Monday, December 7, 2009

Outsourcing Legal Work

I guess for some companies the economic crisis will be a good thing for them in the end. Wow. Shocking. Many companies will come out stronger, while the middle and lower classes experience more debt, more foreclosures, and more emotional pain. Next up: more economic suffering is to be expected for U.S. attorneys and anyone working in the legal industry. It seems it's inevitable that outsourcing legal work will increase during and after the recovery. A report entitled, Legal Service Outsourcing: Crisis Creates New Opportunities for LPOs, details the success of outsourcing legal work to India.

Once these jobs are moved offshore, the chances of them returning are slim to none. As on legal specialist stated, "Once you've moved work offshore . . . there's no imperative to bring it back onshore. The work is only going in one direction, and law firms are increasing the scope and scale of the outsourcing arrangements they are entering into. We are seeing a big shift from a situation where some law firms were piloting projects to one where many more are piloting, but an even larger number are looking at structural transformation."

What does this mean for people who are in law school right now, and for those who are unemployed or underemployed attorneys in this country? Also, what about the number of individuals who hold other positions within the legal industry (legal secretaries, paralegals, etc.)?

It overwhelms me to think about this move to send legal services overseas vis-a-vis the student lending crisis. And I'm not sure why these types of things should be accepted as inevitable.


Anonymous said...

What is someone in India going to know about U.S. law? The folks in India can't even help me figure out what's wrong with my camera or printer!

I'm not an economist but I don't see more jobs in this country until the USA makes it just as or more expensive to offshore these jobs. Why is an outsourcing tax not even considered? These companies outsourcing jobs should, in my opinion, be considered unpatriotic & boycotted.

Anonymous said...

The truth is, there are highly educated people in every country. All they need is a computer and a subscription to westlaw or lexisnexis and they can do legal research on US laws from ANYWHERE. So yeah, I'd say this is a big threat.