Flattening the World of Legal Services? The Ethical and Liability Minefields of Offshoring Legal and Law-Related Services

47 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2006 Last revised: 14 Mar 2011

Date Written: May 1, 2006

Abstract

This article examines offshore outsourcing of legal and law-related services as the newest twist in the international market for legal services. We consider the impact of offshore outsourcing on the profession generally and analyze the ethical issues raised by offshore outsourcing, both as it exists today and as the practice may develop in the future. The article begins by situating offshore outsourcing in the framework of relationships created in the context of delivery of legal services. This framework is used, in turn, to construct a structure of analysis for the ethical implications of offshore outsourcing. Lawyers who outsource to offshore providers must conduct an investigation to ensure that the referral is appropriate. We also consider the potential reputation and economic benefits and disadvantages to law firms and legal departments in outsourcing offshore. We find that offshore outsourcing creates new opportunities for non-U.S. lawyers without putting them on equal footing with lawyers trained and licensed in the U.S. Instead, as with many aspects of globalization, offshore outsourcing emphasizes the divisions already present in the legal profession.

Keywords: outsourcing legal services, globalization, legal profession

Suggested Citation

Daly, Mary C. and Silver, Carole, Flattening the World of Legal Services? The Ethical and Liability Minefields of Offshoring Legal and Law-Related Services (May 1, 2006). Georgetown Journal of International Law, Vol. 38, p.401, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.907343

Mary Catherine Daly

St. John's University - School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States

Carole Silver (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/CaroleSilver/

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