Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Press Release: Legal Process Outsourcing in focus - The IGNOU collaborates with leading legal industry solutions provider Rainmaker in offering the Po

New Delhi, India (25 July, 2009) – In the current world economic downturn, one sector that is continuously hitting the headlines with record-breaking deals is the Legal Process Outsourcing sector. The latest and most heralded success of the Indian LPO industry was the recent announcement by Rio Tinto, the global mining giant, that it had entered into a legal services outsourcing agreement with CPA Global, one of India’s leading LPO providers. The arrangement is likely to save up to 20% of Rio Tinto’s legal costs annually.

Increased costs of legal services, and legal outsourcing-friendly policy changes in key outsourcing destinations such as the US, has led the Indian LPO industry to a significant expansion point. With exponentially higher volumes of work at hand, the industry is looking at an estimated hiring of over 5000 law graduates in the current financial year alone.

Recognising this growth, the IGNOU School of Law collaborated with Rainmaker, the leading legal training and recruitment solutions provider to the Indian legal industry, to create a recognised certification – the Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Process Outsourcing (PGDLPO) - that is specifically geared to address the talent needs of the sector.

“In keeping with our intention to make a world-class programme that is industry-oriented and of the best academic standards, we invited the participation of leading LPO industry players, legal academicians and practitioners in its creation. This, along with our other initiatives, such as a contemporary online-learning experience and access to internship opportunities, has ensured that it has met the expectations of the thousands of law graduates keen on preparing for a career in the LPO industry” said Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao, Director of the IGNOU School of Law.

Guided by an Expert Advisory Committee constituted of representatives from leading L.P.O.s, the Clutch Group and UnitedLex, reputed Supreme Court practitioners, and stewarded by Prof. Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon (founder director of the National Law Universities in Bengaluru and Kolkata, and of the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal), the PGDLPO is the first and only Central University-accredited LPO training programme in the country.

“The programme, with nearly 500 applicants in its very first batch itself, has already proven to be highly sought after. It is heartening to note industry involvement in the programme through internship and scholarship offerings”, said Nikhil Chandra, CEO of Rainmaker. “In fact, the appreciation it has received internationally, and specifically in key outsourcing destinations like the US, such as calling it an ‘avant garde venture’ is testament to its vision of creating a global benchmark for LPO talent preparation” he added.

The programme, which is a 1-year post-graduate diploma, is delivered in a distance and online-learning format. “PGDLPO is not in the conventional distance education mould of correspondence study material and term-end testing. The real value addition is the online learning experience, which is interactive and highly participative. This is delivered through Rainmaker’s proprietary eMentor learning management system, a cutting-edge online learning solution. Despite hundreds of programme takers from our first batch being law graduates with full-time working commitments, the flexibility in study that e-learning offers them has resulted in the majority of them remaining continuously engaged with the learning process” says Kunal Mehra, who heads the programme delivery.

Given the initial success of the programme, the University has decided to run the programme twice a year, with a second intake scheduled for August this year. “We feel that an August batch would be very useful to final-year law students as it mirrors their college sessions, and effectively provides students with a valuable, industry-oriented post-graduate diploma simultaneously. We expect an increased participation from the law student community, and are working with law colleges from across the country to bring additional value, including fee reductions of up to Rs.1,500/- for law students, and special classes for law colleges that participate in our unique partner institution programme. This is a wonderful opportunity for law colleges to offer their students a world-class professional option after graduation.” said Prof. Rao.

The Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Process Outsourcing is scheduled to commence its second batch from August 16, 2009. Enrolments are currently open. For more information on the programme, please visit www.ignouonline.ac.in/pgdlpo or www.rainmaker.co.in or call the Rainmaker office at +91 22 4035 0900 and the IGNOU School of Law at +91 11 2953 1115

Friday, July 24, 2009

US continues to provide business to India

In a write-up posted on the blog Offshoring Times, one gets an idea that US would continue to offshore their work, especially legal work, to low cost destinations such as India. Indo-US trade has increased by 25% thus giving ample scope for further business.
In the legal domain with leading business conglomerates going bankrupt there is an upsurge of litigation cases. This has led to an increase in the demand of legal services. Thus Indian LPOs are in a position to gain from their services provided at competitive rates. Read more to what industry experts have to say about this trend.

Change in business and education

With the advent of outsourcing and offshoring of legal work many changes have been noticed in the legal scene. Matador Legal has posted an article ‘Legal Outsourcing: Challenges and Changes in Law education’ in which two issues have been spelt out. The first being Data security – the foremost concern of all the clients who are offshoring their work. Companies like CPA Global have addressed this concern by imbibing the philosophy ‘Quality is way of life’ in their work culture and have been successful to comply by ISO standards.

The second issue is the need to change education given to US law graduates. The author suggests “There is a need to differentiate between functions which can be outsourced and which cannot be outsourced”. An understanding of the economics and changing dynamics of globalization would help both the students and the teachers to understand the legal industry.

Law firms in India

In a comprehensive article written by Reena SenGupta the reader gets an insight to the present condition of the law firms in India.

Legal profession, which dates back to centuries, has always been seen as one of the elite professions. Many of the freedom fighters and stalwarts of independent India have been iconic figures of this vocation. But few decades back not much salary was paid to law graduates making them to go for another career. But now the scenario seems to change. India’s legal sector is growing exponentially. With the coming of LPOs the pace has accelerated further. Reena in this positive scene also points to some challenges that Indian legal sector faces. They are as follows:

1. UK firms have become aggressive recruiters taking bright talent from the campus itself
2. More than three quarters of Indian law firms have attrition and staff retention as here major problems
3. Many law firms are still family dominated and traditionally managed.
4. Lack of modern management and infrastructure

Read more to know the current scenario and how the Indian law firms are coping with pressures and turning the tide of business towards them.