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Law Practice Management

Outsourcing Alternative: Law Firm Sets Up Own Shop in India

Posted Feb 11, 2008 1:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Apparently weary of seeing clients defect to to low-cost companies in India and elsewhere when it came time to perform so-called legal process work, at least one major U.S. law firm reportedly is fighting back.

Howrey is opening its own office in India, although outsourcing is not what it is doing there, insists Robert Ruyak, the firm's managing partner and CEO. The firm's new India establishment isn't a law office, though, since Indian law prohibits U.S. firms from practicing there, points out the American Lawyer in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Ruyak compares the setup to workers telecommuting from home, or working at a satellite office. The firm has a large number of document-intensive litigation, intellectual property and international arbitration matters, the legal publication reports—and much of the firm's document work already is being done right now by some 200 employees, most of whom aren't lawyers, working in a Falls Church, Va. office, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

"It's not a huge leap, Ruyak hopes, to extend that work to India, where a paralegal would earn $20,000 to $25,000 per year, as opposed to $40,000 to $50,000 in the United States," the article states. It says Howrey plans to hire both Indian graduates of both U.S. colleges and Indian colleges and graduate schools and train them in Falls Church before sending them back to their home country.

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