The Executive Director of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, James Lantonio, reports in an article in Legal IT that his firm’s experiment with offshoring word processing is successful so far. 

A key factor in the firm’s decision to outsource word processing to India was the partnering of an offshore provider with a domestic company. Lantonio writes that his firm “began a pilot programme about four and a half months ago and it has gone exceedingly well… The quality of the workforce in India has been excellent — they are quick to ask pertinent questions and make no assumptions, and the turn around time is well within the acceptable boundaries.”

He adds, however, that lawyers still need to be convinced that the work can be done remotely. But the evidence suggests that this concern is misplaced. “Amazingly, most of the complaints revolve around work that is done domestically” he reports.

It seems to me that several factors will continue to cause firms to consider offshoring as an option:

  • The continuing success of offshoring business process operations by corporate America.
  • The growing number of law firms that have developed an outsourcing practice and therefore have a group of lawyers who increasingly understand the business dynamics and advantages of outsourcing.
  • Increased pressure in large law firms to control costs.
  • The success of the domestic centralization of law firm services (e.g., Orrick’s West Virgina center).
  • Availability of a “US front end” to offshore services.