24 Dec 08 Career in Indian LPO_A Problem of Perception

A career with an Indian LPO was the least preferred among law students, according to a recent survey conducted by ValueNotes.

This is despite the fact that 45% of respondents felt that the pay package at an LPO was better as compared to the pay package at law firms. While there has been significant media hype about legal services outsourcing, it was surprising that a large number of students pursuing law were either unaware of offshore legal services (better known as LPO) or they did not consider it as a preferred career choice.

The same talent pool of graduating law students is tapped by multinationals, international law firms and Indian law firms. While multinationals are expanding their operations in India, the Indian companies are expanding their global footprint. Thus the requirements of both these groups for legal advice on financing, mergers and acquisitions, immigration, etc is expected to increase. In addition to this, international law firms are also interested in setting up shop in India and are pinning their hopes on the Bar Council to liberalize the Indian legal services market.

 

Legal Career Options – Ranking
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             Source: ValueNotes report on Career in Indian LPO

The common feeling among students is that work at an LPO is repetitive and highly process driven. Says a student in the second year of the LLB program, “I will have lost the legal knowledge working for an LPO. After the first few years, I’ll get stuck in a rut and will not be able to advance my career.” According to Shashikala Gurpur, Principal, Symbiosis Law School, “There is apathy on part of the students towards LPOs, because of various reasons: the general feeling that LPO is not any different from BPO or KPO, LPOs are understated in the market, they might have to do a monotonous job which requires no skill and the reputation of people who work in LPOs is hampered as legal industry veterans seem biased.

The small percentage of  students who do opt for an LPO career are ones who think chances of being successful at litigation or a corporate legal career are slim or salary returns from an LPO career are good. “I’m happy working for an LPO as the remuneration offered for the eight hours that I work is good” – A Student who had completed LLM and just joined an LPO. Said another student in the second year of the LLM program, “I think working for an LPO is great as not everyone can appear in court or have a corporate legal career. Compared to the other career options, LPOs offer good remuneration.

 

Salary at an LPO

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  Source: ValueNotes report on Career in Indian LPO

One of the primary challenges for service providers currently is to change this perception of students. In light of this, it is imperative for service providers to spread awareness about offshore legal services outsourcing not only among students but also faculty members in law schools. Educating senior lawyers in the industry should also be a priority as they influence younger lawyers considerably. In the long term, greater partnerships/tie-ups between industry and universities will improve both the quality and quantity of the labor pool and change the perception that students have towards the LPO industry.

The above article is an excerpt from ValueNotes report on “Career in Indian LPO: A Problem of Perception? ” .

ValueNotes Research
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