Outsourcing legal jobs can substantially bring down your in-house costs. When law firms send work to India, they let professionals dedicate their working hours to the work at hand. This helps the law firms not to spread themselves thin as far as in-house talent is concerned.
Shipping law jobs to India has become a norm. This was the view expressed by Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) companies in a major industry summit in New York. Forrester Research projections that $4 billion in legal work might head towards India by 2015 have spurred a number of Western firms to decide to offshore their legal jobs to India. Therefore, companies seeking to outsource law jobs are asking themselves many questions. Is outsourcing all about reducing cost? Or, can Indian lawyers do the legal work better than their American counterparts? And, should outsourcing firms seek to wholly supplant other service providers or cooperate with them?
All these questions are justifiably warranted, as the breadth of work that Indian LPOs are capable of, is mind-boggling.
Law-related services that can easily be sent to India are:
Cost certainly sparks customers’ interest in the Indian option when companies want to outsource to India law, says David Perla, co-founder of New York-based Pangea3, probably the largest LPO company with 240 lawyers in three Mumbai offices.
In India, the annual salaries of lawyers in LPOs are less than $10,000. In comparison to this, a contract lawyer in the U.S. charges a minimum of $30 per hour. Some law firms in the U.S. pay as much as $160,000 as base salary to associates.
According to Perla, the legal departments in the U.S. companies that are already offshoring processes to Indian vendors are under pressure to adopt the same cost-effective methods. Perla further reiterates that the companies that already have a good experience of outsourcing are enticed by the idea of outsourcing more and more legal processes to India. (These companies include some of the largest Fortune 500 firms.)
LPO service providers also tend to go for mundane but time-intensive legal tasks; they prefer legal services that include mountains of practice-reviewing document to drafting appellate briefs. These low-end tasks were once the prerogative of junior associates; however, now these tasks are handed over to domestic staffing agencies that employ large teams of temporary lawyers. So far as the high-end work is concerned, U.S. law firms trust the expertise of Indian lawyers.
When it comes to competition with other Western companies, price is usually the least important concern of clients that decide to outsource.
Another reason for this surge in offshoring law jobs is that Indian LPOs have access to high-end legal skills and the resources are capable of using the English language just like the native speakers. These resources are well-trained in English common law.
According to Perla, clients that gave the same task to Indian and American lawyers found that the Indian resources delivered better quality of work and took lesser time to perform the task.