The unauthorized practice of law, the duty to provide competent legal counsel and properly supervise the work done by domestic and offshore contract attorneys or attorneys outside of the U.S., avoiding conflicts of interest, preserving client confidences, billing clients appropriately, steering around export controls–these are all issues discussed in a great webinar on the ethical issues raised by legal process outsourcing. Mark Ross of Law-Scribe has done a number of these. This is one of his best and worth a listen if you are interested in getting up to speed on the issues.
In The Complete Lawyer. One spicy comment so far on TCL’s website. Hoping for more!
Like other forms of outsourcing, LPO has its share of detractors. The arguments follow the traditional cricitism of offshoring (e.g. we should keep jobs in America). But because we are talking about a profession which is governed by ethical rules, LPO criticism goes way beyond the typical xenophobia and protectionism that is sometimes part of the discourse on outsourcing. Read the rest of this entry »
The term Legal Process Outsourcing (or LPO) generally refers to the practice of sending certain types of legal work to a foreign jurisdiction. In most cases, the foreign jurisdiction is India where there is a large population of highly educated professionals who are English speaking. With substantially cheaper labor costs and a well established outsourcing infrastructure (which was put in place over the past decade to accommodate IT outsourcing), India is well positioned to provide cost effective solutions to American and UK law firms and legal departments.
In many ways, Legal Process Outsourcing is nothing new. Law firms have been outsourcing document review projects to domestic vendors for years. Corporations have been offshoring call centers, IT support and accounting functions for over a decade. LPO is simply the next step. Read the rest of this entry »