Illinois Paralegal Association Asks Firms Not to Outsource

Don’t know, at this point, if it’s possible to turn the rushing tide toward outsourcing of legal work. But I applaud the IPA’s attempt:

"Ruby Prasad’s legal research and briefs regularly find their way into courts across the United States despite the fact her workstation is located 8,000 miles away in India.

"Prasad is among the 200 lawyers working for Chicago-based Mindcrest Inc., which has an outsourcing facility in Mumbai.

"Mindcrest and other legal outsourcing firms are experiencing explosive growth. Mindcrest is 10 times the size it was two years ago.


"Forrester Research projects legal outsourcing will be a $4 billion industry by 2015, creating 79,000 jobs in India alone.


"But the trend has caused some concern for the Illinois Paralegal Association.

"The 1,500-member organization’s board of directors distributed a letter [PDF] to 300 Chicago area companies asking them to use paralegals instead. The letter stated that work done by paralegals is quality controlled and cost efficient. It added that experienced paralegals perform high-level substantive work under direct supervision of an attorney at lower billing rates than attorneys."

2 Replies to “Illinois Paralegal Association Asks Firms Not to Outsource”

  1. The outsourcing issue is a scary one for all of us and the Illinois Paralegal Association is to be commended for pointing out the weaknesses of shipping knowledge work overseas. Ultimately, however, it is economic forces that will prevail. If law firms can get certain types of work done at a lower rate, then that can become a competitive advantage.

    Fortunately for all of us, there are serious quality control and efficiency issues when work is being done thousands of miles a way in a different time zone.

    The key to slowing down outsourcing is to focus on the quality issue. Sometimes language and cultural barriers will produce lower quality work. But ultimately, some tasks (i.e. those that require less supervision) will end up overseas regardless of what any paralegal or bar association thinks. It’s hard to get businesses to work against their bottom line.

  2. It is so sad to hear that paralegal work is being outsourced. I am concerned after completing a certificate recently about getting work.

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