“Law firms mull outsourcing”

Another a must-read article about outsourcing paralegal & other legal services to India:

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"Some local [Seattle] law firms are looking at the possibility of outsourcing legal services to save money and keep clients’ costs down, although none so far appears to have actually done so.

"A few weeks ago, Seattle-based Perkins Coie LLP formed a task force to look into offshore outsourcing. The group will likely develop some initial recommendations in the next few months.

"Meanwhile, Seattle-based Lane Powell PC sent a vice president to a conference focused partly on outsourcing in New Delhi to gather information. And a few clients of Stoel Rives LLP have expressed interest in the subject.

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"Some observers predict that outsourcing of legal services, which can range from work typically performed by paralegals to that usually done by attorneys, will accelerate as law firms respond to clients’ desire to manage their costs.

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"Lewis Horowitz, vice president of Lane Powell, is somewhat skeptical about legal outsourcing.

"’We’re not hearing from clients that they want it. What we’re hearing from is the marketers in India of these services, who are telling us our clients want it,’ he said.

"In March, Horowitz attended a meeting of the World Law Group, a network of 48 independent law firms that Lane Powell belongs to, in New Delhi. For one full day out of the three-day conference, he and representatives of other law firms watched presentations from overseas legal services vendors. He said many of the services were offering the type of work that’s now done by the firm’s paralegals."

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