in storage size from 500 GB to a powerful 8 TB, which can hold a large amount of files or those that require a lot of space, such as video footage and audio files for transcriptions. To boost security, the BT drives can be enhanced with a Remote Management license to provide more control over access and use.

SecureData also offers industry-leading digital forensics services through its SecureForensics division. Our certified forensic data recovery experts have helped legal professionals as well as consumers with all their computer and mobile forensics needs since 2013.

To reach a SecureForensics team member to get the evidence your case needs, call one of our experts at 1-800-288-1407.