Home > contract attorneys, Contract Lawyers, Freelance Attorneys, Freelance Lawyers, Offshoring > Part VI: Onshoring and Offshoring in the Context of Legal Outsourcing: Language and firm morale

Part VI: Onshoring and Offshoring in the Context of Legal Outsourcing: Language and firm morale

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

Language and firm morale are discrete aspects of distinguishing between onshore and offshore outsourcing, but since it is time to wrap this series up, I am putting them in one post.


Indian attorneys are educated in English-speaking institutions, and they boast full command of English.  However, there are cultural and linguistic differences between English as used in India and English as used in the U.S.  Therefore, firms outsourcing legal work abroad use editors in the States to edit drafting work, sometimes extensively.

Obviously these cultural and linguistic differences do not exist (one hopes) when outsourcing to U.S.-educated attorneys.


When law firms outsource work offshore, there are stateside implications such as reduction in staff, retention issues, and morale.  These implications are not as severe when work is outsourced domestically.  This aspect is again tied in with the socio-political sensitivities. The July/August 2008 ABA Law Practice Magazine discusses an alienation bred because developing relationships between firm members and overseas attorneys is difficult and, consequently, rare.

The accessibility and shared cultural reference point between firm members and domestic contract attorneys allows for easier relationship building and greater collaboration.  This reduces (if not eliminates) problems with morale.  Law firm staffmembers are reassured that if the firm wishes to reduce their in-office presence and expand telecommuting options, that they will be not be excluded from consideration because of increased living expenses and wages in the domestic economy.


I hope this series has been informative for you and that you have learned more about legal outsourcing, even if you are not ready to participate in the festivities quite yet.  My primary goal was to distinguish between outsourcing, offshoring, and onshoring for solo and small firm practitioners.  This way, if you become more interested in legal outsourcing, you at least know where to start your research.

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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