Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What do you call 50,000 lawyers in the middle of the ocean? On their way to Mumbai, Macau and Manila.

Gerry Riskin has a great post today regarding outsourcing. Citing a Bloomberg story, 50,000 attorney jobs are expected to be offshore by 2015. If I were a young lawyer, I'd be a little concerned, as the work they are doing is probably that of first and second year associates today. With the high salaries BigLaw pays, why not farm it to low-paid people in India or China or the Philippines or Columbus, Ohio? (Sorry, a partner at Jones Day said that, not me. Fargo, ND was also mentioned.)

I know the Philippines the best of these, and it will be a great outsourcing location. Everyone speaks English (it is the official language of the court system), the legal system is a hybrid of US and Spanish principles, and, because of its former ties to the US, our cases (or at least old ones) have precedential weight.