2010 August 08 Sunday
Law Firms Outsourcing To India

The pressure on American and British salaries due to globalization is spreading. Law is joining the long list of occupations getting outsourced to India.

India’s legal outsourcing industry has grown in recent years from an experimental endeavor to a small but mainstream part of the global business of law. Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants, insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more.

Now, to win new clients and take on more sophisticated work, legal outsourcing firms in India are actively recruiting experienced lawyers from the West. And American and British lawyers — who might once have turned up their noses at the idea of moving to India, or harbored an outright hostility to outsourcing legal work in principle — are re-evaluating the sector.

Since the worked that is outsourced was previously done by junior lawyers in law firms this trend is going to cut the flow of supply of people to become partners and senior lawyers who give advice to clients. This reminds me of trend in software development in the United States where older developers now manage Indians. Where is the next generation of US lawyers or software developers going to come from once the older workers retire?

Information technology outsourcing is of course extensive. Lots of legal work does not have to be done anywhere near clients either. The speedy internet makes information flow fast and cheap.

Even the medical profession isn't entirely immune to this trend. Already some radiological images get read in India, especially late at night. Imagine that you could buy a home microfluidic medical testing device (likely by 2020) that could do most common blood and urine tests and even measure breath gases. Then throw in some additional devices that can scan your skin, eyes, tongue at very high res across a wide range of frequencies. The data could be uploaded to a server as often as you test yourself and if anything triggered an alert on server software a doctor in India could look at the results and do a preliminary diagnosis.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 August 08 06:18 PM  Economics Labor


Comments
Mike said at August 8, 2010 9:39 PM:

Rise up globalised office workers, you have nothing to lose but your chains of political correctness!

(eat ya heart out Rousseau)

James Bowery said at August 9, 2010 9:12 AM:

I don't know why people equate immigrants taking jobs with outsourced jobs except insofar as there is a degree of ethnic nepotism manifest in the immigrants. Outsourcing only takes jobs. Immigration takes land.

Give me land over "jobs" any day.

Wolf-Dog said at August 9, 2010 7:15 PM:

Don't forget the medical outsourcing. India is a place for medical tourism. And medical budgets are far higher than legal expenses.

Macaulay Lambert said at March 27, 2013 9:26 PM:

To allow you to focus on your core mission in providing a high quality product and service to your customer what makes sense is offshoring the task to people can perform it better.


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