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Top 3 reasons to work at an LPO. But would you?

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Legal process outsourcing (LPO) companies are giving stiff competition to law firms in the talent hunting stakes, writes the Eco Times today.

 

The article quotes several people working at LPOs, who claim that compared to law firms the companies offer:

  1. better growth opportunities,
  2. decent working hours and less work pressure, and
  3. good salaries.

 

In the article I briefly argue that LPOs still have an image problem and remain second choice for the top law graduates, despite the recent inroads LPOs have made.

 

Do you agree/disagree?

 

Would you ever work for an LPO or is it still not a popular choice for most 'real' lawyers / 'dignified clerks'?

 

Or do you work at an LPO and can tell the story how it really is?

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Like +4 Object -0 Anonymous guest 22 Mar 10, 22:43
LPOs are marketing aggressively and the law students must not get misled. Some observations …
- LPOs pay better salary than some "small law firms” (but none of those “small law firms” recruit on-campus from national law universities).
- Mid-sized and big law firms don’t pay in 3-7 lakh range at top law schools but rather in 6-14 lakh range. LPO salaries are usually less than 4 lacs.
- Whatever one may learn at an LPO, an LPO guy would rarely get a chance of making it to a law firm or a company while a law firm chap can move to almost any organization.
- Many law students prefer to join a small law firm / a senior advocate than going to an LPO because the perception is that “you are doomed” to a career that can be actually called a “glorified clerk job”.
- In a law firm, one can always move on to firms with better policies or make partner by commanding that respect, but that hardly compares with a “managerial position” in an LPO.
- LPOs are a cost cutting method and do low end work. So, even as a manager in an LPO, you wouldn’t be doing anything big but just do small stuff.

Please bear in mind that your career isn't about an 8 hour shift. Its about what you learn and where you can be in 2-3 years' time.
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 22 Mar 10, 23:01
Of course, some decent lawyers have shifted from firms to LPOs at very senior positions (like VP etc.). But for them, its not about LPO v. firms but where they see the market going and how much they can make OR what lifestyle they prefer. At 35 / 40, priorities change. Not so for young lawyers. You can always shift to an LPO later if you are in a firm but it will probably not happen the other way round.
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 00:44
It is wrong to say that a man who initially worked in LPO cannot get into any other Firm or a person who worked in Law Firm can go anywhere. It is nothing but self-branding and self-confining. Except in some law firms most of the young lawyers are only doing desk job (either drafting opinions, replies, petitions or appeals etc.) Those in the Corporate area get into drafting various returns, resolutions, agreements, etc. Here again, one specialises only in one field and in all areas.
So, wherever one works ultimately it is the money and other comfort that plays a vital part. Given a chance of excessive work and lesser compensation in Law Firm vis-a-vis comparatively less work and attractive compensation in KPO, no matter what one professes, one will surely head towards KPO.
Further even within the Law Firm those appear before Forums/Courts consider themselves to be superior to those who only do desk work. All do not get a chance to appear before Courts. Just like a client prefers a particular law firm, the Law Firm also assigns stereotype works to particular lawyers only.
All must realise that it is not that any one becomes big overnight. Except those with family background and backing like sons/daughters of Judges/ and already famour Senior Lawyers etc., it takes about 10-15 years of hard work to see good money and fame. Whether one is able to withstand that long is the test!

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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 03:50
1. better growth opportunities -

Seriously? Short term (3-4 years) in a law firm, one can target to be a senior associate with decent level of client interaction and independence .... one can even move to a small firm as a salaried partner in 5-6 years. I doubt LPOs offer better growth opportunities.
Would love to see some posts that detail how LPOs offer "better" growth than law firms in a 3-5 year period.


2. decent working hours and less work pressure

Agreed. But significantly lesser pay and lesser CV development also. And lesser prestige too!


