Business of Law

Survey says half of in-house law depts have outsourced legal work, most were happy with results


More than half of the corporate law departments that responded to a recent survey said they have outsourced legal work, and over two-thirds said they were satisified or very satisfied with the results. Nearly another third said they were somewhat satisfied.

But there was some potential good news for American law firms in what is being billed as a first-ever and admittedly somewhat unscientific legal process outsourcing poll by Corporate Counsel (sub. req.). The magazine sent the survey to corporate law departments, and 77 responded. Most respondents said they have never sent legal work outside the U.S., and much of what they did outsource was related to litigation and/or document review, the magazine reports.

JDA Software Group Inc. tried offshoring some work to India, where the company already had a significant business presence. However, deputy general counsel Hebe Doneski called the experiment “a mixed experience.” The time difference made communication difficult, and the company had to keep training new personnel due to employee turnover, she tells the magazine.

JDA did like the project manager, but she was “stretched thin” on projects for multiple clients. JDA found a solution to that problem—they hired the project manager to work directly for their own company, thus eliminating her duties to others.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “Who’s eating law firms’ lunch?”

ABAJournal.com (podcast with transcript): “How law firms can use LPOs to their own advantage”

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