In Three myths about legal services offshoring (The Hindu) there is some very very sobering information especially for those who hope that it means offshoring will just fade away sooner or later.

If you intend to practice law for 10 or more years then:   READ THE ARTICLE

Here are some teasers/excerpts:

"Attacks on the competence of Indian lawyers and law graduates are about as valid as saying that Indian software engineers are incapable of handling sophisticated IT (information technology) work. To the contrary, the Indian IT industry is a world leader, and the same will be the case with offshored legal services."

"A recent study conducted by Harvard Law School and LexisNexis reveals that 75 per cent of US law graduates admit they do not have the necessary skills to practise law."

"So you would expect that these deficiencies would be met by rigorous training programs undertaken by Western law firms. Guess again! The Harvard-LexisNexis study reveals that 64 per cent of young lawyers receive no organised, on-the-job training."

"By contrast, reputable legal services offshoring companies in India provide rigorous training to their lawyers, and the hours spent on training do not appear on invoices to clients."  

"…at least in the US, law graduates for the most part are notoriously incapable of writing effectively in English. The problem is so severe that some large US law firms now assign a writing coach to each incoming associate. However, most lawyers in the West never receive this kind of training. By contrast, reputable legal services offshoring companies in India train all their attorneys in English writing."

"The future of the legal services offshoring industry in India appears very bright."

"Corporations, not Western law firms, will drive the market in the years ahead."

"Another way that corporations will drive the market, indirectly, is by obtaining flat (or fixed) rate billing from their outside counsel, instead of hourly billing. For example, the mega law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, now handles all of the litigation for Cisco Systems for a fixed annual fee."

"Every sector of the legal offshoring industry will grow dramatically, including lower end services, such as document coding and legal transcription. Ultimately, however, the biggest impact, the long-term mother lode, will be higher-value services such as legal research and drafting – services that constitute the bulk of the legal work now done in the West."

"Long-term, India’s enormous, mostly untapped population of over one billion citizens will continue to make India competitive in relation to other offshore destinations… ultimately it will not only decrease poverty, but increase the number of law graduates."

"On the most positive note, the growth and development of the legal offshoring industry in India will help bring about a major change in the way legal services are delivered in the West."