The nature of change in the legal industry

The nature of change in the legal industry

The legal industry is experiencing a period of flux, thanks to technological advancement, an increasingly informed, tech-savvy client base, new non-traditional market entrants, and more. To better guide you and help you stay ahead of the game, we wanted answers as to what kind of change is truly taking place. How does the legal industry change, and when? Does it evolve organically or does it react and change in response to disruption?

So, during November 2017, in partnership with Meridian West (an industry-leading professional services company), we convened a panel to discuss, debate and explore this very issue.

 Evolution vs disruption

The two teams – chaired by Mark Smith, Market Development Director at LexisNexis – put forward various arguments:

  • Proactivity vs reactivity: Getting “disrupted” is a symptom of a lack of attention to the factors that drive change. Proactive organisations look for factors signalling change and adapt accordingly, whereas reactive organisations, on the other hand, don’t pay attention to signals on their horizons, or simply disregard the signals until it is too late – and as a consequence, get disrupted.
  • Market composition: Could the rise of new market entrants, like online dispute resolution services and high street legal outfits, be considered a truly disruptive event? After all, such outfits will only grow by disrupting the traditional legal model.
  • Technological innovation: Advances in technology can indeed feel disruptive without adequate support and training. But as a partner at a Top 30 UK law firm observed: “A mindset shift is needed – lawyers need to be the architects of smart processes, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every time.

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