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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
 
  May 2016
 
  April 2016
 
 
 
 
News

Indian Lawyers Pick Syntax Errors from US Firm, make a Killing

If you have the flair, flaunt it and make a fast buck out of it. That's what desi lawyers are doing with their proficiency in English.

Many top US law firms are hiring Indian lawyers to edit and make grammatical and syntax corrections in legal drafts/contracts prepared by their lawyers. A Fortune 100 client of a US law firm, SmithDehn LLP, has specifically requested that legal research, analysis, writing, editing - exercises that cost millions of dollars in the US - be done by Indian attorneys.

A recent American Bar Council Journal article compared the scenario to a "man bites dog" story. It says highly-trained LPO (legal process outsourcing) attorneys in India have been assigned the task of correcting grammatical and other mistakes of partners and associates at some of the top 100 law firms in the US.

"Indian LPO companies have taken a lot of heat from US lawyers for siphoning work, but they now may need to steal themselves against editors," said the article. It further said, "High quality and effective English writing has been out of fashion in the US for several decades."

Russell Smith, CEO of Mysore-based LPO firm SDD Global Solutions, said, "We never expected lawyers in India to be correcting the grammar and legal writing efforts of US attorneys. But the fact is, it is happening today. Also, American lawyers are too busy, law firms are under huge cost pressure and therefore unable to take time to do a perfect or near-perfect draft copy."

Till some time ago, Indian lawyers were seen to use lofty English - British- style pomposity, a vestige of colonial rule. Their sentences were long and winding. There were too many usages of passive and indirect speech. "Today, they are good with plain, crispy, clear and clean English writing. In fact, LPO has made them think global and grow global. American lawyers are liking it, a high-quality second look at the draft," said Russell.

Mini Joseph Tejaswi

 
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