Trends Reshaping The Legal Industry And Their Benefits


Trends Reshaping The Legal Industry

  • Globalization

Domestic law firms are expanding across borders, collaborating with foreign counsel and forming intercontinental mergers, erasing traditional boundaries on the geographic scope of law practice. Although globalization is not new, it is gaining momentum due to the growth of the Internet, the automation of legal processes, developments in data security and emerging technology tools. as law firms continue to expand their footprint worldwide, globalization will continue to reshape the landscape of the legal industry in the coming years.

  • Alternative Legal Service Providers

Lawyers no longer have a monopoly on the law. The legal marketplace is changing and clients can seek legal assistance from a growing number of non-lawyer professionals including paralegal technicians, legal document preparers, legal self help sites, virtual assistance and offshore legal vendors.

  • Virtual Law Firms

Powerful mobile devices, software as-a-service, and secure, web-based technology allow legal professionals to work from virtually anywhere. As a result, more legal professionals are working remotely from home or a virtual law office. Virtual law office provide an alternative method of practicing law that permit flexible work hours and foster a better work/life balance for legal professionals.

  • Legal Process Outsourcing

In recent years, the legal industry has experienced a global paradigm shift in the delivery model for legal services. This new model, known as legal process outsourcing (LPO), transfers the work of attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals to external vendors located domestically and overseas. Legal outsourcing, both onshore and offshore, is transforming law practice as law firms and corporate legal departments seek to minimize costs, increase flexibility and expand their in-house capabilities.

Benefits of New Legal Trends

  • Cost Savings

Organizations can reduce their cost structures through labor arbitrage – the wage differential between in-house legal personnel and outside vendors – to reap tremendous cost benefits to both lawyer and client.

  • Access To External Talent

Outsourcing legal work to external vendors allows organizations to access high level talent and niche expertise that does not exist within the firm. For example, coding and document review. Access to external talent is particularly useful for small boutique firms to fill in gaps in internal competencies.

  • Reduced Turnaround Time

The use of external personnel can explain internal bandwidth to reduce turnaround time for pressing legal projects. The use of a combination of onshore and offshore teams can also allow organizations to complete a project in a shorter time frame.

  • Flexibility

Employing a combination of in-house and external talent allows law firms and organizations to tailor their capabilities in response to workload and client demands. Workflow challenges are particularly prevalent for small and mid-size firms. These firms may find it more difficult to spread variability due to a smaller number of attorneys, support staff and clients.

Sources:

http://legalcareers.about.com/od/careertrends/tp/10-Trends-Reshaping-The-Legal-Industry.htm

http://abovethelaw.com/2015/12/4-legaltech-trends-to-watch-for-in-2016/

https://bol.bna.com/top-legal-trends-in-2015-predictions-for-2016/

Tips For Lawyers: How To Relieve Stress

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Feeling behind at work? Are you overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Lawyers suffer nearly four times the depression rates of other professions, and stress and anxiety within the legal profession are well documented. Professional burnout is on the rise and while there are no quick fixes for the depression epidemic afflicting lawyers, there is some relief to be found through the practice of mindfulness.

Set your intention the night before

This is especially helpful for those of us who have trouble falling asleep due to our racing minds. Before you go to sleep, set your intention for something that you want to accomplish in the morning. Having reminders set up for yourself in the morning are also helpful. For example, if your intention for the morning is to start your day with 5 minutes of meditation, maybe it would be helpful to leave yourself a sticky note on your bathroom mirror so that the rush and chaos of the morning doesn’t distract you from your original intention.

Start with your priorities – not someone else’s

Do you spend your morning hours trapped in your Inbox? When you’re responding to emails, you’re allowing other people to set priorities for you. Carve out no-email time in the morning when you’re most productive to do work that requires focus.

The Power of having a NOT To Do List

Create a ‘Not To Do List’ and see if it’s bigger than your ‘To Do List’. This follows right along with setting your priorities. Work can pile up, it happens to all of us, and when this happens, it is easy to get caught in the overwhelming urge to complete the work and meet the deadline. However, that often also means that we end up spending our days doing more work than is expected of us. The act of creating a not to do list helps to highlight a lot of the work that is meant to be delegated or outsourced to colleagues.

Minimize distractions

Things that pop up on our desktop or makes noise pulls us away from what we’re focusing on. Consider turning off auto-notifications on your computer as well as your phone.

One attorney shared that she was constantly getting distracted by staff needing her attention. In order to reduce interruption to her work flow, she put a timer on her office door. When she needed a block of time to work, she would set the timer. This let whoever visited her office to see that this was her “no distraction” time and also knew exactly what time they should come back.

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Tips for Writing a Legal Article

Writing a legal article that will actually get read takes a lot of skill and commitment. But, with the right mindset and advice, it can be done in a way that will be appreciated by your audience and shared amongst your peers. Most lawyers write articles that summarize a specific case, propose a point, and explain various concepts or other useful information that will be placed in a firm’s resources for its clients. Here are some key tips for producing a legal article that is informative, engaging, and read:

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First, and perhaps the most important rule of thumb, is know your audience. Before you even finalise what topic you will be writing about, considering your audience should be at the top of your list. It is vital to know both who they are and what they know. Many writers create a person in their head (also called an avatar) based on someone who would be part of the audience they are writing for. A notable Lawyer blog entitled, Tips for Lawyers, gives an example of creating an audience member in your head for when you are writing a legal article:

“Jane is a 34 year old mother of two, she works full time and her kids stay with her parents during the day. Her husband is away often working for a mining company. Jane doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but needs to stay up to date to ensure she manages her business well,” (8 Requirements for Writing a Legal Article That Will Get Read).

Notice how detailed the writer is about the person that represents its audience so he or she can know exactly who their audience is – the more detailed, the better.

Another important factor to consider when writing a legal article is the headline, which should inform your audience why they care about the topic you are writing on. Your headline should be interesting and detailed, not boring and uninformative like “Court Update,” or “Law News.” Keep in mind, you should avoid headlines that are too fancy and clever, because then you’ll just be causing a lot of unwanted confusion for your audience members. If your audience cannot understand the headline of your article, chances are they will have no interest in actually reading it.

Investing time in your opening sentence is vital for writing an article that will actually be read and recognized. According to Tips for Lawyers:

“Your opening sentence MUST align with your headline and your extract – they need to tell the same story, but not in the same way. The opening sentence should offer enough about the article that the person wants to read the rest. It should not contain the answer to the question, the benefit you offered, or anything else that means there is no need to read the rest of the article,” (8 Requirements for Writing a Legal Article That Will Get Read).

Another tip for writing a great opening sentence is to avoid mentioning case names, legislation, or other topics that will bore your audience out of their mind.

Lastly, images. Make sure their are images in your article and make sure they are relevant. It’s as simple as that. For more tips on how to write an intriguing legal article, check out Tips for Lawyers’ article here.