3. good salaries
Hmmm .... ummm ... well, avg. salaries are less than 4 lacs / year I believe. Best I've heard is 5 lacs. Good maybe, in these times, but hardly comparable to law firms.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 04:31
I THINK LEGAL PROCESSING OUTSOURCING IS GREAT . ITS THE PERCEPTION THAT IS NOT ALLOWING THE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT IT AS AN OTHER ALTERNATIVE TO THE LAW FIRMS WHICH WAS THE ONLY OPTION WHICH WAS AVAILABLE FOR A LONG TIME . IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT TODAY MANY LAW FIRMS ARE ENTERING INTO PARTNERSHIP AND ARE VENTURING INTO THE LEGAL PROCESS OUTSOURCING BUSINESS .
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 05:38
Yes, LPOs are great .... they generate employment etc. Yes, law firms are entering the business as there is money to be made. However, the pay to LPO workers is not the same as associates and neither is the work profile.
The issue is - what are the pros and cons of LPO life and how does it compare with other options.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 05:45
At the initial level, I think money should not be a criteria to choose an organization to work. Our eyes should be set on learning. I think there is no harm in joining a small law firm rather than joining an LPO. And it's a truth that small law firms provide better learning opportunities than the big sized. Having learnt the basics u can easily move on for them eying @ 6-14 lacks( Don't run after money, Let d money run after u). Guys like us who have no legal background/network/contac ts....and with a non NLS degree have no option but to join small sized law firms. In respect of LPO.... it would not be a prudent idea to start career with LPO without learning basics of law practice.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 23 Mar 10, 06:45
I second you.
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Like +2 Object -0 Anonymous guest 25 Mar 10, 09:36
I work with one of the most reputed LPOs in India. I am a Masters in Law from the UK and a qualified Solicitor of England & Wales. My last employer was a regional law firm in the UK. Since I have joined my current workplace, I have gotten away with that mental block for 'LPOs' as I feel like an in-house counsel for the company whose project I am heading at this LPO (and not a clerk!!!!). We do high end contractual work and our client attorneys are just a call away. I would say if someone thinks that LPO employees work as clerks, they need to wake up (to the real world)!!
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 25 Mar 10, 21:43
@9 you may be doing high end contractual work, but do you advise your client on how the contract should be drafted. The very fact that you state that your client's attorneys are just a call away implies that they advise the LPO on how the contract should be written. LPOs are merely executing the work...hardly any application of mind. The true test of a lawyer is that he/she advises his/her clients or employers on legal issues.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 27 Mar 10, 02:58
the point here is that not every law graduate has the capability of getting a job with a good law firm. and if someone does not wish to move to cities like bombay, delhi or bangalore, then they will certainly not be doing any corporate work. as for litigation work, it is highly cumbersome and most certainly does not guarantee any kind of success even after many years of working - please just visit any regional court anywhere in the country for a couple of hours if you do not believe me. and in any event, the salary that you get paid in a small city is just paltry at best (even by small city standards). it is easy for people to say that money should not be a consideration etc etc, but what happens when you have to support a family or even have ambitions to make a decent living? the point i am trying to make is that it is really not about LPOs vs. Law Firms - there is enough space for both to exist. India produces around 80,000 law graduates a year (or so i read). Even if that figure is far from accurate, i would like to know how many of them are absorbed by law firms or law pracititioners. definitely not a vast majority. meaning that there are enough lawyers to go around. also, let's be honest - not all lawyers can be partners or senior associates and not all lawyers want to be that. furthermore, any law student who wants to be a major litigator or corporate lawyer would never join an LPO and neither would a fresher who is offered a job by Amarchand/ AZB/ Khaitan/ Luthra etc ever kick that job to join a LPO.
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Like +3 Object -0 Anonymous guest 27 Mar 10, 04:20
Well, I read all the 11 posts above this comment. I think its a matter of personal choice whether you want to be a LPO staff, a lawyer, a glorified clerk or a junior. LPO provides better job security, decent salary, working hours, work-life balance. LPOs, I'll call it "softwarization of Legal Services." There is no question of High-End or low end work. In litigation, filing court papers, court fee, taking pass over, adjournment is also not high-end but, yes arguing, drafting, making strategies is definately high-end but, how many lawyers get to do that? Even for SLPs, there is a standard template available, write questions of law, add cases, thats a done deal! (I am referring to simple matters). For corporate law firms, how many lawyers can draft a Technology Licensing Agreement from scratch? All templates are available, and these are tweaked as per the clients requirements. Let's talk about LPOs now. LPOs provides global platform for lawyers to work. A lawyer gets to interact with client almost on a daily basis get to learn differnt cultures, legal systems, working style and more. All Indian qualified lawyers becomes aware of the global legal practices, which a law firm lawyer can never learn. LPO people travel worldwide, do the work on-site, transition the work to India.
To an extent, I agree that you do not advise the client what should be in the agreement but, the glory of working for fortune 1000 companies, understanding their requirements, working with their GCs office is a good learning experience. As far as career path is concerned, LPOs offer great career path. I know lawyers with 5-7 years of experience managinf 20 clients and a team of even 50-60 lawyers. How many law firms in India can offer this career path?
Ultimately, each line has its flip side. It is for the individual to decide what he wants. Lastly, LPO offers job for a lawyers i.e. Brilliant, Very Good and Good Lawyers. Brilliant can do high-end contracts, IP work, Very Good can do legal research, drafting and Good lawyers can do document review. I think in Litigation & Corporate, you have to be super brilliant to survive in the market, however, LPOs accomodates everyone!
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 03 Apr 10, 10:45
'Dignified Clerks'....I like the term man.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 06 Jun 10, 06:05
Hey!
I am a law student in my final year - top of my class and non-NLS. I am exploring options and wish to learn whether i should join a law firm or LPO (like Panage3, Quislex etc.) Also, what is the future of the LPO workers. After 3 or 4 years what growth or position can they expect?

