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An exaggerated claim that offshoring has become a “new standard”

A column in the ACC Docket, Dec. 2011, at 24, by an unabashed proponent of offshoring who invests in companies that provide those services, went too far. He recounts an ABA panel which “showed that outsourcing legal work is more than a trend among law firms and corporate legal departments.” The panel of a professor, a general counsel and a law firm partner had discussed issues and examples, but to my reading had offered no proof of the columnist’s claim that this technique has moved beyond “trend.”

Promoting his view further, his next sentences ends with bravado regarding outsourcing legal work: “It is a new standard in our current legal environment, and has become a permanent fixture among corporate legal departments and law firm users.” No, offshoring and outsourcing are not standard practices among U.S. legal departments nor anything like a permanent fixture. Offshoring (and near-shoring) is one evolving tool that some departments have tried for certain needs and met with varying degrees of success.