Relentless innovation, change, and disruption is the key themes to lawyers again this season. As legal specialists position themselves into surviving the harsh and troughs of this ailing economy, many trends have emerged in the law industry. These changes are essential since they enhance productivity, efficiency, and competition in the global market. These changes result from changing work styles, demographics, and attitudes.
In recent federal rule amendments of civil procedures, electronically stored material such as text messages, e-mails, graphics, calendars and voicemails and data from handheld electronics were made discoverable in court proceedings. E-discovery also known as electronic discovery involves the use of technology to manage electronic figures and ease discovery in criminal cases. The integration and tremendous growth of electronic discovery have led to increased complexity and will forever change the face of complex litigation.
Legal process outsourcing
In the past few years, the law industry experienced a universal paradigm shift in the conveyance model for the provision of legal services. This newly integrated model is called the legal process outsourcing (LPO). This model transfers the duties of paralegals, attorneys and several other legal experts to external merchants situated either overseas or domestically. The integration of legal process outsourcing is vital since it provides the admission of outside talent, increases availability since the number of workers is increased hence reducing the number of pending cases and increase the chances of scaling up operations quickly. It also aims at reducing costs and expanding law firm’s in-house capabilities.
Virtual law firms
Technology has for a long time been the ultimate catalyst for transformation, sanctioning organizations to be more productive and adopt better models that earn them a competitive advantage. Virtual law firms have been in the limelight to redefine legal operations should be carried out. Virtual law firms enable legal professionals to operate from anywhere virtually through the use of powerful mobile electronics and software. Virtual law firms are easy to create. They are essential in the legal industry since they reduce overhead costs since rent, fax machines, filing cabinets, and computers will no longer be of use since this technology involves the use of cloud-based practices. Client communication, mobility, and teamwork will be enhanced since one can work from anywhere and clients will not be limited by working hours to forward their cases. Legal professionals also benefit from the integration of virtual law firms since they will be able to set up schedules that suit them hence helping them maintain a balance between work, family and personal needs.
There has been an integration of four generations working together based in the legal industries. These four generations are; traditionalists, generation Y, baby boomers and generation X. As law professionals work even beyond their retirement age, several firms are striving to see to it that there is a fifty years gap between the youngest and the oldest employees. Four generations in the same workplace will come up with new challenges and dynamics and give informed verdicts to cases presented to them. However, generation Y and the baby boomers will continue to shine in the legal industry since they are exposed to current changes and occurrences in the modern era, unlike the traditionalist who is more likely to be conformed into the veteran ways of handling different incidents.
Local firms are expanding their operations across borders, working hand-in-hand with international guidelines and forming amalgamations hence erasing out-dated geographical boundaries in the legal industry. Globalisation is not a new concept in the law world, but it has been gaining momentum in the recent past due to the development of the internet, legal processes automation, data security development and technological advancements. As firms in the legal industry continue to expand their operations globally, globalization will lead to a wholly reshaped law industry in the next few years.
It’s not business as usual for firms in the legal industry, and each firm is trying to cope up with emerging trends to earn a spot in the limelight. Technology and continuous pressure from clients, regulatory systems and employees are keeping firms on their toes. This, however, is an excellent chance to re-image the legal industry and to better the services provided by professionals in the legal sector to meet client needs and demands.