The Hindu article "Three myths about legal services offshoring" by D. Murali and Goutam Ghosh addresses three concerns about offshoring.
Myth number one: ‘Indian lawyers lack the skills and aptitude to handle high-end legal work for the West.’
Here is what they have to say about legal education in the US as compared to India:
Legal education in both India and the English-speaking West serves essentially the same purpose – to train its graduates to “think like lawyers” and to teach them how to conduct research in the British-based, common law system. Western law schools, however, do not train students to practise law. A recent study conducted by Harvard Law School and LexisNexis reveals that 75 per cent of US law graduates admit they do not have the necessary skills to practise law. Interestingly, when young lawyers were asked what is the one thing that they wish they had learned, the most frequent answer was “how to draft a motion.” Yet, motion practice is at the heart of litigation services provided to clients by law firms.
Since Western law schools are mostly litigation-oriented, their failure to train students in the most basic of litigation skills is disappointing. However, clients who pay high hourly fees for corporate and transactional work by US law graduates are short-changed even further. It is typical for Western law students to graduate from law school without ever having learned how to draft a contract.
So you would expect that these deficiencies would be met by rigorous training programs undertaken by Western law firms. Guess again! The Harvard-LexisNexis study reveals that 64 per cent of young lawyers receive no organised, on-the-job training. They learn as they go along, by trial and error, with their firms’ corporate clients footing the bill.
By contrast, reputable legal services offshoring companies in India provide rigorous training to their lawyers, and the hours spent on training do not appear on invoices to clients.
Writing skills are also a problem:
...at least in the US, law graduates for the most part are notoriously incapable of writing effectively in English. The problem is so severe that some large US law firms now assign a writing coach to each incoming associate. However, most lawyers in the West never receive this kind of training. By contrast, reputable legal services offshoring companies in India train all their attorneys in English writing.
There is much more to ponder in that artcile, so read it in full.
Meanwhile, what do you do to ensure you stay competitive?