The Bellwether Report 2019—what you might have missed

The Bellwether Report 2019—what you might have missed

This year our Bellwether Reports broke down some of the top issues currently being experienced by small law firms, which, by in large resonate throughout the whole profession. From skills that may be lacking in the profession and the challenges of tackling workplace stress, to the benefits of small firms and the impacts of Brexit, the Bellwether reports break open the fears and trends resonating in the market today.

In case you missed them, we’ve outlined the key messages from each report:

The Good Solicitor’s Skill Set - Is there a disconnect between assumptions and reality?

Are the human, legal, and business skills solicitors recognised as the most important ones, in fact, the most lacking in the profession?

The report found that the skills needed to help practitioners stand out may not be as difficult to obtain than you might think—with 9 out of 10 solicitors believe you must have both good business and human skills, as well as the legal acumen. However, our report questions whether there is a lack of emphasis on those vital business and human skills, due to a “tendency to cling to the status quo, even when beneficial changes, with clearly articulated parameters of success, are identified”.

4 of the top 10 key skills for lawyers today include:

  • entrepreneurial skills
  • a good understanding of commerce
  • a service industry mentality and,
  • generating business

Read more in our article: Are the skills needed by solicitors lacking in today’s legal profession?

Is the Future Small? - A Look at Small Law Firms in Today’s Market

Within the workplace, is the future of the legal market going to be in small law firms?

As the number of small firms rise, with them making up an overwhelming majority of the legal market, we questioned whether their efficient working processes and better holistic practices could mean the future of the legal market is going small.

It was found that there are many benefits of small law firms, such as: a better client experience, workplace efficiency, an agile approach, competitive pricing and the ability to remain in control. 

For lawyer the advantages of small firms often outweigh the disadvantages, making it a very coveted industry and one that is on the rise.

Read more in our article: Size does matter: Small law firms gearing up for success

Stress in the Legal Profession — Problematic or Inevitable?

According to market commentators, there are numerous challenges facing independent law firms today. But how are solicitors themselves coping?

We identified that more than 60% of lawyers are experiencing high levels of stress on a daily basis and considered what impact this is having on the industry.

Understanding the drivers of stress such as: tight deadlines, demanding clients, long hours and billing pressures, and how to manage this within the workplace.

Read more in our article: Stressed at work? Here’s what you can do

The Luxury of Uncertainty

From Brexit causing constant unrest, the rise of consumerism to the unknown impact of the new SRA code of conduct the legal industry is experiencing a high rate of profound change. So we consider how are lawyers coping with this face paced change and what is the best way for them to protect themselves and their future?

Our findings showed that 91% of those surveyed actually felt positive about the future, but at the time not many had made contingency plans for the fallout of things such as Brexit. The report aims to uncover the reasoning behind this lack of planning or forward movement.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.