Can they expect a chance to shift base to another country in an LPO or firm after a few eyars and what is their average salary?

Would be great if someone could offer assistance and help build my career!!!
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 10 Jun 10, 02:57
I am a lawyer and working with a LPO for 5 years. It is very true that there is no growth in LPOs just a stable life and less pressure of work.
I would like to know if I want to switch over from this career what all options I will have, if I am ready to adjust with my salary amount.
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Like +0 Object -0 gyan 10 Jun 10, 03:12
Just one answer

Is Legal thing involved when you work in these matters? Document review is no way any legal work. Contracts, you dont draft but red lining only i think. And research, I dont think its a legal work when you are a senior lawyer already and being a young lawyer its better to work in a law firm and research rather than LPO. Money will follow at right time only.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 14 Jun 10, 22:54
Yes i agree, there are the reason you have mentioned to work at an LPO. one more reason is that cost effective. India has a very different cost structure than North America, Europe, UK & allowing LPO clients to enjoy cost savings for comparable legal support services at very large discounts that range from 60-80%, depending upon the service. The use of LPO allows corporations to streamline repetitive and document intensive tasks through the use of low cost, high quality LPO professionals and specialty designed LPO software solutions that automate various legal process tasks, reducing the number of professionals involved and thereby driving down costs significantly. http://www.businessmantra.net
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 20 Jun 10, 00:20
let me start with the assertion that since the corporate world is not legally tied by strict eligibility criteria with regard to recruitment, all this talk that a lpo guy can not later join a law firm is practically rubbish to say the least.....It all ultimately boils down to the aptitude and attitude of the individual...Working in a LPO presents itz own set of unique challenges AND I would give it a THUMBS UP!!!!!
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 30 Jul 10, 00:41
One point you people have all missed most of the Lpo hire and fire very quickly, at the first sight you may think the employees are faulty but as the time passes you will find they keep on doing this and starts traping you in a bad work hardly you even be able to speak of your legal peoblems and at the end the story is Young or old legal professionals are the worst suffers of legal system prsvticed as employment policies at these Renound LPO's
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 29 Aug 10, 06:08
what is is base pay for a fresher at a lpo ?
what are the working hours ?
Where can one expect to reach in 4 yrs at a LPO ?
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 29 Sep 10, 06:30
Check out this blog that an LPO employee writes. May offer some insight.

