Organizations can benefit from hiring the services of an LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing) provider to cut costs and reduce the time taken to complete legal processes. LPO providers like National Legal Staffing Support have a team of experts that can ensure the services are delivered on time and according to the set specifications.
Like with many legal processes, ethical issues arising from the act of obtaining legal support services must be reviewed. Here is an outline of some of the ethical issues that need to be looked into before hiring an LPO provider.
Whether the organization chooses to outsource legal support services to an outside firm or doing it in-house there will often be staff involved who are not fully qualified attorneys. Some of the staff may include paralegals who assist in researching and providing crucial support needed to complete legal processes.
In many jurisdictions, paralegals do not have to be qualified lawyers to perform most of the tasks. For this reason, they need to have an attorney who can supervise the process so that issues relating to ethics will not arise during the process.
Handling Confidential Information
Since providers sometimes rely on paralegal and non-legal staff to help them complete processes, they need to ensure that their staff understands all the ethical issues involved especially when it comes to handling confidential information.
One way to reduce risks is to have all the staff trained to handle these processes. They need to understand common legal procedures, for instance, the steps to be followed when filing a patent. Even better, LPO providers should ensure that their staff is made up of qualified legal experts who have passed the bar exam.
The location of the LPO provider is an important consideration to make especially where the issue of ethics comes up. Legal Process Outsourcing is quickly becoming as popular as outsourcing has become in areas such as IT and financial management.
To cut costs further, some organizations have opted to outsource to firms in Asia and other parts of the world. While this is often seen as a very cost effective approach, organizations must realize that there are many issues that need to be addressed before this step can be taken.
One of the biggest issues with offshore outsourcing is that the legal experts have been trained in a different legal jurisdiction. The staff needs to have a clear understanding of what is considered to be the best practice for legal support services in the client’s country. Clients also need to understand the risks associated with enforcing agreements and contracts with an LPO provider situated in another country.
The American Bar Association lists some of the issues that need to be considered when looking into the ethics of the legal support services provider. The association cites supervision by a highly qualified attorney as being one of the most important steps LPO providers must take to ensure the process is ethical. Client organizations are advised to take time to consider the capacity of the provider to deliver the legal services they need.