Tuesday, December 11, 2007

LPO: A New York lawyer grieves!

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross must be a genius, the model she described in 1969, so aptly outlines the grief of a closed-minded NY lawyer who was angry enough, even in this festive season, to lambast the whole notion of legal offshoring and the millions of dollars worth of benefit that American corporations and law firms have drawn from it.

I have seen young parents worry about the influence of crime on impressionable minds, that practicing criminal law can, in extreme cases, also have its effects is a new one!

SHG, Esq - can I propose you start benefitting from offshoring by using secretarial services, perhaps someone who could help you with idioms? At the least, Medical tourism can do YOU good.

All the animals in the zoo,
Monkeys, elephants, tigers and shrew
The monkeys eat peanuts,
The elephants too,
The tigers eat meat and
they might eat YOU!
- Laura Reynolds, age 12, London

Update: Mark Bennett takes a third-party view of the "conversation" between SHG, Esq. and me. Mark notes that certain aspects of US legal work can be offshored. Bulls eye! I have myself noted in a previous post that it is unlikely we will see a day when even theoretically every Western lawyer will be replacable by an Indian lawyer. May be criminal law is not an area suitable for offshoring, but are all Solos practicing criminal law?

Similar cynicism was witnessed when Intellectual Property work first started going offshore - from "My cat could write a better patent application..." to "...they eventually found the right company and trained its non-lawyer employees how to write solid applications. Now, a year later, Carpenter & Kulas has filed more than 100 patent applications that were outsourced to India...".

150 IQ is a powerful asset, don't under-estimate it!

Snippets from Mark's post:
So if the LPOs are hiring smart Indian lawyers and training them well, there's no good reason to think that they couldn't do the bulk of the work that the bulk of American lawyers do. Aside from document review, American legal research is well within the reach of properly trained Indian lawyers. Contract drafting, as well, might be feasible. Teaching law is a cinch.
And there's the rub. Much of what lawyers -- especially trial lawyers, and most especially criminal trial lawyers -- do requires a thorough grokking of the culture. Such knowledge of American (or Texas, or New York) culture can't be taught; it takes decades to absorb. And so communicating with juries, judges, and valued clients -- almost all we do as criminal trial lawyers -- cannot be offshored.

Those willing to benefit from India will find the right resource to help them, and the closed-minded ones will continue with their FUD drivel - the end customer has to decide for himself.