http://corporateratgurgaon.blogspot.com
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Like +1 Object -0 Anonymous guest 17 Jan 11, 04:18
Well, there may not be much avenues available in a LPO, but it offers more stability and security as compared to law firms...so each suits one's personal liking. Since not every law graduate can get entry into big law firms, LPO is a great option, and much better than picking up piles of books and following your senior counsel in the corridors of courts for a good 5-8 yrs.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous guest 24 Feb 11, 17:03
if you cant get a job in a big or medium sized law firm, you join an LPO. If you are good and know how to pull things off.. there is none better than yourself to decide where you will be in future. Then whether you join a firm or LPO.. You'd Rock!
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous Guest 09 May 11, 11:05
They say that LPO offers a good salary. How much then is salary being offered by LPO to a lawyer?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 15 May 11, 04:00
i am a science graduate and want to get into the intellectual property/cyber law sector. i am not a lawyer. can a non law graduate look for any job opportunities in lpo? i am doing pg diploma in intellectual property rights from n.l.s bangalore under long distance education mode. please help.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 11 Jul 11, 22:50
I need to sleep
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 13 Jul 11, 23:52
Good insights about the pros and cons of career in LPO and Law in general.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 13 Sep 11, 21:46
no guys ur on the wrong track LPOs sucks it has nothing to do with law any 10 th class passed guy can even get in to it thats it its nothing nothing so called experience in LPO s
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous 28 Jul 12, 00:29
Hi all..since thers this hot discussion goin about lpo's v/s law firms its quite natural to compare btwn the two..i wud just like to add that just bcoz ppl work in lpo's they dnt get any lesser..nw for eg. Bank jobs r considered very prestigious bt what do the bank staff do?? They sit doing the same monotonous work everyday to manage our accounts etc..then whats wrng to review docs or code them by sitting in the hub of an lpo...n if we talk about exposure then if a law student gets into a big firm then too u or me wudnt ever know wht he does there n hw he escalates in his carrer..u wud never personally knw his growth..he wudnt bcum a celeb so to say..so its nt about lpo or firms...its about working n lpo work profile is surely nt clerical there r certain things that nly a law student wud know about the work...i m n employee in an lpo n i m being paid 20K for a start...i dnt find it bad coz starting to earn within a week after u get ur degree is a thing in itself...all the best...love ur work...
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Like +0 Object -0 A WELL WISHER 26 Sep 12, 19:19
Hi all you Learned Friends..!
Its just a thought, even im practicing as a Junior Advocate with a Counsel in Delhi Courts. But my counsel does not provide me any salary fixed and even if he gives will never be on time.
And I personally feel a person should not join litigation until and unless he/she is sure of getting cases in future.
OR else he will be a JUNIOR throughout his life.
Law Firms in question...People working with Great Law Firms would never help anyone with interview questions ..Commenting like this which iam doing is really easy..!
BUT my learned frnds..! I know we all have some experience or other..and we are mature...!
Lets not decide what is BAD and what is GOOD..!
I have different priorities and someone might have other..!
NOT EVERY STUDENT IS PASSED FROM ILS, NLS or NALSAR..!
But that does not mean..they are fools, if given guidance they might prove the excellent heads to Pot Holes..!

