Survey: Law departments outsource for legal work

 A survey by ALM’s Corporate Counsel aimed at assessing the spread of Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) among the nation’s corporate law departments finds that 54 percent of the companies surveyed have outsourced, defined as hiring a “non-law firm entity” to perform legal work. 


Of those outsourcing, 67 percent pronounced themselves “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” with only 3 percent “not at all satisfied.”

Among other findings posted at corpcounsel.com and published in the November issue of Corporate Counsel are the following:

• Most of the companies surveyed said their outsourcing was not offshoring: 65 percent of the law departments used vendors based in the U.S.

• Of those that offshored, 64 percent sent work to India. Eighteen percent shipped work to Australia and another 18 percent to the Philippines.

• Document review and electronic discovery were the most frequently cited types of work being outsourced.

• Asked why they outsourced legal work, fully 35 percent said “to test the idea.” This was the third most common reason, behind “lowering costs” and “reducing the time required to complete the work.”

“Our survey confirms that corporate law departments are very concerned about costs, and that many are looking for and trying, a variety of options,” wrote Corporate Counsel Executive Editor David Hechler. “As more companies stretch across continents, those options include expanding the reach and composition of their workforce.”

Survey respondents included both those replying to direct solicitations and self-selected corpcounsel.com users who clicked on links to the survey questionnaire.

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