Freelance Lawyers and LPOs: Distinguishing Your Services

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An interesting conversation is taking place in LinkedIn’s group Solo Attorney Practitioner’s Forum concerning the prediction that onshore LPOs will proliferate this year and the effect that may have on freelance lawyers. Since LPOs aren’t going away, freelancers must gain market visibility by distinguishing themselves from LPOs and establish a firm, independent presence in the legal marketplace.

My sense is that the rise in popularity of use of the word “outsourcing” (i.e., “I hired a web designer to design my logo” vs. “I outsourced my logo design to a web designer) is somewhat the culprit in the association of LPOs with freelance attorneys. Back in the day when “legal process outsourcing” meant sending only largely unsophisticated legal projects to offshore service providers, the term had a much more specific definition. Now everything that isn’t done by you or your employees is “outsourced”. When you’re talking about phone service installation, it’s no big deal. But when you’re a domestic freelance lawyer, providing legal services to other attorneys as an independant contractor, the use of the term “outsource” in any way puts you in immediate association with LPOs. That is not a place you want to be.

Why not? Because LPOs have been quietly creating an onshore presence which will no doubt proliferate in the coming months and years, ignited by the Thomson Reuters purchase of Pangea3, with the intention of opening more US offices. At the same time technology enables automation of legal documents, offshore LPOs who have experienced financial success look to expand the range of services they provide by upgrading the training necessary to accomplish more complex tasks. Onshore LPOs will quickly follow suit. According to Fronterion, Inc....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Donna Seyle - Law Practice Strategy | Attorney Advertising

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