The legal process outsourcing (LPO) industry offers myriad opportunities for lawyers who wish to make a career in the corporate world. An opportunity like this would have been unheard of 10 years ago and today this industry has numerous success stories of lawyers. Industry estimates value the current global LPO market between $500 million and $1.1 billion. There is no doubt that India has become one of the most favoured destinations for companies wanting to outsource legal work. Over a million lawyers currently practise in India and approximately 75,000 more graduates from Indian law schools every year.
Working in a legal outsourcing firm exposes one to a world-class culture that provides an unmatched opportunity of working with leading global clientele and learning internationally accepted best practices.
In top ranking LPOs, the exposure is global because lawyers working at such firms often deliver services to multinational corporations and law firms which deal with complex issues. Some of the leading players provide talented lawyers with global opportunities to work onsite or manage projects in their clients’ offices.
Though corporations initially outsourced low complexity tasks and projects to LPOs, today there is an abundance of high-end legal work being outsourced to India and this provides great learning opportunities for law graduates. LPOs provide a wide range of services spanning from litigation objective coding and low complexity contract drafting to higher value services such as legal research, litigation fact finding services, patent drafting, analytics, contract lifecycle management, and obligation management.
For lawyers, LPO providers offer valuable business and management experience in addition to legal experience. They are given an opportunity to work with several clients, and many a times they are given a chance to handle the project single handedly, giving them an autonomous role.
Innovative technologies are altering the legal landscape and helping the industry balance itself in today’s technology driven world. Case in point is predictive coding technology. Cases are getting larger and volumes of legal documents are exponentially growing, resulting in high volumes of electronically stored information, in other words Big Data. It is difficult for law firms and corporate companies to scan through massive volumes of legal data manually. In a bid to overcome these challenges, the industry has warmed up to the use of technology-assisted document review platforms like predictive coding. LPO providers are increasingly at the forefront of employing such technologies, offering evolving learning opportunities for newer recruits.
By Lulu Khandeshi
The author is VP and head HR and L&D, Pangea3 Thomson Reuters