The legal industry is shifting. Economic pressures, a changing legal and regulatory landscape, and rapidly-developing technologies all affect how lawyers and legal support professionals do business.
Here are five of the biggest trends currently changing the legal industry.
1. Electronic Discovery
Most of the information we generate today is digital, contained in word processing documents, emails, text messages, and other data. In response, courts have enacted rules to cover the sharing of digital information during the discovery process.
Because electronic data can be orders of magnitude more plentiful than paper-based information, new tools and methods of handling discovery have emerged as well. Understanding e-discovery is essential for many legal teams.
2. Social Networking
Social media has changed our lives in many ways, and the practice of law is no exception. Today, legal professionals can communicate, network, research parties, and witnesses, and manage their careers via social media tools.
Social media makes it possible to reach more groups than ever before. Yet, it also opens up new questions about confidentiality and data security as well.
3. Legal Process Outsourcing
Legal process outsourcing (LPO) relies on third parties to tackle many of the tasks of legal work, such as document review, research, and drafting.
LPO can be used to reduce costs and increase flexibility, but it can also give rise to a host of legal and logistical problems. Alternatives to legal process outsourcing, such as working with temporary staff, may help address some of the potential issues.
4. Work-Life Balance
Research on work productivity and stress indicates that workers can put in only so many hours each week before they are no longer contributing a meaningful amount or quality of work. As a result, legal professionals are keenly interested in maintaining a work-life balance that allows them to give their best effort on the job without burning them out.
5. Alternative Legal Service Methods
Instead of working solely with lawyers, many clients are turning to alternative means of receiving the legal help they need. For instance, clients may seek the help of paralegals, consultants, or legal document preparers.
Likewise, many law firms and legal departments are looking into alternative service methods, like expert witness referral services and jury consultants, to reduce costs without reducing the quality of services provided to clients.
Contact Us Today
The recruiters at Kent Legal understand the shifting nature of the legal industry. That’s why we strive to connect our clients to the best available legal talent in the greater Toronto area. For more information on legal industry trends or to find better talent, contact us today.