Outsourcing Firms Bring Legal Work Back Home

June 10, 2011

Outsourcing does not always mean taking away American jobs. An article in the New York Times reports that outsourcing firms are bringing home jobs to U.S. lawyers; this comes at a time when job prospects are dim for lawyers.

Graduates from law school are finding it difficult to get hired by the top law firms and being a temp does not pay much. From this vantage point outsourcing is creating more options for young lawyers.

These new legal positions created by outsourcing firms such as New York/Mumbai-based Pangea3 pays anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000; these are competitive salaries for legal work done abroad.  Although these fees are less than what an attorney working for a company in the U.S. is making, it still pays well under present economic conditions.

The present hiring scene reflects the cost efficiency and reduced headcount that is true of most industries. The biggest American law firms have either cut hiring or reduced pay to adopt a ‘lower tier pay model,’ reports The New York Times.

In addition, companies are also downsizing their legal departments.  It also makes sense to outsource legal work for companies that do not deal with litigation as a core competency. By doing this, employees can hire on a need-based plan and not have to pay medical and pension benefits.
In reality, temp companies that take on legal work pay about $20 an hour, whereas that figure was closer to $200 ten years ago. Ironically, the legal outsourcing mechanism that once sent legal work to faraway destinations like India are now creating jobs for American lawyers.
Working at this salary range, U.S. attorneys appear to be more competitive with their offshore counterparts. Additionally, they also appear more appealing to U.S. clients who are hesitant to send their work overseas.


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