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alphabet arts

Legal Drafting

Legal drafting is an art which involves preparation of legal documents that are reduced into writing including the substance of underlying law, negotiating skills, arguments, and strategies for client’s representation and ability to close a transaction. It is an essential part of legal writing, where a legal issue or problem is analyzed with regards to the binding legal text and then duties, rights, and liabilities of a person or a legal entity are crafted. Understanding of legal context, specific area of law and knowledge of the language used by the courts and attorneys are important while drafting any legal document, including but not limited to, contract, agreement, demand letter, settlement letter, motion, response to the motion, mediation brief, complaint, appellate brief, etc.

While drafting a legal document, one must keep in mind a few things, like, organizing of thoughts before writing, use of clear and simple language, avoid unnecessary words and lengthy sentences, appropriate use of legalese, scope of amendments in future, anticipation of the impact on the interpretation, precise and concise matters, details of events or documents in a chronological order, etc.

A legal professional who drafts a legal document should always focus on his audience while drafting and should be aware of the need to enhance his professional drafting skills. Drafting of any complex legal document has to be done with immense care to make it flawless and with all the efforts to facilitate strong arguments in favor of the concerned party and places heavy reliance on the authority.

Litigation Overview

Litigation is the process of dispute settlement among the parties to a lawsuit. Parties involved in a lawsuit can be individuals, business entities, non-profit organizations, or State. In the process of litigation, Plaintiff is a party which initiates the legal proceeding against the other, Defendant with relevant allegations of fact which gives rise to cause of action, statement of damages claimed and prayer for relief. Such matters are heard before a court of competent jurisdiction brought by the parties to the lawsuit for dispute resolution. The rules of civil and criminal procedure govern the process of dispute resolution in the adversarial system of law or common law countries.

In the modern era, the process of litigation initiates the moment anyone takes steps to enforce or defend his legal rights by sending a legal notice or a demand letter by the attorney on behalf of his client asking the other party to compensate the aggrieved party for injuries or damages sustained by him. Nowadays pre-suit litigation activities are involved to save time and avoid the cost and inconvenience of a lawsuit in a legal proceeding.

In case the dispute has not been settled by initial negotiations then the aggrieved party goes for filing a formal lawsuit. However, there are serious consequences that can be faced by the litigants if not complied with the law of limitation or procedural laws, since the court of law does not allow a suit to be admitted if it is barred by limitation or if adequate procedural laws are not followed.

In general, there are different phases in a litigation process, i.e., pleading, discovery, trial, resolution of the dispute, appeal, and enforcement. However, at times litigation still continues after a verdict is rendered. Even when the jury’s verdict is accepted by both the parties, motions, hearings, and orders are necessary to properly close a case. Litigation does not end with the trial. It’s an ongoing process which can be quick and to the point or can stretch for years.

Full Service LPOs vs. Task Specific LPOs

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Industry has emerged with the concept of globalization and is growing rapidly. The reason behind its rapid growth is the increased demand for legal outsourcing services at low cost since the litigation costs are getting ridiculously high day by day and with the bunch of legal proceedings going on, lawyers find it difficult to spend hours in paralegal and other legal support work. Nowadays most of the law firms either large or small, in-house counsels and corporate legal departments consider LPO industry to be helpful and efficient in getting their work done. The industry since its emergence till date faces several challenges, such as, quality, client relationship, security and confidentiality issues, ethical implications, service level agreements, certifications to address the security and confidentiality concerns, etc, and by overcoming all the challenges, the outsourcing industry has emerged as a go-to solution for most of the law firms and corporate entities, irrespective of their size

Based on different types of services provided by LPOs, they are classified into full-service LPOs and task-specific LPOs. Full-Service LPOs provide a full range of LPO services. They are well established as well as large organizations in this industry. One can get all the services done on a single platform rather than dividing tasks into different LPOs who are dealing with specific LPO services. Task-Specific LPOs are those which provide legal outsourcing in a particular field like document review, contract review, and so on. It delivers specific services and not a bunch of legal outsourcing services.

Most of the law firms and in-house counsels prefer full-service LPOs reason being they get all their work done from a single source which saves their time and money. Task-Specific LPOs are good options when one has to avail a specific task. Most of the task-specific LPOs have clients from big law firms and organizations since it might turn costly for small organizations and law firms to avail services from such LPOs. Whereas Full Service LPOs are better options for both large as well as small organizations and facilitates several benefits when compared to task-specific LPOs, such as cost saving, everything on a common platform, time-saving, fits all organizations’ needs, etc.

