Posted by: birdsongslaw | August 26, 2008

Florida Bar Gives Thumbs Up on Overseas Outsourcing

Here’s Dee Dee, Birdsong’s girlfriend, on more exporting of  American jobs, this time too close for comfort.

We have a duty to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs out of the U.S.  And, during this week of the Democratic convention, If the Democratic party wants the winning ticket,  it must vociferously commit to keeping work here at home for Americans and must milk it for all its worth.  Some of you will remember the 1992 Democratic campaign slogan, It’s The Economy, Stupid that catapulted President Clinton into the White House.   This time, the party will win on, “IT’S KEEPING LOCAL JOBS LOCAL STUPID!!!”

Manufacturing jobs have dried up, so Americans are told to get retrained in another skill-one that requires the employee to provide front-line service. 

Like Lawyers or Paralegals, for instance, right?  Wrong!!! Just last month,  the Florida Bar Association’s Board of Governors affirmed Proposed Advisory Opinion 07-2.   In its final opinion, the Florida Bar gives the green light to a Florida law firm which seeking to hire overseas lawyers and paralegals (specifically Indian lawyers and paralegals) to draft contracts, prepare documents, and conduct dictation from their foreign offices!  And it appears they are following in the footsteps of California and New York!

This is the same Florida bar that is widely believed to discourage competition in Florida by lawyers from other states, who seek to expand their practice in Florida.  There were several issues the opinion did warn Florida lawyers to be mindful of, but they all related to ethics.  Has the Bar clarified that, though overseas outsourcing of legal work may be ethical, the Bar does not support it?  The silence is deafening!

So lawyers are now seeking cheaper professional labor, going the way of American manufacturers, clothing designers, credit card and bank services and IT providers! 

Thanks, Rohan Swee, for your response to my earlier Nielsen posting.  You sure called this one!  He reported to me that Lexis/Nexis hired load of foreigners who came to the US on work visas,apparently arguing that there was a shortage of applicants for the jobs they filled.  Mr. Swee predicted that this hiring was an example of “the usual prelude to offshoring”.  And here it has reared its ugly head in our own backyard of Florida.   Are we going to accept this or just roll over and play dead?  What are our elected officials good for if not to get their ears bent on our displeasure with this development.

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Responses

  1. Outsourcing, whether you agree with it or not, was inevitable in this global economy where job shifts – delegating to the lowest competent level – becomes a mode of survival in a high-cost legal system.

    However, that does not necessarily mean that paralegal jobs will go away. Most likely, the nature of the work for paralegals will upgrade to more sophisticated work. In other words, the work will now look differently.


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