The LPO Revolution has Begun

What it's all about

In the recent few years the global spending on legal services has been estimated to be over $250 billion (of which about two-third is accounted in the United States alone. With such demand for legal services, corporations and law firms need to handle the large volumes while keeping costs in check and maintaining profitability. This is where Legal Processing Outsourcing ("LPO") comes into the picture wherein core legal functions are delegated to external counsel to complete the assigned task on the basis of set parameters and fixed timelines.

India, with its large pool of English proficient lawyers trained in common law, is poised to service 60% of the global Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) requirement, estimated to be $4.5 billion by 2010.

Now you may be wondering, what exactly does an LPO do or more specifically what would you do in an LPO?

Let us first understand the operations of an LPO and the nature of work the do. An LPO is an offshore unit, undertaking legal work assigned by in which in-house legal departments or organisations from areas where it is costly to perform, such as the United States or Europe to areas where it can be performed at a significantly decreased cost, primarily India.

The array of work, which, you may have to undertake while working in an LPO, would range from High-end legal research and drafting briefs, memorandums and commercial contracts to Litigation support work like evidence related work and first level document review.

Remuneration and Work Hours

Salaries, for fresh graduates, start from 20,000 – 25,000, but easily touch 70,000 in a span of 5 yrs.

Work Hours: Mostly 9AM to 7PM. There are a few LPOs that do night shifts but this is the exception rather than the rule.

For a young legal professional a career with an LPO is attractive for several reasons:

The Industry is a sunrise industry, which should see a boom in the next 3-5 years.

There is tremendous variety of work at all levels of expertise and high-end opportunities even for graduates of top law schools.

On top of that attractive remuneration and future management prospects, including an opportunity to work in a corporate structure that straddles borders makes this sector all the more striking for law graduates.