Whether you call it “law new” or something else, the legal industry’s future looks nothing like its legacy business model. It will more closely resemble its corporate customers and society-at-large. Its workforce will be more holistically diverse-cognitively, demographically, and culturally. It will be more creative, tech- and data-proficient, empathetic, and collaborative. Its delivery structure will be more fluid, integrated, and client-centric. And it will leverage technology platforms to deliver faster, practical, and more predictable solutions to once bespoke legal matters.
Despite these challenges, many of the factors driving law new are already visible today. For example, many firms and in-house legal departments are embracing collaboration with a range of clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. This can be a powerful tool for driving efficiency, cost control, and quality, and it may also help to mitigate risks.
The pace of business and global change is accelerating. This means significant, complex, and fluid challenges cannot be mastered by any single function, enterprise, or stakeholder group. The legal industry must be a partner in this broader collaboration process. This is not a “nice to have” but an essential imperative.
A prime example of this collaboration is the pharmaceutical company-legal department partnership in the research and development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Law can and should play a key role in this type of collaboration, but it is often not well understood or prioritized.
In addition, some legal firms are starting to explore how they can offer a more client-centric approach that includes services such as legal project management and document automation. These approaches allow legal practitioners to focus on the high value aspects of their work and reduce repetitive, low-value tasks.
This can help drive efficiencies and cost control and improve client satisfaction, which are important goals for any firm. However, this approach must be carefully planned and implemented so that it does not interfere with the primary focus of a firm’s main legal efforts. Ideally, these types of services should be a complementary offering that adds value to the client relationship. If you are interested in exploring how your firm can take advantage of this opportunity, please contact us for a free consultation.