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While Many U.S. Firms Struggle to Survive, Indian Firms Thrive

As U.S. law firms struggle to survive in this economy, India's lawyers thrive, reports the Financial Times. And it's not just outsourcing companies that are reaping the benefits, but India-based law firms. At top firms, junior partners are earning up to $250,000 before bonuses, and some firms have increased salaries by 200 percent. And while those salaries may seem small by New York standards, they've grown considerably since 2001, with starting associate salaries jumping tenfold.

In large part, the boom for Indian lawyers is attributable to the company's strict admission rules, which guarantee a virtual monopoly. As we've reported here, India prohibits foreign firms from setting up shop within the country. So for companies doing business in India, a domestic firm is the only game in town. However, the economy in India is also growing -- according to India Today magazine, the country requires 3,000 new lawyers a year to keep pace with demand.

But it's difficult to say whether India's lawyers can keep pace with the demand. Some foreign firms are building India law practices outside the country to get around India's strict policies. In many instances, foreign firms manage to lure the brightest Indian lawyers, leaving domestic firms without adequate talent. And some companies located in India express frustration about the difficulty of doing business in the country given the restrictions on foreign lawyers. For the time being, however, India's law firms remain the envy of outsiders.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 12, 2008 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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