If BPO stands for business process outsourcing, LPO implies ‘legal process outsourcing’. For starters, the LPO industry is the place where the in-house law department outsources legal tasks. Outsourcing involves mostly law practices and delegation of tasks to external firms having employees with the required experience and expertise, to finish such jobs with ease. Also, it is usually done from places that won’t cost a great deal. Most importantly, the department looks through variables associated with outsourcing legal services, which is why a wide range of tasks can be accomplished.
Who involves outsourcing of legal work vs. in-house teams?
The question remains why not an in-house legal team? Many firms might prefer the same too, but let’s not forget the high costs involved, coupled with more time; unlike the outsourcing of law-based support services. As per the 2019 Atman Weil Survey, almost 48% of law firms resort to legal outsourcing, 57% respondents stick to part-time lawyers and about 24% opt for outsourcing. Few law practices also prefer to outsource in several offshore law firms. Believe it or not, but the off-shoring process is far less costly than the local LPO. However, there are a plethora of downsides, like language and time obstacles, communication issues, poor quality of work, and also ethics.
Understanding variables associated with outsourcing legal services: Trends in India
For a fact, legal process outsourcing is gradually gaining momentum. Especially for a country like India, the legal system holds a lot of semblance to Canada, the UK, the US and Europe. The classic Indian constitution contains details about Indian litigation and resolving disputes and conflicts. Not to miss out that the Indian legal system by far, is one of the most “informed legislations” that ensure uniformity in legislation and its interpretation. There are a few factors that support LPOs in India, including:
- Time zone benefits
- A proper idea of common law doctrines
- Indian attorneys having UK or US qualifications
- The mass availability of English-speaking lawyers
- Several LPOs in India function on a 24*7 basis
- High quality of work done and the pace at which services are dispensed
And with these and more, the prospects of the LPO industry in India look brighter.
What comes under the purview of LPOs?
In common parlance, LPOs focus upon these services as mentioned below:
- Legal billing
- Documentation/ Drafting
- Legal research
- Intellectual property research
- Administrative and secretarial work
- Paralegal work, and more
How to improve profits and efficiency with LPOs?
Now that you know what LPOs are, it would be worthwhile seeing how outsourcing guarantees profitability and efficiency at work. Here are a few benefits.
A major reason for the increase in outsourcing is this. Most law firms gain from people having good expertise in this work or from offshore teams too, sans increasing the budget! Besides, long-term expenses can be reduced if permanent staff is hired, like setting up extra office space. As a result of off-shoring, forms can even accrue add-on savings. This is chiefly because of the difference between what in-house legal personnel charge and the external vendors. No wonder, there are tremendous price benefits.
Optimum scalability and flexibility
Going by the varied categories of cases, law firms should direct and utilize multiple resources and workforce, whenever required. Now imagine a firm having quite a limited capacity of in-house members. What will they do? This problem can be solved using legal process outsourcing. Outsourcers employ hassle-free and quick adaptability to situations that these firms often come across. External staff function on a short-term and temporary basis, so they can be hired when needed. In addition to reducing the firms’ workload, outsourcing augments business prowess too. To put it straight, even a single resource in the outsourcing company can handle multiple assignments like collecting data, putting a docket and even preparing forms.
There are tasks aplenty in legal firms. Also, the duties of employees tend to increase manifold, since their prime lookout is that of enhancing the market share. To stay at the peak of competition, these firms must hence concentrate on dispensing high-quality work and retain clients likewise. In much the same way, even clients expect that lawyers would walk the extra mile and offer beyond the realm of ‘traditional’ support and services. Sometimes, in a bid to outdo the others, most firms feel the need to expand the existing in-house teams, and also their investments. This is a trend observed after COVID 19 raised its ugly head last year! The question is who involves outsourcing of legal work? The answer is law firms and clients to be precise. LPOs for the most part effectively manage the competitive streak, sans recruiting any in-house lawyers or experts. Even you would benefit from a similar professional approach from outsourcers, minus the costs of in-house employees.
Better intake process
In most cases, it’s often seen that small and mid-sized firms fail to arrange for a high-tech intake system. As a result, they lose out on some of the best and high-paying clients. So a single lost lead can result in a law firm losing considerable money. Some great advantages for your law firm to improve the intake process include- improved ROI (return on investment), high conversion rates, good retention output, and more.
Minimized turnaround time
Talking about ‘priority legal experts’; time is the most important factor. Any firm that hires both off-site and on-site teams round the clock will certainly showcase efficient output in the completion of legal projects. A benefit of off-shoring is to circumvent time zones. This way, projects can be finished, even before time. For instance, legal process outsourcing services from the US to India usually allow 24*7 availability in services, which certainly proves that the business hours devoted are productive enough.
Perfect work/life balance
The pressure to earn more is always present in small and medium-sized firms. In a vast majority of cases, legal teams function overtime, since they need to finish off with the existing cases and also grab new ones. Resorting to LPOs implies that law firms will get the opportunity to reduce their workload, without having to do away with the earnings. This process simply improves the work-life balance and also boosts ‘employee satisfaction rates’ by several notches.
Even when you decide to outsource, always keep in mind that you must weigh the variables associated with outsourcing legal services, and whether your choice will indeed be the best decision in the long run. For example, take into consideration the hidden costs, local law systems, proper communication between an attorney and clients, and also confidentiality. In this way, LPO would be a much smoother process.
Across the globe, the law industry is making a gradual shift towards outsourcing for obvious reasons. In a competitive marketplace, it’s indeed a lucrative option, and equally profitable to opt for outsourcing. Going by findings too, in the near future, outsourcing will certainly take huge strides.
Different sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, clothing, and even eateries have also benefited at large, thanks to the increased number of LPO success stories. This just stands testimony to how outsourcing has won the trust of most people worldwide.