Legal Research Services

Legal Research Services

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley conducted a study that reveals that lawyers and legal assistants working in India on behalf of the US companies earn, on an average, around one-third of what their US counterparts are paid. This disparity alone results in cost savings of anywhere between 60 percent and 70 percent.

India is likely to be the primary beneficiary of the legal research services outsourcing trend due to the significant wage disparity between Indian and U.S attorneys. Moreover, the number of English-speaking attorneys entering India’s legal market every passing year is on the increase.

Legal research services are gaining popularity in the outsourcing industry with US legal firms alone outsourcing over $600 million into legal research services.

Criteria for selecting a Legal Research services Outsourcing Location

  1. Large wage differential
  2. Highly qualified workforce
  3. Common law jurisdiction
  4. English-speaking
  5. Advantageous time zone difference
  6. Good work ethics
  7. Good communications
  8. Infrastructure
  9. Stable government
  10. Growing economy

In India, for example, there has been an 85 percent drop in telecom rates over the last three years, the reasons being the launch of India’s first private undersea cable and the privatization of the telecom industry. Greater bandwidth availability makes for easier and unlimited access to online legal databases.

This equips overseas legal staff in locations like India with the same legal research capabilities as their counterparts in the United States. There are various projects that you can outsource once you are comfortable with the notion that the quality of your work product to not likely to suffer on account of any inherent incapabilities of the outsourced legal team.

Quantitative legal tasks

  • Indexing and objective coding
  • Database creation and maintenance
  • Legal transcription

Qualitative legal tasks

  • Due diligence reports
  • Fifty-state surveys
  • Patent and trademark work
  • Review of transactional and litigation documents
  • Drafting contracts, research memoranda, pleadings and briefs

What (not) to Outsource

Favorable projects in Legal Research Services Outsourcing

  • Database creation and maintenance
  • Contract drafting
  • Drafting pleadings and briefs
  • Legal memoranda
  • Due diligence reports
  • Litigation support
  • Patent review

Unfavorable Projects in Legal Research Services Outsourcing

  • Legal opinions
  • Merger and acquisition
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Project requiring political connections
  • Project requiring negotiation

Outsourcing is perhaps most cost-effective in the area of legal research and litigation support.

Risks of Legal Research Services Outsourcing

Unauthorized Practice of Law

Legal research services outsourcing may not raise unauthorized practice of law issues.
Stephen Gillers is a professor at the New York University School of Law and is a legal ethics expert. He says “There is no problem with outsourcing because even though the lawyer in India is not authorized by an American state to practice law, the review by the American lawyers sanitizes the process”. This practice enhances your project and keeps us on the right track to fulfilling your legal needs.


Yet another concern is the confidentiality of information we handle for you on behalf of your customer. We have made substantial investments in securing computer networks and information systems from hackers in order to safeguard legal information.

In today’s continuously evolving business environment, to stay competitive, companies worldwide are outsourcing business operations that can be done more efficiently and inexpensively overseas. Like outsourcing has revolutionized other industries like IT, software, health care, call center services etc., it’s only a matter of time before it brings the legal research industry too into the same league.

Read the case study to know how Flatworld Provided Law Research & Market Research Services to a US Law Firm.

Read more about outsourcing call center surveys to Flatworld.

Forrester Research has projected that by 2015 there will be 489,000 US lawyer jobs being outsourced to lower cost countries like India. By some estimates, 20 percent to 50 percent of US legal work could ultimately be outsourced.

We are located in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore also known as the outsourcing hub. FWS has been in the outsourcing industry for over 17 years now. Legal research maybe novel to the outsourcing industry but not to us.

Expand your possibilities! Contact us now.

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