Law office of the future


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NCPA presentation on the evolution of "the law firm." This presentation explores the climate of the law industry and the direction it's heading. This presentation is a great resource for new and seasoned law professionals. Are you prepared for the future?

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Law office of the future

  1. 1. THE LAW OFFICE OF THE FUTURENCPA Annual MeetingApril 5, 2013Camille Stell, Director of Client Services
  2. 2. OPEN STATEMENT It’s not about change, but at what velocity Tom Clay, Altman Weil
  3. 3. AGENDA Discuss law firm of 1980 Statistics What keeps lawyers up at night What keeps paralegals up at night Furlongs 4 stages Law Firm of future Employee of future
  4. 4. LAW FIRM OF 1980 No computers – they filled rooms Selectric typewriters, carbon paper, magcard machines Fax machines – 1 page in 6 minutes Large firm was fewer than 20 lawyers Libraries had books, we filed advancesheets and pocket parts Stood in line at banks to deposit cash andchecks
  5. 5. STATISTICS 2012 - 44,500 law grads, 21,800 new jobs (fromABA and US Bureau of Labor Statistics) 20 – 25% fewer lawyers in law firms in 10 years(from Altman Weil)
  6. 6. WHAT KEEPS LAWYERS UP AT NIGHT Should I open my own office, keep my officespace? Hire staff, associates – keepstaff, associates? My clients want less service, less fees, onlyadvice, no forms How do I invest in technology?
  7. 7. WHAT KEEPS PARALEGALS UP AT NIGHT Firm economics Firm relationships are deteriorating Change in relationship with supervisingattorney or team Firm’s reaction to changes Am I next?
  8. 8. THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEGAL SERVICESMARKET (JORDAN FURLONG, LAW21 BLOG)Stage 1 – Closed Market – most of 20th century upuntil no later than 2008 Law has one authorized provider – lawyers Jobs increase out of proportion to demand forservices No outside competition No pressure to innovate Little incentive to use technology Services are expensive
  9. 9. THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEGAL SERVICESMARKET (JORDAN FURLONG, LAW21 BLOG)Stage 2 – Breached Market – 2008 – 2016 Economic upheavals disrupt market Technology disrupts lawyers from traditionalroles Limited regulatory options against emergingcompetition (such as Legal Zoom) Firms cut positions to preserve profits Declining demand for lawyers leads toovercapacity in firms Law schools experience pressure
  10. 10. THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEGAL SERVICESMARKET (JORDAN FURLONG, LAW21 BLOG)Stage 3 – Fully Open Market – 2016 – 2024 Small, high-value portion of legal work is reservedexclusively for lawyers Many consumer legal services shift from lawyers tonon-lawyer providers, much corporate work shiftsfrom law firms to non-firm providers Most mid-size and large law firms downsizedramatically and some close Non-lawyers evolve to fill in gaps in market Client access to legal services has never beengreater
  11. 11. THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEGAL SERVICESMARKET (JORDAN FURLONG, LAW21 BLOG)Stage 4 – Expanding Market – 2019 - ? Combination of multiple providers and affordable pricesopen huge, previously latent market Innovation in services increases range and depth ofaccessible legal work Market expansion accelerates rapidly – legal job growthreturns, systems and IT advances achieveunprecedented levels of accuracy and efficiency in basicdocuments and processes Routine legal work is subject to fierce competition Elite firms – both solo and global - thrive by handlinghigh-quality, highly paid, mission critical work – lawyersare strategists, counselors and trusted advisors
  12. 12. 5 TRENDS Consider outsourcing options Consider real estate options Better to have variable costs than fixed costs Clean up books and experiment with feestructures that work for your clients Be open to change
  13. 13. EMPLOYERS OF THE FUTURE Transitioning from lifetime employment model toone in which jobs and companies are likely todisappear (or reinvent themselves) in 5 or 10 years Once you are more efficient, you don’t go back toprior inefficiencies High value to clients is advocacy and counseling(skills, experience, expertise, judgment, knowledgeof the client and the industry) Low value to clients is process and content (duediligence, document draft, research, assembly andreview)
  14. 14. NEW COMPETITORS – NEW ENVIRONMENT New model of traditional law firm – Morningstar New model of non-traditional law firm – Axiom LPO’s or Legal Process Outsourcing – obtaining legalsuport from an external law firm or legal supportservices firm for work such as data analysis andmanagement, doc drafting, doc prod, due diligence, e-Discovery, IP services, legal research, legal transcription Traditional firms with in-house affiliates – WCSR – CaseManagement Facility Online providers of legal services – Legal Zoom Virtual Law Offices IBM’s Watson – replace 500 associates
  15. 15. EMPLOYEES OF THE FUTURE Have a mindset open to change Adapt to changing conditions Research, study, assess market changes then usethe information for strategic decision makingand continual evolution of your strategy Ability to be creative as well as analytic Being adaptable and unique
  16. 16. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE PROFESSIONAL? Face to face contact Return calls promptly Dress professional – judge’s comment about theclub – look up photos of professional dress Shake hands Good communication skills Good email communications – avoid carelessmistakes Show respect Show loyalty Put away gadgets, phones, no bluetooth in your ear Show good manners
  17. 17. ENDING Change is rarely pleasant, but change is here tostay
  18. 18. RESOURCES Law 21 – blog by lawyer strategic consultant Jordan Furlong –The Evolution of the Legal Services Market – 4 part seriesDecember 2012 Growth is Dead e-book available on the Adam Smith – written by lawyer and consultant Bruce MacEwen The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Servicesby Richard Susskind ABA Law Practice Magazine Jan / Feb 2013 – “Reinventing LawFirms” – with a feature story on Raleigh NC firm Morningstar NC Bar Association Law Practice Management section ABA Law Practice Management section
  19. 19. CONTACT INFORMATIONCamille Stell, Director of Client ServicesLawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company Of North CarolinaP.O. Box 1929, Cary, NC 27512-1929Tele: 919.677.8900 | 800.662.8843www.lawyersmutualnc.comFollow us on Twitter:@LawyersMutualNC, @CamilleStell, @MarkScruggsEsq,Like us on Facebook / Connect on LinkedIn