A recent piece by David Hechler, Corp. Counsel, Dec. 22, 2008, offers some details about the nascent – more like adolescent – industry of legal process offshoring (LPO). He spotlights UnitedLex and its CEO, Daniel Reed, and co-founder, Ajay Agrawal.
UnitedLex employs about 240 Indian lawyers. Those lawyers have earned their degrees either by completing a three-year program after college (as US lawyers do) or a five-year program after secondary school (like a joint BA-JD degree). What differs from the US is that Indian lawyers do not have to pass a bar exam.
Hechler’s piece stresses the careful hiring practices of UnitedLex and its emphasis on both training and supervision, including supervision by two U.S. patent attorneys. The article says that the sweet spot of LPOs are “repetitive tasks that can be taught on the front end, and measured for accuracy on the back. Not all companies have it, or have it in sufficient volume to justify offshoring.” Some of the examples in the article include proof reading patents, checking trademarks for renewal dates, reviewing warranty agreements, prior art searches, invalidity analyses of patent infringement claims filed against a company, and patent landscape analyses.