Top Trends Changing American Law Services
Technology and changing social paradigms in an ever-increasing global economy has launched the new era for law services in the United States. These trends work to improve efficiency, lower overall costs and help firms be more competitive. The changing economy and social attitudes have prompted many firms to change how they work, the technology used and their economic footprint.
New technologies allow for attorneys to understand metrics across multiple databases, strategic document review and develop departmental business decisions. The larger the law firm, the more helpful technology is to analytics. Using analytics throughout a project helps mitigate the firm’s exposures and risks. These technologies use software combined with strategies and human expertise to analyze various elements of the firm’s decisions. Analytics help firms lower client costs, educate employees and proactively address problems.
As costs rise across the country, many in the legal industry have begun using a new model called legal process outsourcing. Using vendors both offshore and onshore, corporate legal departments and law firms are transferring work of legal professionals including paralegals and attorneys to these external vendors. The hope is by outsourcing, the firm can expand its capabilities in-house, lower costs and increase their flexibility.
With the rise of social media platforms, lawyers have new ways of connecting with clients. In addition, social media helps an attorney find new employees, discredit and locate witnesses, job hunt and hunt for jobs. Social media is a great place to market the services of the company by extending their brand and advertising to a new audience.
The virtual workplace has extended into the legal field. Web-based technology has become more secure and convenient allowing attorneys to use the power of their mobile devices to work from anywhere. Attorneys like other professionals seek to balance their work and life. Working virtually provides these professionals with more flexibility in their schedules while still providing valuable services to clients.
Many legal professionals are working past the standard age of retirement. With an aging population still in the workforce, the age gap between the youngest and oldest employees can be as much as 50 years. Four generations are currently in the workforce with the oldest of Gen Z starting to enter the economy. Legal practices have to accommodate different attitudes, work styles and the changing dynamics within their workplace.
There are other trends affecting legal practices in the US beyond those listed here. As technology continues to change and the population fluxes, these trends may change as well.