outsourcing biglaw aba tsunami.gifRemember when “outsourcing” was something that only blue collar workers with “some” high school education had to worry about? Well, those days are long gone, and now the global economy is officially poised to raid Biglaw jobs.
In an opinion (PDF) made public on Tuesday, the ABA declared shipping legal work overseas to be ethically permissible. The New York Law Journal reports that the first causalities will likely be contract attorneys brought in for extra muscle during document intensive litigation.
But we know it won’t stop there. Check in with any other industry that has to face off against a subcontinent of educated, English-speaking professionals willing to do the work for fractions of what Americans demand. It’s not pretty.
To be sure, we can count on the ABA to erect other (largely protectionist) policies, to ensure that high-end legal work remains the sole purview of partners graduates from accredited law schools.
Yet so long as Biglaw remains big business, how long before the work of junior associates can be cost effectively shipped overseas? It’s not like firms want to go to $190K for incoming associates.
People already in the pipeline should be fine. But change is coming to our profession. This ABA decision isn’t the tip of an iceberg, it is the receding sea that anticipates a tsunami.
Make haste for high ground.
ABA Gives Thumbs Up to Legal Outsourcing [Law.com]
Earlier: Biglaw to… Rupees?


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