ALSP – Not Just Your Daddy’s LPO: eDiscovery Trends (Part One)
By Tom O’Connor
One of the biggest topics of discussion at the recent Legaltech® conference in New York was Alternative Legal Service Providers or ALSPs. I was interested in the topic really because I was confused as to what the term ALSP meant. Like several other people I spoke with at the show, I originally considered an ALSP to be just a newer name that marketers had given to legal process outsourcing or LPO.
LPO was, of course, the exporting of legal services to low-wage markets either overseas (off-shore) or in the United States (on-shore). The LPO trend had been fueled by many factors, including:
- The rising cost of legal services
- The growth of the Internet
- Increased automation of legal processes
- Developments in data security
In my experience, LPO offerings tended to be focused primarily on low cost document coding or data entry and were utilized primarily by law firms. But the recent rise of ALSP services, which have LPO characteristics, seems to be fueled by corporate law departments that are interested in partners providing software built specifically for their legal and compliance needs.