Benefits of Legal Outsourcing

In recent years the legal outsourcing industry has seen unexpected growth. The reason behind such growth is the benefits that one gets from legal outsourcing, be it in-house counsel, law firms or other organizations. There are several benefits of legal outsourcing to these organizations, such as—

  • Cost savings
  • Better focus on core business activities
  • Dedicated workforce
  • Access to experienced legal professionals with outstanding expertise
  • Save valuable time
  • Exceed client expectations
  • Reduced cost of having regular employees
  • Minimal infrastructural costs
  • Increase in profits
  • Access to quality legal services
  • Gain an edge over competitors
  • Not just for big firms

With the ever-rising cost of litigation to stay competitive, it became imperative to reduce costs which in turn took a toll on the partners’ profits and overall net revenue of the firms. Considering to outsource most of the tasks not only reduced the cost but also increased the overall revenue by handling more volume of work, which otherwise was difficult with the limited number of resources available to do the job. Through outsourcing, they save more than 50 to 60 % of the cost, as Full-Service Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) companies have the capabilities and resources to offer comprehensive litigation support services, corporate legal services, medico-legal services and paralegal support services which enable lawyers or the designated resource to spend less time on the review. When most of the work is delegated and delivered on time, they get ample time to focus on the core business activities

It also facilitates dedicated workforce with the required expertise in that particular area of law.  The added advantage of legal outsourcing is that the professionals who are hired by these outsourcing companies to perform even the basic secretarial work are also law school graduates with five years of legal education under the common law. These law school graduates are extensively trained to handle almost every single task, so the clients have access to quality legal services delivered to them on time.

Outsourcing can play vital a role in gaining an edge over competitors, as your in-house resources have a considerable amount of bandwidth to stay client-focused, offer better customer service experience and exceed client expectations. Outsourcing per say is not just for big law firms or corporations. Solo, Small and Medium law firms and organizations are the biggest benefactors of Outsourcing. It is often seen that a lot of firms either have a higher volume of work with fewer resources to deliver or wish to attain more business, but do not have the required resources to deliver. In either case, Outsourcing is the savior, as your outsourcing partners will have the required resources and the expertise to relieve you of the concern “who is going to handle my work”, rather you have the flexibility and assurance to go out there and the market for more business.

 

 

Factors supporting LPO trend

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is the industry which carries out legal work at reduced cost, outsourced by law firms, in-house legal departments and various other organizations. LPO is the fastest growing industry which has provided alternative career option to lawyers, offering them better salaries, working conditions and work-life balance. It attracts the legal professionals because of various factors, such as, exposure to the corporate culture, openness, transparency, inclusivity, etc. Apart from benefiting the legal professionals, it also benefits the legal industry. With the increasing number of litigation work the litigation cost has increased dramatically and it drives corporate legal budget too high and with legal outsourcing the costs involved is reduced. The best part is the quality of work is not compromised.

There are various factors which support legal process outsourcing, these are—

  • Globalization
  • Internet and its growth
  • IT tools
  • Data security
  • Economic changes
  • Rising cost of legal services

The concept of globalization has opened the gate for outsourcing industries as it helps in developing and operating business on international scale. It has also facilitated economic interdependence of different states’ economy across the globe by increasing economic integration. The rapid growth of internet and its usage has also supported the legal outsourcing industry in its extension since the work done requires internet access as all the legal documents are accessed and processed via internet. Legal outsourcing is a combination of legal work and use of information technology as different IT tools help in carrying out legal outsourcing, such as, case management tools, litigation tools, etc. Data security has always been a major concern in legal outsourcing industry as legal professionals work on highly confidential data. However, with the compliance of advanced data security standards this industry works more efficiently, as a matter of fact it is much safer, considering the various studies conducted which prove that majority of the data leaks happen in-house or through ex-employees

There were other challenges too faced by this industry, such as, quality and ethical implications, however, with the growth and maturity of the business these concerns have also been tackled and handled efficiently by adopting the culture of professional ethics. With these supportive factors and many more LPO industry has grown bigger and includes various litigation support services, paralegal, IP, corporate legal services and other services, such as, legal research, medico-legal services, legal billing, etc.