The Business of Law: No More Mr. Nice Guy


I was having coffee with a lawyer friend the other day, each of us chatting about what we were up to. The “future of law” topic inevitably came up in conversation, since the current evolution of law practice drives everything I do. So we talked about my personal favorite topic, UK’s Legal Services Act (LSA) and the coming of Alternative Business Structures (ABS). He was unfamiliar with this business, so I explained what they were. When I finished, he shrugged his shoulders and said: “But that’s in England”, meaning, of course, it had nothing to do with us.

Wrong answer.

The corporate world is globalized. It doesn’t get hung up on things like jurisdiction and nationality. The only question is who will dominate the legal services industry, not what country they come from. There is significant money to be made in the commoditization of legal products, which used to be strictly within the wise domain of the $500 per hour man , and the wolves are at the door. Already, they are jockeying for position in the UK. And in the US, a bill has been put before the North Carolina legislature proposing to allow non-lawyer investment into law firms. This is a global economy hungry for new market share. Law had never been a profession subject to marketplace dynamics, but then neither was the practice of medicine, and look how they’ve learned to. . . restructure.

Which is why thought leaders in this arena no longer ask “if”; they are only now considering the “how”: how will law firms evolve in the fluid dynamics of a changing profession? How do they keep their hold on the legal bread and butter that’s threatening to find a home on giant corporate server farms?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Donna Seyle - Law Practice Strategy | Attorney Advertising

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