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Growing up we were all probably painted a picture by our parents that if we work hard and become good at something that we could possibly turn that into a successful career. For many of us it may have painted a bright outlook on our future; one where there is sunshine and rainbows. Unfortunately for those in the legal profession, that bright future seems to have gotten a little overcast. In a post on Lexis Nexis Business of Law Blog, it cited the 2014 Bellwether Report which implied that being “good” at lay may not be so good for your future.
In the study, which surveyed 170 firms with various backgrounds, a general theme became evident; that being good at the law is no longer good enough.
So why all of a sudden is being good at something not good enough?
Well entrepreneurs are assuming that “good law” is a given and that they need to find something else to be their “point of difference.” The once point of difference of good law has been replaced by the understanding of clients’ actual needs. As a result those who were previously seen as clients are now being treated as customers.
It’s not just the services that are changing, in fact the customers of legal services are changing the way they operate faster than ever before in commercial history. This movement has led to a rapid change in their expectation of what they want from their legal providers. These fast changes in demand have led to struggles for many law firms, particularly big law. Larger law firms are now looking to cut costs, to manage customer/client engagements more effectively or to steal market share from their competitors.
So who are actually benefitting from this shift in trend?
Independent lawyers are creating new businesses to deliver what customers really want. So as this new way of work spreads throughout the profession one can’t help but wonder what the next profession-altering movement will be.
What do you think? What other changes could we see in the future?