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Part V: Onshoring and Offshoring in the Context of Legal Outsourcing: Socio-political sensitivities and reputation

July 20, 2011

This is Part V of a 6-part series on onshoring and offshoring in the context of legal outsourcing.

Outsourcing legal work abroad reduces employment opportunities for U.S.-educated lawyers.  Consequently, some people believe that sending jobs overseas is not in our national interest.  This outsourcing dilemma is not new to the legal context, so I will not expound too thoroughly on it.

I, personally, do not feel competition from offshore legal workers, although this may eventually change.  I believe that we are currently operating in distinct niches.  I am in business for the solo and small firm attorney that has a little overflow work, or gets in over their head on a case.  Similarly, I do not prefer the kind of work that offshore attorneys are most often relegated to (i.e., large scale document review).

Regardless of my personal experiences, however, the stigma against sending work overseas is still pervasive, and firms face the risk of losing clients who feel strongly about the matter.  They may also have firm attorneys (even partners) that feel strongly, and this may ultimately preclude the use of offshore outsourcing arrangements.

Further, because of these socio-political sensitivities, many firms do not want to go on record that they outsource legal work overseas.  While this preference is slowly changing in the offshore context, it is nearly nonexistent in the domestic context.  Since no stigma attaches, most firms have no reluctance to disclose that they make use of domestic contract attorneys.

Solo and small firm attorneys should contact me by email or phone at 608-620-3529 to schedule a free consultation.

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