Counsel’s success is no longer measured only by legal prowess, business
smarts and courtroom successes. It is measured by the ability to find
creative ways to rein in legal costs and spending.” Corporate
Legal Outsourcing can reduce costs for corporation and law
firms up to 75%.
provide high quality legal support services to corporations
and law firms at lower costs
Where did the term, “LPO,” come from?
The term, “LPO,” for “legal process outsourcing”
is apparently a media invention. It derives from BPO, or business
process outsourcing. But to the extent that the word, "process,"
suggests standardized, commoditized, easy-to-replicate tasks that
can be performed without a lot of education, much less professional
training, it is a misnomer for the legal services off-shoring
industry. Typing a medical transcription, or answering calls based
on a script, is a "process." On the other hand, legal research,
legal analysis, or drafting complaints, contracts, patent
applications, or legal briefs, is not a BPO-like, commoditized
"process." Those are legal services, even if they do not amount to
"practicing law," which can only be done by the supervising,
licensed attorney (often in-house corporate counsel) who reviews the
services that so-called LPO companies provide.
That is why many in this industry do not refer to themselves as “LPOs.”
One company uses the phrase, a "provider of global legal and patent
outsourced services." Another refers to itself as a "premium legal
services company." Others refer to their "Legal Knowledge Services"
or "Offshore Legal Services." Still another has adopted the label of
"legal services organization."
Yet another potential misnomer is “outsourcing.” There is nothing
new or controversial about the outsourcing of legal services. Every
law firm in the U.S. and the U.K. is an outsourcing company. Their
corporate clients have routinely “outsourced” legal services work to
outside counsel for hundreds of years. If there were no outsourcing,
there would be no law firms. What is new is not outsourcing, but
off-shoring. What is new is the creation of a worldwide legal
landscape, where offices and employees will be located in places
determined by the actual needs of clients, rather than the habits of
law firms that do not wish to change.
Some People are using a new term like “Legal Services Offshoring,”
or “LSO.” That would be a better and more useful term than “LPO.”
WHY LEGAL OUTSOURCING?
Most firms and corporations outsource primarily
for cost saving measures and this is considered the biggest
advantage for legal process outsourcing. While an attorney in major
legal markets such as the US charge at minimum 250 dollars for work,
countries that are offering legal process outsourcing charge just a
fraction. Some countries, especially in the Indian sub-continent
have gained prominence due to the fact that some of their attorneys
with higher degrees work at meager salary. This has attracted major
corporations to outsource some of the minor and less sensitive work
in their legal departments. Another comparable advantage is the
turnaround time since most countries that offer legal process
outsourcing are either on the other side of the Atlantic and
generally with customers from the US.
At face value, it would appear that outsourcing service work to
another country is detrimental to the U.S. workforce. This is only
at the surface, though. The net effect created is a positive one for
the U.S. The creation of jobs in countries such as India leads to
the creation of new wealth, and a new class of consumers will have
increased purchasing power to buy U.S. goods. Countries like India,
to which jobs have been outsourced, make for new markets for the
U.S. to export to, and this in turn creates revenue for the U.S..
The outsourcing of service work also lends itself positively to the
overall development of a U.S. business. Workers can focus more on
specialized areas and precious resources can be freed up to further
these. In turn, more specialized and focused businesses have a
chance of creating additional jobs for more skilled workers by
branching off into areas that require a special skill set. On a more
macro level, the overall wealth of a nation like the U.S. can
improve if companies are focusing on developing core businesses.
It goes without saying that the LPO trend offers great benefits.
India’s legal services are affordable, efficient, and above all,
skilled. Outsourcing legal work to India costs up to 80% less than
the cost of using the services of American law firms. Because it is
far less expensive to hire talent in countries such as India, an
outsourcing company is in the enviable position of being able to
commit larger teams of talented workers to more specific areas of
concentration. An LPO, for instance, can afford the luxury of
dedicating an entire team to register trademarks or process
But it isn’t just cost savings that make the LPO an attractive
business prospect for U.S. companies and forward-looking law firms.
As is the case with the BPO and the KPO, LPO users can avail of a
range of benefits, not least saving time on getting important work
done. LPO users can gain more operational efficiencies by focusing
on core business activities while having access to a breadth of
skills, technology and service offerings, at a reduced cost.