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Opportunity for students studying law has arisen almost 5 fold with the emergence of LPO. On a daily basis I am asked by students eager to know more about this opportunity and I have tried my best to show them a glimpse of the new world so as to enable them to take an informed decision.

Traditionally there were only a few options in front of an aspiring lawyer...(i) start his/her own practice  (ii) Join a law firm (iii) start teaching or last but not the least, (iv) start working for a corporate legal department (some may even contemplate taking an additional decree of Company Secretaries). Students having been enlightened only about these three prospects become increasingly skeptical and in most cases afraid to take up any other opportunity that comes their way. Some who courageously opt for these opportunities soon end up comparing the traditional options that future prospective, which in most cases make them disappointed.   

So here I am sharing all that I know... hoping that this would help others in setting expectations when opting for an LPO job (Kindly note that I am consciously keep Legal Transcription out of this blog).

1. Limited Spear of Work:

For all those ambitious lot who would want to learn anything and everything possible within a span of 6 months... this is not the place. Not because your opportunities are limited, but because the spear of your expertise definitely will be. One should keep in mind that the work done in an LPO has be Outsourced. So, even though we have the best of minds and would like to think like lawyers (ofcouse we all learnt law...why do they ask for a law degree then?), chances are one might not be even allowed to use his/her legal acumen. You should understand that the an LPO makes business sense only if it is capable of reducing the repetitive work of foreign companies/law firms thereby saving them numerous labour hours since the same work can be done here at 10% the cost (For all who think that LPO is in for a revolution and these tunnel views need to be opposed..please hold your horses..kindly read my other points too..). 

Hence you would obviously end up with a job that tends to be repetitive and monotonous. This could very easily make you frustrated and could also affect your confidence after some time. It would hence b.e good that you have a clear understanding and are ready for such monotonous jobs. To say the least, some people do like this too, because you know before hand what you have to do. You day is predictable and can be well planned. Unlike the traditional options where you are required to slog for hours everyday, here you can actually think of striking that right balance between your professional and personal life. 

2. Varied Learning Curve:

You are not scoring a 1000 points to guess that you would be concentrating on foreign laws more often. The day may not be far when you meet your friends and are not able to contribute to the heated group discussion since it would most probably be based on Indian laws and legal system. This is the main reason why most LPO professionals tend to spend more and more time with their inner circle of LPO friends. 

I don't intend to say that you will are surely going to burn your ego. But what I am suggesting is that you have a clear picture. You will be trained on foreign legal systems and foreign laws. You will be required to understand their concepts, their history. And I must say this, had our law colleges taught us Indian law the way the LPO trainers do, they would have been churning out senior counsels.

3. Process Driven

True to the way of functioning established by BPOs, LPOs are also process driven. Anything and everything (wherever possible) is mapped to the minutes point to ensure that it is made a process. You are only supposed to do the step..not ask why it is needed.

There is also a very positive side to this. You learn how to operate things in a law firm or a foreign company. Though the Indian Law Firm in most cases do not indulge in over praising work, this exactly what foreign law firms do to increase their clientele. Probably that is because they are allowed to advertise and precisely for this reason you might end up in a Litigation team, or a non-litigation team, or a research team or a contracts team.

Most of the bigger corporations have seen logic in splitting the services, there by increasing efficiency of each teams. But this also brings me back to my first point. Work may get monotonous and repetitive. 

4. Time is of the Essence

Since getting a client is a long drawn process, LPOs (for that matter any other company under the Service Industry) would not intend to keep changing their core team. Though, each process has many sub-projects requiring the Core team hence to be in one of the processes for a long time. Let us for instance look at the processes of contracts team and the research team.

A typical contracts team would have sub process' (each a project in its own sense) such as contracts abstraction, contracts drafting, contracts negotiation etc. Similarly the research team can broadly be categorized into Case law research and general research on foreign laws. Each of the project can extend from 3 months to 2 years. Hence one who finds himself part of a contracts team typically would take about 3 years to get used to the processes and become a core team member. So ensure you have the time in your hand. 

All in all, LPOs have only increased the opportunities that we lawyers had. Though it is a nascent in industry, people have made it big and have made their own name and space. The industry is here to stay. It is upto you take an informed decision, make the requirement of the industry with your own skills and put in your best efforts to claim a piece of this pie.

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