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It has been obvious for a long time that change was coming and that the increasing pace of the market meant traditional ways of formulating strategy were unlikely to be fast enough for law firms to be successful in the new world.
A lot has been happening in the last few years – outsourcing, new business models, technology, the need for innovation and differentiation, and the even more pressing drive for efficiency and (truly) effective strategy.
The speculation about the possibility of UK law firms attracting external investment and the potential that brought began to become reality with the emergence of new law firm franchise models and the well publicised investment in Quality Solicitors. Much of the focus in this area was on consumer focussed legal services, but in the world of commercial law, pricing models continued to vex the profession, with pressure on profits resulting from a growing rejection of the billable hour model and a re-examination of what value really means in the world of legal services.
Irrespective of whether lawyers were working in the world of business or consumer legal services, traditional career paths were breaking down and new options were emerging. This in turn has triggered a debate about how fit for purpose current legal training is - and, in particular, against the current economic backdrop, whether training as a lawyer is a sensible career choice.
There has been massive change in the space of two years.
This change will undoubtedly continue, and in my view will accelerate. For the agile, entrepreneurial firms and lawyers, and those new entrants with the assets and appetite for success, this is a time of great opportunity. For those law firms struggling to change, sitting on the fence, or burying their head, the end may not be as far off as you think.
Let your creativity and courage take centre stage and seize the opportunities that will emerge.
Just do something.
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