This summary is written by Anubhav Garg and is modified by Gitika Jain.
THE GUEST: FAROOQ HAQUE, CEO, TAXOLOGY and DIVYA VARMA, COO, TAXOLOGY
THE HOST: ANUBHAV GARG
Q.1. What was the idea behind the platform TAXOLOGY?
The idea behind TAXALOGY was to develop a platform where the professionals from the CA, CS and Legal sphere meet where they can operate, get clients, provide them services, etc. In the platform, they bring more and more opportunities to the professionals.
Q.2. What are the top organisations working in LPO?
The organisations dealing with LPO started showing up in 2010. Now in the current scenario, there are so many organisations dealing with LPO, some of them are:
- Bodhi Global Services based at Pune, focusing on Document Review, Contract Management, Drafting Analysis and Arbitration mainly for Pharmaceuticals companies.
- Clutch Group based in Bangalore, focusing on Compliances, Surveillance Solutions, Document Review and Analysis and e-discovery.
- S Cobra Legal Solution based at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, focusing on Data Collection, Earring case assessment and Analytic processing data collection, Data Review.
- CPA Global Limited, Focusing on Intellectual Property Services like Trademark, Patent, etc.
The list is big and these are the names of few players in the game. Every organisation is doing this in different fields, somebody is looking after staffing, somebody is into IPR creating a number of fields in LPO. There are not any generic names. Infosys is also into the game creating opportunities for LPO, BPO, etc. A lot of time KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) and LPO get merged.
Q.3. Which task constitutes major work for lawyers in the LPO industry?
There are different kinds of work but also we must see the source of the work. The sources can be learned from two things: THE ONSHORE AND THE OFFSHORE.
ONSHORE means that the person giving work and the person to whom the work is given resides in the same country. People generally think that in LPO industry work will only come from foreign countries, but there is a big industry in India itself, the bigshots and law firms and they have a lot of work which they give to new CAs and Lawyers. Economic Times once outlined the fact that there is a business of Rs.38 thousand crores in the Legal field paid by Corporates in India. The big companies are giving smaller works to small law firms and independent CAs for some time now.
OFFSHORE is when work comes from outside the country to India. There are different parameters they judge as to which work to outsource and which not to outsource.It involves a lot of security and especially Data Security. Major work is the work that is at the back-end. Major representational services in courts cannot be outsourced. The back-end work which can be outsourced is drafting, case research, incorporating services and the main reason for which outsourcing work starts happening is cost-cutting. Paralegals, Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions, etc.
The major LPO tasks are the litigation work, IP industry work and Contracting, compliance services, Tax Services and Consultancy, website agreements.
Q.4. What are the earning prospects for a lawyer in the LPO industry?
When one joins an establishment which is working for years, they will have their own departments looking through it and their hierarchical system. These big firms and companies will be giving 35k to 45k per month initially, and the mid-level firms give out 20k to 35k per month and for someone who wants to practice independently, there is a huge opportunity and platform. They can charge from $30 to $40 per hour and Rs.45 thousand to 1 lakh per month. It also depends upon city to city. But today, a bigger opportunity is coming online to your own. Taxology is an aggregator platform that will connect lawyers in India to foreign firms and practitioners. If somebody wants to start their own LPO, they need to have some exposure to some LPOs already to learn how to handle and get expertise. One should work in a mid-level or small level LPO firm to get a good idea of what’s done how. Big firms restrict you from exploring different works and give you repetitive work.
Q.5. What are the prerequisites for a young lawyer to enter into LPO?
There is a concept of Unlearning before you learn something new. There will be a lot of unlearning. The way we act, the way we deal with clients, the attitude itself has to change, unless that changes it will be very difficult to establish the practice. Time-management plays a crucial role as well. There are many changes one needs to adapt before entering into the LPO industry because you are not dealing with Indian Clients but foreign ones. One needs to be very methodical. The very first thing is communication and a good command of English. Then, legal analytical skills are very important. There are different kinds of work, you must choose the work in which he/she is really good at. Another important thing is understanding the technology and softwares.
Q.6. What are the common challenges young lawyers face while working in LPO?
The first challenge that the young lawyer will face is finding a client. Even if you get the client it is very much difficult to convince them. For getting the client you will have to approach them through LinkedIn or other platforms. Maybe they can start their own website and advertise it after, but the cost of this will be very expensive for young lawyers. So the foremost difficulty or challenge is to find a client. Convincing is another step of the challenge. Then comes the challenge of balancing work-life balance. Also, the biggest skill or challenge which can be seen here is your knowledge of foreign laws.
Q.7. What are the other platforms one can work upon if one cannot afford to get a premium service like Taxalogy?
You can make good use of LinkedIn.Many students and professionals do not use LinkedIn as much as it should be used or as well as it should be used. A good LinkedIn account throws a positive light on your resume as well. Showcase your talent there. Write your blog. Let people know about your ideas. Do seminars/webinars. The very basic vision of Taxalogy is to connect lawyers to clients on a global level. It is a networking portal. Building your online presence is very important. In India, we lack the factor of online presence, which Taxalogy helps in building. You have to build the image through knowledge.
Q.8. How Taxalogy works and how it helps in bridging the gap between small-level firms and the LPO?
There are some pain points a client faces while searching for a lawyer such as finding a lawyer, finding him/her on the right budget, whether they will do the job and are they going to do a good job, as you are paying in advance, the status of the job. On the other hand, it is difficult for lawyers to connect to clients, young lawyers faced the same problems because people are more inclined towards experienced lawyers. Taxology serves the clients’ specific requirements (confidentially) and then lists it out only to those experts who are skilled in that field only. You can chat, audio chat and even video chat. The portal also creates an S-cross payment method where the portal will hold on to the advance and pay the individual when the work is done. The client can also track the status of the job. Taxalogy makes the management setup where the log of work is kept and you can upload the documents and download the documents.
Q.9. Should a student have more internships and certifications to get into LPO?
Taxalogy will be launching a course for students who want to enter the LPO industry within six months. The course material will help students to prepare to get into LPO and even to start their own independent practice in LPO. Apart from certifications, it is important to have practical exposure, which makes internships and joining a company crucial. LawSikho also offers premium courses on such topics.
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