General counsel should know of the dramatic increase in compensation levels for associates working for large Texas firms. As in the past, the reason for the increase was that Texas firms needed to keep up with recent increases nationally that were undertaken to attract and retain the most qualified legal talent among their associate ranks.

While large firms rationalize this jump in associate salaries as a competitive necessity, a new concern has developed among attorneys: legal outsourcing and offshoring. Is it possible that some portion of legal services offered by outside counsel to their clients may be replaced by lower-cost services provided by independent contractors in India, China, Australia, South Korea or other remote locations? A quick Google search reveals that numerous businesses offer this service and that it is just one click away. Many lawyers recently have encountered this phenomenon in corporate and litigation contexts. In fact, this recent development is very real and will only become more so during the coming years.

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