What changes will happen with legal teams?
Another change we are likely to see will be made in regards to the restructuring of legal team dynamics with probable consolidation and convergence amongst top firms, similar to what occurred with the accounting sector not so long ago. There will be a rise in what is expected from legal teams given the enhanced capabilities afforded to them through the cutting edge technology made available to them in forward-thinking firms. The benchmark standard for legal team productivity will be likely to change from a time and cost calculation to one based more speed of deliverance along with the value of service delivered. We will also expect to see a change in the recruitment policies of the future thinking firms with the shift in hiring from conventional lawyers to more technically proficient legal technologists, process engineers and knowledge managers likely to come into high demand.
It is arguable that today’s legal clients have better access to wide amounts of information, alternative professionals and technology-based platforms which could perhaps place a strain on client/legal service provider relationships. These alternative solutions, namely A.I. based and online dispute resolution, are not perfect solutions but they can significantly reduce the need for billable legal hours for a given project or issue if used in conjunction with professional legal services. In the quest for cheaper, better and faster legal service provision, clients are well advised to remember that cheaper is only one part of this search. Admittedly though, factoring the investment cost of these new technologies into their pricing structure would be a huge mistake for law firms as clients will likely push back on these charges unless there is a drastic improvement in integrated services with a more trusted advisor approach.