The following article briefly discusses the legal process outsourcing industry and the possible benefits for those in the American legal profession.
Outsourced legal processing has been heavily discussed in recent months as the American Bar Association only recently published an ethical opinion which discussed the matter. At the time of this writing, the legal process outsourcing industry is set to act as a catalyst for significant change in the legal profession in the United States and around the world.
As strange as this could seem at first blush, the outsourcing of certain legal services can provide major advantages to attorneys practicing law in the United States. For example, skilled advocates and attorneys with a highly specialized or technical practice could take on more cases as less of their time and resources are expended completing relatively minor tasks which could be outsourced to a lawyer in another jurisdiction. Furthermore, the economies of scale that can be achieved through outsourcing are simply phenomenal as communication technology provides many foreign lawyers with the opportunity to provide real time assistance over the telephone or internet.
Those who take cases on a contingency fee basis are likely to see the benefits of legal process outsourcing more quickly than others. This is due to the fact that by outsourcing those tasks which do not have a direct impact on the outcome of cases or the servicing of clients the attorney is free to provide those services which are most sought by clients in a particular community. For example, a practicing American attorney could commit more time to complicated legal research, drafting, and courtroom advocacy if their time is no longer expended repeating relatively redundant tasks such as document review and compilation of tertiary documentation.
The efficiency of outsourced legal process should not be underestimated. As the international legal profession becomes more integrated it will be ever more imperative for law firms to provide high quality reasonably priced legal service to clients around the globe. Outsourced legal processing provides an effective method of reducing expenses while maintaining top quality work product.
Those researching outsourced legal processing should note that there are some ethical matters which should be taken into account when contemplating the decision to use an outsourced legal processing service. The legal process outsourcing industry represents a new chapter in the history of the practice of American law. Hopefully, American legal professionals will utilize these new legal processing services to provide higher quality legal service to American clients.