If the frequency of media reports is any indication, then outsourcing legal work to India is starting to reach a tipping point. The latest article appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal. Last week, I did a post on the growth of patent outsourcing.
The ABA just addressed the issue this past summer with an ethics opinion that seems to open the door for an increase in work being sent to India (and other less expensive jurisdictions). And clearly the market conditions are ripe for cutting legal expenses at corporations.
I must confess that when I first learned about this idea several years ago, I found it somewhat upsetting to think that good white collar jobs were no longer safe from the fate that has befallen manufacturing jobs in this country. As I have gotten used to the concept and now realize that it is simply another manifestation of globalization, I am starting to see how the trend may actually be a big help to smaller law firms that want to keep a low overhead but still have an ability to handle document intensive work. While it is quaint to think that the law is a profession that is immune from global forces, that is unrealistic. Firms that understand this and learn how to take advantage of the opportunities presented by outsourcing, will only thrive.