Trends, Opportunities and Challenges Shaping the Future of the Legal Industry

by | Published on Oct 23, 2018 | Legal Transcription

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As a legal transcription company, we help lawyers manage their data and records, reducing their administrative burden and allowing them to focus on their core tasks. Law firms are like any other business and staying ahead of competition means using innovative strategies to overcome challenges.

Legal Industry

Here are the trends, opportunities and challenges shaping the future of the legal industry:

  • Competition: According to a 2018 Forbes article, law firms are facing strong competition and price pressure. To succeed, they need to reduce service delivery costs while improving quality of service. Speaking to Ross Intelligence, legal analyst Kent Zimmermann said that in the context of downward pricing pressure, “not overspending to get the work done will be critical to protecting and enhancing profitability”. Law firms can also take advantage of new technology to make marketing easier, faster, less expensive, and more effective.
  • New client acquisition: In a Thomas Reuters survey of small law firms, up to 75% of the respondents cited new client acquisition as a moderate or significant challenge. Attracting and retaining clients is critical the survival of a law firm. There are many tactics that can help with this such as effectively marketing each of the practice areas, networking, asking for referrals, etc.
  • E-discovery: Electronic discovery or e-discovery is the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). Complete Discovery Sources (CDS) defines e-discovery as the “electronic aspect of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a request for production in a law suit or investigation”. ESI includes emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media, websites, and more. Law firms can either move e-discovery in-house or partner with an e-discovery vendor. On the other hand, experts say that a hybrid approach may work best for some firms, that is have their internal team complete some tasks and leave others to the outsourcing firm. Law firms should explore their options and choose the one that works best for them.
  • Too much time spent on administrative tasks: The Thomas Reuters survey reported 70% of attorneys in small law firms as saying they spent almost 40% of their work day on tasks other than the practice of law. Survey respondents that rated their law firms as “very successful” reported 8.7% of their time is spent on administrative tasks, while those who rated their law firms as “unsuccessful” reported spending almost 15.3% of their time on administrative tasks. Delegating administrative tasks such as answering phone calls, balancing the books, organizing files to their team can help lawyers address this issue. Legal transcription outsourcing is a good example of delegation where lawyers rely on a legal transcription company to get their legal documents transcribed.
  • Embracing technology: Law firms that leverage modern technology have the much needed competitive edge. Incorporating technological tools increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce the time lawyers spend on many tasks. The key to success is learning to use the latest digital tools. For instance, practice management software allows lawyers to manage everything from their schedules to their case files and account statements. Also, mastering programs like Word and Outlook can save time on everyday tasks, which can have a positive impact on time management in the long run.
  • Social media: Social networking can help lawyers attract new clients. Social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also key marketing tools helps them reach out to a wider audience, build trust and develop their la firm’s brand. Social media allows lawyers to communicate with clients and is transforming the way they recruit, job hunt, locate witnesses and much more. Social media marketing also helps law firms enhance their visibility on search engines.
  • Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO): An article published by in September 2018 cites LPO as a trend reshaping the legal industry. In this relatively new LPO model, law firm or corporation obtain legal support services from a legal support services company. A whole gamut of paralegal and other tasks such as drafting of documents, document review, litigation document management, and legal research are outsourced to external vendors. In addition to getting the work done efficiently, legal process outsourcing, like legal transcription services, helps reduce costs, and saves time and resources.

Law firms need to take advantage of new opportunities coming their way and overcome obstacles to stay competitive as the market evolves.

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