If you’re a new law school graduate looking for work, or an equity partner seeking to profit this year (and maybe next) from the leverage that high-priced associates add to your firm’s bottom line, outsourcing sounds like a bad idea. But for those concerned about the long-run psychological well-being of the profession, the implications are more ambiguous.

It’s hardly a new idea. Throughout corporate America, outsourcing has been an important profit-maximizing technique for a long time. Lawyers have made good money assisting clients in the development and implementation of such strategies. The resulting loss of American jobs has been sold as a necessary price paid to remain competitive in the global economy.

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