Large law firms are desperate to cut staffing costs and have been for a few years. I myself am a victim of Fried Frank’s version of this trend. Prior to this recession, large law firms did not typically lay off large numbers of attorneys and if they did it was hidden. Now with blogs all over the internet leaking each layoff, they cannot get away with it. Hence the growth of the staff attorney into a full time position. Today’s New York Times notes that some firms are replacing outsourcing to India to outsourcing to Pennsylvania. This makes sense as there are plenty of unemployed lawyers, better trained than those in India who are working in the same time zone.
I was onced asked if I would use an outsourced lawyer in Israel, and I mentioned to the person, who was looking to start just such a business, that it made more sense to outsource to Nebraska, which has lower pay than New York City, but fewer downsides to foreign outsourcing. I of course, do not outsource work, as I view it as a bait and switch. I am promising my work, as a solo attorney, only to send the work to a company far away working under limited supervision.