A growing number of American law firms are outsourcing legal work to India taking advantage of the country's low cost.
In an article, the Wall Street Journal points out that while an hour's work in the US costs anywhere between $200-$300, the same work would cost one-tenth or one-twelfth in India.
Moreover, lawyers in India do not require any special training since both American and Indian legal systems are rooted in the British common law.
Using high-speed Internet connections to access US legal and patent data, Indian lawyers can easily handle work such as vetting contracts, checking on patent registrations or reviewing documents related to foreign cases can file and defend patents.
American lawyers also hire legal outsourcing companies to comb through evidence and documents from past court cases, highlighting what is important and relevant.
So far, outsourcing has created 12,000 legal jobs worldwide, according to Forrester Research.
The Cambridge (Massachusetts) firm predicts that number could shoot up to 29,000 in 2008, with most of those jobs going to India.