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Goal of Conn. Bill Is to Protect Lawyer Jobs By Deeming Offshore Legal Work UPL

Posted Jan 20, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Connecticut lawmaker is concerned about jobless law grads, and she’s doing something about it.

State Rep. Patricia Dillon has introduced a bill that could subject overseas legal workers to charges of unauthorized practice of law, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports. The bill authorizes the charges when “unlicensed” offshore workers draft, review or analyze legal documents for clients in Connecticut.

Dillon, a New Haven Democrat who isn’t a lawyer, told the Law Tribune about two concerns. “There is a quality issue here and also a jobs issue," she said.

The publication contacted several experts who didn’t think Connecticut would be able to stop legal outsourcing. One of them, law firm consultant Peter Giuliani of Smock Sterling, said many of the outsourced document review tasks are more akin to paralegal work. "You don't need a license anywhere in the U.S. to do what they're doing," he said.

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