Legal Outsourcing: The Salutary Trend Continues

August 9, 2012

internet webAfter a three year study on the effect increased globalization and technology has made to the legal industry, the American Bar Association has adopted, for the first time, changes to the Model Rules that address the topic of legal outsourcing.

On Monday, the ABA House of Delegates met to review and vote on recommended clarifications to the Comments to Rules 1.1 (Competence), 5.3 (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistance), and 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law) to address the use of lawyers and nonlawyers outside a particular firm to provide legal services.

While the ethical implications of outsourcing legal services have previously been covered by the ABA in the 2008 Formal Opinion 08-451 and by several state and local bars, this codification represents the evolving legal landscape.

“We are pleased to see that the ABA has restated and broadened its position from 4 years ago: that when supervised correctly, outsourcing is a valuable, ethical and safe part of the legal services ecosystem,” stated Jonathan Goldstein, Vice President and Managing Director.

“Through outsourcing, lawyers in firms and corporations all over the world have improved the quality of the work they produce, better served their clients and lowered the cost of performing all manner of legal services.”

Click here to learn more about the adopted changes.