WE SHOULD WRITE AND INVITE NEW LAW GRADUATES BY WRITING IN BLOGS TO GO THROUGH THE BLOGS (PROVIDE LINKS AND TUTORIALS ) and WEBSITES WHICH CAN HELP THEM LEARN HOW TO CRACK A GOOD LAW FIRM INTERVIEWS, So that they can also ensure there career can go from UPTO 4 lacs to 14 lacs

WAT SAY FRIENDS..!
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Like +0 Object -0 nikky 30 Nov 12, 22:50
cool
LPO sounds cool..........and i really think that initially whatever be the pay..there is great scope for growth!you've just got to deliver your best at EVERYTHING you do...........
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Like +0 Object -0 DEVIL'S ADVOCATE 17 Jun 13, 21:16
HI THERE........CAN ANYONE TELL ME THE NAMES OF THE LPO FIRMS AND HOW THEY RECRUIT?
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Like +0 Object -0 San 14 Nov 13, 18:49
hiiiiii.......all of you

Everyone are giving their own views about the LPO V/s Law Firm. some says law firm are better than LPO and some other says that LPO is better than Law Firm. but I have my own experience about these Two organization. when I completed my Law than I immediately join a senior lawyer in a law firm and I work there for almost 3 years . but that senior lawyer and law firm had not give me single penny in this time period and I know how can i live my that life time..... but recently I joint one of LPO. they offer me starting as 25k per month ......
now all you can tell me now what is the better option for young lawyer.... To being a junior lawyer in this Law Firm or senior lawyers ......or to doing job in this LPO's.......... LPO is COOL AND ROCKing
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Like +0 Object -0 Karan Kumar 27 Nov 13, 18:16
Hi San,
I'm a law graduate and want to work in lpo rather than a law firm.
Infact i'm a pure lpo guy, preferring to work in Mumbai.
Can u please guide how to crack the lpo interview. Currently working in a university with marketing & sales profile[legal] and had practiced in court for one year in crime.
PLEASE GUIDE.
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Like +0 Object -0 vinay tripathi 16 Feb 14, 10:01
Basic pay in lpo's are initially for fresher is about 10,000-15,000/-.And after 3-4 yrs expirence in lpo would prefer u 35-50,000/- per month.Freshers can join lpos if they seeking for hike..initially.
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Like +0 Object -0 Ashish Singh 22 May 14, 10:12
Vth Year Law Student

I have sent 50-60 email to all type of law firms but no one entertains in such case I don't think there is any other option than to join an LPO its because of law firms only that fresh law graduates have no option other than to join LPO.
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Like +0 Object -0 its P 02 Mar 15, 11:38
if u run for money ur career will run away from u...
n if u run for ur career then money will definitely run after u..
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Like +0 Object -0 Anonymous 04 Apr 15, 11:08
LPO has always been into an outsourcing business that makes you work for 8 hours may be for some foreign law firm or company. Gives you nothing to carry out that would be useful, and they pay you very less as compared to the NMW of that foreign country. It is literally a fooling business that people are in and spoiling new graduates careers. But, why doesn't these new graduates get attracted to Law Firms? Does they get a good compensation (obviously we all study and work hard for this)? Does they get a good professional behaviour (that every new or experienced lawyer deserve)?
Anyone of the above folks who is supporting either, please answer the above questions! We all will meet up the point why new graduates are opting LPO..!
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Like +0 Object -0 plz guide 13 May 15, 22:02
hi,
itz been almost 1 and half yr i am working with small firm, what i have noticed being in litigation is, small firms do not pay may that much, in big firms you do get paid say around 20k at my stage but as a lawyer you do not grow because big firms have their own counsel's....so you as an advocate for them are as back ups to take dates to brief counsel's etc etc....so what happens to growth again???
i agree if we run behind money career will run away but till what extent are we suppose to wait if we do not have any back up in this field??? i am looking forward to join lpo industry but i would like to know till what age i can work in this field, what is my initial salary going to be and what after 5-6 years,what is the growth like and what if i dont want to work in lpo later which path i can choose then?? because back to litigation after 5-6 years is practically impossible.
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