December 2008: 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.
With the increasing demand for legal services from different sectors in the legal industry, there is bound to be a fight for talent. Though there are about 80,000 law graduates each year, the number that is employable is quite low. LPOs will face an even greater problem in the fight for talent as they harbor a negative perception among law students.
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.”
One of the primary challenges for service providers currently is to change this perception of students. In light of this, the report recommends greater participation of service providers in spreading awareness about the offshore legal services outsourcing not only among students but also faculty members in law schools. 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.
ValueNotes recent report – Career in Indian LPO – provides understanding of the perceptions of law students on pursuing a career in offshore legal services or Indian LPO. The findings are based on an extensive survey conducted among several law students and faculty members from colleges across various cities in India.
ValueNotes is a leading provider of business intelligence and research, with expertise across selected domains and types of customer needs. Working with clients across the globe, we have significant understanding of international markets. www.valuenotes.biz
The ValueNotes Sourcing Practice is one of the largest information providers on the outsourcing industry. The Practice uses a comprehensive, analytical framework providing fresh insights into the fast emerging and yet, complex outsourcing space. We extensively track the space through regular analysis of news and events, continuous primary research and contact with the industry.