Legal services can be outsourced and offshored. There are many benefits in outsourcing legal services especially back office works, and paralegal work. Actually Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is the newer term in legal outsourcing that includes outsourcing of legal process services beyond conventional legal BPO (business process outsourcing) services, like legal coding and legal transcription.
Law firms in the US have the better option of sending their legal documentation work along with document reviewing to lawyers who are located at remote locations who work for charges that are much lower per hour of work compared to the local rates. (while American lawyers charge around 250$/hour, the Indian lawyer is available to work for less than 50$/hour.)
Some of the current LPO service providers in India work for the American clients in the following specialized areas,
- Legal document review
- Legal research
- Legal back office works
- Legal forms processing/documentation
- Patent related work
- Due diligence: drafting
There had been some issues regarding the ethics of outsourcing legal services to offshore countries like India, especially when it comes to sharing sensitive client information. This concern has been partially addressed in a formal opinion-2006 by the New York City Bar Association.