Legal Outsourcing: A Victim of Conventional Realism
Bickel & Brewer was the first law firm to outsource and open its office in India in 1995. It’s been more than a decade since it happened and ever since then many law firms have outsourced their work to the off-shore vendors. Since then, legal outsourcing as an industry has evolved a lot. What started as a mere project almost 15 years ago has become a multimillion industry today. It is expected to reach at least $4Bn by 2015. Legal outsourcing to an extent has revolutionized the legal profession, one of the most dynamic and challenging profession across the world. We have at least 12,000 professionals associated with legal outsourcing presently and it is predicted that the number will go up to 15,000 by 2015.
The recent developments in the legal industry be it cost pressures, ABS, Jackson’s Reform or the fruition of consumerism which is quite a new phenomenon in legal profession, elicits the fact that there’s an immediate need for law firms to create competitive advantage. A solution beyond alternative fee structures needs to be created to survive and outsourcing could just be that solution which can rejuvenate the legal industry.
But despite all the growth this industry has witnessed in the last decade, there still lies an aura of myths while dealing with offshore vendors. While outsourcing can be an apt solution for almost every type of law firms, it is still marked as a concept meant for bigger firms only. On one hand where the advancement in technology has virtually removed all the geographical barriers, it is still perceived that a simple task of transferring data from one location to another can be daunting and can lead to loss of control.
There’s no denying that the issues revolving outsourcing are vital for every law firm and cannot be compromised at any cost. At the same time it is not an impossible phenomenon. The industry growth talks for itself. In short it’s the right time for law practitioners to amalgamate with outsourcing and create an analytical approach that can help them cope with changing legal environment.
As said by Mr. John F. Kennedy “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”