The New (?) Economics of Canadian Legal Research

Simon Chester’s post last month about outsourcing legal research referred to a recent U.S. article. Last week, one of my partners forwarded an email he had received from an Indian-based “professional legal organization” offering legal research and writing services.

The prices quoted (US $10 – 15/hour for legal services and US $199 for legal research services on a case – work completed in 72 hours) are much lower than the rates quoted in the earlier article. At these prices, it’s hard to avoid the temptation to “try them out”.

In the wake of Katrina, a number of state jurisdictions are looking at their rules governing the “practice of law” with some states taking a more liberal views than others. I don’t know of any jursidiction that has regulated who can conduct legal research. Typically, the results (and legal advice) are conveyed to the client by a duly qualified practitioner. As other off-shore jurisdictions become more aggressive in their marketing attempts, will this change?

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