Monday, July 26, 2010

Indian lawyers a model in English for US firms

If you have the flair, flaunt it and make a fast buck out of it. That's what desi lawyers are doing with their proficiency in English.

Many top US law firms are hiring Indian lawyers to edit and make grammatical and syntax corrections in legal drafts/contracts prepared by their lawyers. A Fortune 100 client of a US law firm, SmithDehn LLP, has specifically requested that legal research, analysis, writing, editing — exercises that cost millions of dollars in the US — be done by Indian attorneys.

A recent American Bar Council Journal article compared the scenario to a "man bites dog" story. It says highly-trained LPO (legal process outsourcing) attorneys in India have been assigned the task of correcting grammatical and other mistakes of partners and associates at some of the top 100 law firms in the US.

"Indian LPO companies have taken a lot of heat from US lawyers for siphoning work, but they now may need to steal themselves against editors," said the article. It further said, "High quality and effective English writing has been out of fashion in the US for several decades."

Russell Smith, CEO of Mysore-based LPO firm SDD Global Solutions, said, "We never expected lawyers in India to be correcting the grammar and legal writing efforts of US attorneys. But the fact is, it is happening today. Also, American lawyers are too busy, law firms are under huge cost pressure and therefore unable to take time to do a perfect or near-perfect draft copy."

Till some time ago, Indian lawyers were seen to use lofty English — British- style pomposity, a vestige of colonial rule. Their sentences were long and winding. There were too many usages of passive and indirect speech. "Today, they are good with plain, crispy, clear and clean English writing. In fact, LPO has made them think global and grow global. American lawyers are liking it, a high-quality second look at the draft," said Russell.
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1 comment:

  1. As a result of the high litigation costs and fees to law firms or attorneys, legal outsourcing firms in India have become a new practical choice for both multinational clients and job-seekers alike. It has been seen that outsourcing in any sector (IT, law etc.) starts with lower-end work. But, this trend is currently changing and more clients are seeking high-end specialised services too in all sectors of the LPO industry. The LPO sector shall continue to grow, going by the current shift in the demands of the market. The legal outsourcing industry is still new and has not fully developed. We have very few offshore legal service providers that provide specialised high end legal services. Once this trend of specialised high-end legal outsourcing gains more pace, greater amount and variety of legal work will be outsourced.
    SDD Global Solutions
    High end legal outsourcing


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