September 30, 2005
Outsourcing Legal Work
In a story every business lawyer should read, Eric Bellman and Nathan Koppel of the Wall Street Journal (9/28 at C1), researched the growing trade in the outsourcing of legal services to India by United States and British companies and law firms. The practice is brand new, only a few years old, and grown very, very fast. Companies and law firms in the United States are finding that Indian firms can perform, with a high degree of accuracy, the more routine jobs now performed by lawyers -- litigation research and support, patent searches and the like. The next spat of jobs? The first stage development of forms for common business structures and common business deals (including small acquisitions). No doubt the organized bar will mount a challenge in the licensing rules -- worrying about the unauthorized practice of law or lawyer client privilege (the two favorite devices in the bar as a guild mentality)-- to this potential competitive force.