Law Department Management Blog is pleased to welcome a new guest author. Robert M. Unterberger, a litigator for more than 20 years, has more recently been CEO, Head of Legal Solutions and Consultant to U.S., U.K., Canadian and Indian-based start-up, boutique and large LPOs. An adjunct law professor, Bob has been profiled in publications including Entrepreneur, New York Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, and Law Technology News. He may reached at 302-562-2535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A consistent objection to LPO is the potential exposure of client confidences and data to third parties. Add to that the concern that national security might be compromised by offshoring, particularly at a time when government resources are trying to defend against cyber attacks, and a reasonable person might just say: “Why bother with LPO?” But I offer a concept that has been the buzz of conversation among my LPO peers: Offshoring to U.S. commonwealths and territories.
Think about it, LPO performed “by Americans, in America” – but by Americans who will take the job for less, possibly much less.
What’s not to like? Offshore LPO performed “on shore”. Our shore, though conveniently not one of the 50 states. This LPO model is particularly compelling where patent searching, support and drafting involve highly regulated industries subject to export control (think aerospace and other defense industries).
As someone who has operated in domestic and foreign outsourcing for two decades, I completely understand this – for want of a better term – “offshore but our shore” model. But it should apply on a case-by-case, one size doesn’t fit all basis. My fear, and that of my LPO provider peers, is that this model feeds into the antipathy, fear and defensiveness toward LPO that good men and women have been working to erase.