Legal Outsourcing has gained tremendous ground in the past few years in the United States. Legal Outsourcing companies, primarily from India, have had success by providing services such as document review, legal research and writing, drafting of pleadings and briefs and providing patent services.
In-house law departments of major multinational corporations outsource some of their work in order to save costs. While it will not be prudent to list those firms here for confidential reasons it is expected that as they move to save costs they will outsource more work.
Initially, the Asian subcontinent were targets for different types of outsourcing with the legal field gaining traction. However, in recent years the so called "near shore", "back-door" "specialized legal firms" have sprung up to satisfy law firms and corporations that demand quality and confidentiality.
Most firms and corporations outsource primarily for cost saving measures and this is considered the biggest advantage for legal outsourcing. While an attorney in major legal markets such as the US charge at minimum 250 dollars for work, countries that are offering legal outsourcing may charge a fraction of this. Some countries, especially in the sub-continent have gained prominence due to the fact that some of their attorneys with higher degrees work at meager salaries. This has attracted major corporations to outsource some minor and less sensitive work in their legal departments. Another advantage is turnaround time.
One of the major concerns with legal outsourcing is the potential for breach of clients confidentiality. Another concern is that the people performing legal work in different countries are not bound by the same ethical standards attorneys are subject to at home.
However, there were ethics opinions from various state Bar Associations (New York San Diego ) and recently, the American Bar Association that lay down the framework for ethical legal outsourcing.