Q&A: Meet Mark Ross, Class of 2016

Written by  //  June 9, 2017  //  No comments

Mark Ross was a pioneer in legal process outsourcing (LPO) beginning in 2004. He developed a workflow to facilitate outsourcing of routine legal work, rather than back-office operations, from an office in the UK to an office in South Africa. His was the first UK firm to publicly acknowledge the practice. As a practicing lawyer in England, Mark focused on making outsourcing work, and he was one of the first to blog regularly about LPO. When he immigrated to the US in 2006, he joined one of the first widely respected LPOs. He quickly became a leader through his blogging, publishing, and speaking, including on the topic of ethics of LPO. As the global head of LPO at Integreon, one of the largest LPOs, Mark has developed innovative programs to support corporations, including contracts. Mark shares his knowledge freely through his work on advisory boards for publications and law schools.

Mark Ross
Global Head, Legal Process Outsourcing
Los Angeles, CA

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Newcastle, England. For those unfamiliar with my hometown, Newcastle is famous for its coal mining and ship building, beer (brown ale), and, of course, Newcastle United Football Club. Newcastle natives are referred to as “Geordies” and we are rumored to have black-and-white blood (the colors of our beloved football club) coursing through our veins!

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

I guess the politically correct thing would be to say “spending time with my two delightful young children, Jordana and Sammy, ages 7 and 5, respectively.” However, while I love them to the moon and back, there is no time I love them more than when my wife and I have just deposited them at their grandparents’ on a Saturday afternoon, and we’re free, free, free for the next 18 hours or so. During that precious time, away from the incarceration of young parenthood, we love nothing more than lapping up some “way past the line of respectability” stand-up comedy at one of L.A.’s many comedy clubs.

What achievement outside of work makes you most proud?

I recently applied and was accepted to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) and am starting my training in May. Once my training is complete, I’ll be assigned a child from the dependency care system. I’ll be liaising with the courts, social workers, school officials, health care providers, and other professionals involved in the child’s life. My role will be to advocate for the child in court, school and in other aspects of their life. A CASA is often the only consistent adult presence in a foster child’s life — the one person a child truly can count on who is not paid to oversee their welfare. Although this is very much a “work in progress,” I am proud that I have started down this path and equally proud that my wife is also joining me and becoming a CASA herself. For more information see https://casala.org/.

Did you choose your career, or did it choose you?

Oh, I definitely chose my “second” career, that is the world of legal outsourcing and alternative legal services! I remember the date as if it were yesterday: 11-27-2006. The occasion of my interview with a start-up legal outsourcing company in Los Angeles. The reason I remember it so vividly is that it was less than 24 hours after I’d landed in the U.S. as an immigrant, “fresh off the boat” from the UK. In the days that followed, I also interviewed with a number of law firms. My original intent had been to take the bar and practice law here in the U.S. As an English-qualified solicitor, there would have been no requirement to attend law school — sitting for the bar was all I needed to do. However, I recall turning to my wife after a week or so of interviewing and saying, “You know, honey, I think there’s something in this legal process outsourcing game. I’m going to give it a go.” The rest is history. It was certainly the wisest professional decision I’ve ever made.

Who was your mentor and what made him or her so influential?

My late father was my most influential mentor by a distance. It took me just a few seconds to think of a quote that best sums him up: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those less fortunate than him.” This perfectly personifies my father’s legacy. He was an incredibly selfless and community-oriented individual. He passed away, in November 2016, after suffering with dignity for three years with an extremely rare condition: idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. His life encompassed over 40 years of social work, teaching, community services and charitable work. He became a Fellow of the Imperial War Museum in 2005 in recognition of his ongoing work in Holocaust education. My decision, and that of my wife, to become CASA volunteers is in direct tribute to my late father.

Of the law-related projects or initiatives you’ve worked on in the past year or so, what is the most exciting or shows the most promise?

I’m extremely excited about my employer’s (Integreon) innovative partnership with Suffolk University Law School — the Client Services Innovation Program. The partnership is the culmination of my eight years of interaction on innovation within the legal profession with Suffolk University Law School’s Dean, Andy Perlman (another Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management). Back in 2008, we were both frequent commentators on the Ethical Implications of Outsourcing Legal Work. Andy authored a popular legal ethics blog, while I created the first CLE accredited course on the ethical implications of outsourcing legal work.

Through this pioneering program, Integreon is training students to deliver high-quality, technology-enabled, legal outsourcing services from an on-campus center and helping our clients shape the next generation of legal talent. The program offers students the opportunity to work on real-time, live, Integreon client engagements and also to benefit from academic enrichment tuition, as part of Suffolk Law School’s curriculum, from Integreon subject matter experts.

Get to know the rest of the Fellows by visiting the Recent Inductees page and by browsing the Fellows Directory.

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