It was 5:00 p.m. on a Thursday and JD was looking forward to dinner with her family and an 8:00 p.m. soccer game. It had been a crazy day, and had this been a few months ago, she would instead have been preparing for a long night at the office... An hour ago a tiny USB stick containing hundreds of documents had found its way to her desk with the instructions to prepare a summary of the key documents for a partner to review before a client meeting at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. She hated document review at the best of times. But document review on an evening that would otherwise be spent with her family and getting a little exercise was just plain awful. And by the looks of the number of documents on the USB, to get it done she might have had to forgo a good night's sleep as well.
JD was so happy that this USB stick was not going to be her problem this evening. She pressed send on an email marked URGENT to the project manager in India letting him know where to find the large zip file of documents she had just uploaded to the cloud server, and requesting that the review be completed by the next morning. It was 6 a.m. in India and she knew the LPO team assigned to the file would be heading to the office soon, and that by the end of their workday (the beginning of hers) a summary of all these documents would be available for her and the partner to download and review. JD smiled and shut down her computer, just as her husband called asking her to pick up a couple sweet potatoes for dinner. "Sure thing," she said. "See you in 10."
Now I'm going to be honest, I just made that story up, but there are many lawyers who would be able to tell you a very similar story from their REAL LIFE.
Today I'm writing about something that has been described as a "major alternative to traditional law firms": Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO).
More specifically, I'm writing about Pangea3, the LPO firm out of New York, Dallas, Mumbai, and Delhi. Pangea3 was founded in 2004 by David Perla and Sanjay Kamlani. It has grown from 35 employees to 300 U.S., U.K. and Indian attorneys, engineers, scientists and other professionals providing LPO services globally. Maybe you've heard about LPO before, maybe you haven't, but either way its a pretty AWESOME alternative, or supplement, to the traditional provision of legal services.
So what does Pangea3 do?
It offers LPO services in four areas: litigation support (document review, discovery support); corporate transactional work (contract drafting, due diligence); IP (patent applications, research); and governance, risk management and compliance (regulatory requirements, filings, research).
And maybe, unlike JD, you actually like document review, and other areas of legal process. If so, a LPO firm like Pangea3 may be an ideal place to make your career.
LPO firms offer an alternative to traditional legal careers, and create opportunities for young lawyers in the United States, in a job market that has in recent years been tough. See New York Times article on this issue here.
Here's a few comments from the perspective of those working there..."Its entrepreneurial"..."Everyone is passionate about getting things done"..."There's a lot of freedom to implement my ideas"..."Its not politicized"...More here!
What I like about LPO is that it benefits lawyers and clients alike. It assists corporations and law firms to increase efficiency. It allows lawyers to eliminate many tedious tasks from their to do list that are not within a lawyer's expertise, allowing them to focus more on strategy or technical legal issues relating to their areas of expertise. Which in turn reduces costs to clients, and the amount of time needed to get things done. As the above example indicates, it also enables lawyers to promise their clients that their legal matters will be worked on around the clock without actually missing out on much needed sleep!
Waking up after a good night sleep to find that tedious, time consuming aspects of your to do list have been completed? Don't pinch yourself, its no longer only happening in your dreams!
Here's to BELIEVING in MAGIC.