The field of law has seen a considerable amount of change over the past few years, including massive shifts in overarching market dynamics, changes in employment rates, and shifts in the way that lawyers see their work. All of these trends have implications both in the efforts of maintaining a legal department within an existing organization. Wherever you stand, your best chance to keep pace with the market is to consider restructuring.
Changes in the Competitive Model
Previous characterizations of the legal industry could be regarded as a functional free market with numerous independent businesses competing for work in all areas of the industry. Whether in broad general practice or niche specialties, the trade has been characterized by diversity.
The earlier nature of the trade presented its own difficulties with individual players finding challenges in a competitive market. Over time, however, the market has taken a different direction as it has become dominated by major players, leaving other firms to contemplate strategy for market position.
Options on the Table
The difficulty for midsize firms is that all of the roads ahead involve risk and restructuring that will cost the firm partnerships and areas of practice. Mergers and acquisitions involve the rendering of some partners obsolete, as not all members of the organization will prove capable of practicing law on a larger geographic and technical level. However, a failure to grow leaves midsize firms at odds with the increasing presence of oligopoly in the legal profession. Other options for midsize firms include consolidation or an effort to be acquired by larger players.
Investing in an existing practice through restructuring proves to be one of the most rational approaches to the current market. This initiative is vital for niche specialists with low market demand. Like previously discussed options, restructuring involves the loss of members of the organization, with the added demand of investment in capital through training and technology. However, current trends show an increasing number of mergers, dissolutions, breakups, and also the emergence of multi-disciplinary practices. The continued pressure of market shifts alongside pressure from clients in methods of service delivery mean that the status quo is no longer viable for small- to medium-sized firms, and restructuring is the most effective solution for firms hoping to proceed without taking part in acquisitions or consolidation of their practice.
Trends overarching the field of law as a whole are pertinent to legal departments operating in larger organizations. The push for work-life balance and advances in communications technology have led to the increased presence of part-time, flex-time, and telecommuting in the field. With the high demand for lawyers in the current market, many businesses have chosen to accommodate the needs of lawyers through novel arrangements. Firms offering outside counsel have also adapted to the current climate with many offering pricing other than the traditional billable hours model, including fixed and capped fees.
The current climate in the practice of law is one of change. As you consider the changes in restructuring, emerging platforms in talent acquisition offer solutions that line up with trends in the overall market. LawTrades Apex provides you freedom from the complexity ceiling of LPOs alongside flexibility in the nature of hires. From one-off projects to continued support our platform serves as a liaison between the diverse needs of employers and similarly diverse incentives of candidates. In striving to maintain an edge in any field of law, your best chance of keeping in pace with industry trends is by working with an organization that offers adaptive solutions. Start your search today to find out what LawTrades can do for you.