Letters to the Editor
Disquiet on the Outsourcing Front
Posted Dec 1, 2007 4:53 PM CST
So, attorneys in India have jobs and American companies are saving money and everyone lives happily ever after. Are you kidding me?
“Manhattan Work at Mumbai Prices,” October, page 36, was one of the most degrading articles to U.S. attorneys I’ve ever seen—and this in a trade journal. The article is reminiscent of the argument in recent years over firms utilizing paralegals to produce legal work—only in that case, as I recall, the business sector was pointing the finger at the plaintiffs side of the bar. It appears from the article that the work being produced is merely paralegal-type work. This is clearly acceptable (at least to people who are not paralegals).
However, the states have set standards for the practice of law in the U.S. for a reason. The law, after all, is not universal. We dismiss our bar membership requirements—and our years of study—by insinuating that people who have not met these standards will produce the work just as well. State bar associations must keep a watchful eye on this “outsourcing” activity to maintain standards and make certain lines are not crossed.
In addition, there is a significant misunderstanding in the nonlegal, business community regarding the licensing and education requirements for lawyers in the U.S. I have faced business educators and executives who do not know even the basics regarding the J.D. degree and regularly refer to attorneys as having master’s degrees. Articles such as this one perpetuate the idea that lawyers must basically just take a year or so of technical classes following their undergraduate degree. I am glad for the people featured—that they have the ability to make a decent living in their home country. However, the full consequences of the situation were not addressed in the article.
- Nancy Milvo Turner
- Amarillo, Texas
I am writing in response to the article on outsourcing in India that appeared in the October ABA Journal.
I want to congratulate Pangea3 on getting an exclusive advertising piece in the Journal at no cost. I would like to know how to do the same.
While it was good marketing, it was lousy journalism—particularly to interview only one firm. To classify that firm as the “hottest firm” is neither objective nor true.
Outsourcing the high cost of routine legal work is a serious issue and reflects how the profession is changing. Pangea3 is a fine firm, but there are many excellent firms in this area, not the least of which is Quatrro BPO, led by Raman Roy and his team, who established this industry 20 years ago—not three years ago. They are in a 10-story building owned by Quatrro—not rented space with rented temporary lawyers.
It is not like it is hard to find the companies in this field; the names and contact details of the other companies are easily obtained through a simple Internet search.
Quatrro Legal exhibited at the ABA Annual Meeting in August. No one else did. I am a member of the ABA and my picture is on the cover of the October issue.
The changes coming to the practice of law deserve quality reporting and analysis. I hope the next article will reflect that.
- Howard B. Hill
- President & CEO
- Quatrro Legal Solutions
- Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
I am a recent graduate of law school and have found finding a job in several markets to be nearly impossible. I read the article in the October issue regarding legal outsourcing to India, and I am disappointed with your decision to glorify farming out jobs to other countries. While I understand that it is possibly the wave of the future in the legal industry, I don’t understand why you are advocating an activity that takes work away from new graduates who would otherwise be performing such tasks. Surely you are aware of the difficulties that young lawyers face in finding good, steady work.
Understand that I hold no ill will against young lawyers in other countries who are trying to make a living, but for your magazine to paint this activity in such a light that even more jobs may be taken away from young attorneys seems to go against everything for which the American Bar Association stands.
It seems to me that your magazine would be better served to promote the young graduates of today who will become the leaders of tomorrow’s legal industry in this country—and your magazine’s future readers.
- S. Clayton Leech
- Charlotte, N.C.
My clients would be shocked and astonished if I had outsourced to another country. Absent some nexus to India or their laws or businesses, it is my belief that this should be outlawed by the laws of our country and our profession.
- Leslie Burton
- Troy, N.Y.
A FAVORABLE TREND?
If it is true that the U.S. Supreme Court “has been trending in a direction that is generally more favorable to business,” as is asserted in “The Company Line,” October, page 50, should we not all be concerned that our highest court is predisposed to favor any particular litigant?
Whether the litigant is a business, an individual, a minority, a nonminority, or otherwise falls into any particular category, it is frightening to think the odds are stacked for or against that litigant based on the category rather than the merits of the case.
Perhaps it is naive, but I would hope that our Supreme Court justices are capable of approaching each case anew, rather than with a preconceived idea that litigants in one category are more deserving of “justice” than litigants in another category.
- Daniel W. Anderson
- Tampa, Fla.
LOWERING THE BAR
When I began practice in 1965, most of the “50 Ways to Market Your Practice” in the October issue, page 26, would have been considered a serious violation of the code of ethics. It has been sad for me to see the practice of law lowered to the level of selling soap and used cars.
- John L. Lawler
- Mobile, Ala.