New Career Path for U.S. Lawyers: Outsourcing Firms

Outsourcing firms could offer an alternative career path for job-hunting lawyers.

That’s the suggestion of international management consulting firm Fronterion, which advises law firms and corporations on outsourced legal services. The firm has released a list of the top 10 trends for outsourcing in 2010 that predicts law firms and corporations will send more work to outside legal vendors next year. Coming in at No. 9 on the list is a prediction that outsourcing will become a career path for more lawyers.

“Client confidence in the outsourcing legal services market is translating into a rising talent pool, both on and offshore,” Fronterion writes in its trending report (PDF). “Positions at outsourcing vendors will increasingly become an attractive alternative career path for entrepreneurial and global-minded legal professionals as pay, positions and prestige increase.”

Fronterion predicts that outsourcing will gain momentum in 2010, and explains why. In the United Kingdom, a new law that allows outside ownership of law firms may spur firms to look to outside vendors to remain competitive. Also, the consolidation of major law firms such as Lovells and Hogan & Hartson will likely lead the firms to explore how outside vendors can make the legal team more effective in restructured operations.

Companies deferred legal work to save money in 2009, and part of the backlog will need go to outsourcing vendors, the consulting firm says. It also points out that corporations are increasingly unbundling legal services, breaking them down into specific tasks to be performed by law firms and other sources. “Many corporations in 2010 will start engaging outsourcing vendors directly,” the report predicts.

Related coverage: “Unemployed NY Lawyers Could Benefit from London Firm’s Outsourcing”

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