Special Report

Breaking Tradition: How New Law is Challenging Big Law

As clients adapt the way they source and purchase legal services, competition and collaboration among new and traditional providers is increasing. In the decade since the Great Recession, when alternative options really came onto the scene with the promise of offering a better way, the numbers and types of providers have exploded. Over the next year, we aim to bring clarity around who those alternative providers are, what they are offering, who they are representing, where they get their talent and what piece of the market they have and could attain. You\'ll meet the players, hear from clients, see examples of collaboration, learn the offerings and gain clarity into this rapidly growing segment of the legal services market.


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It used to be so simple. A client would ask a law firm to pick up a job, a partner would grab a few associates and get to work, some long nights and elbow grease later, there’d be a trial or a settlement or some sort of specialized advice. Straightforward. Easy.

Yes, I’m grossly simplifying things, but given the interconnected webs of today’s average litigation, legal work of just 50 years ago looks like games of Pong compared to today’s World of Warcraft-like need to multiple party coordination. You have tech providers and their 3000 flavors, ranging from e-discovery to legal research. You have business consultants, insurance consultants. You still have corporate clients, but those corporate clients have all new pressures, with boards and C-suites taking an active interest in legal to levels never before seen.

And in the middle of all of this, there’s New Law. Sometimes called managed service providers, sometimes called alternative legal service providers, and its definition spanning from the Big 4 to individual companies to law firm subsidiaries, New Law and its increasing number of providers have been at the center of a lot of conversations over the past several years. But amidst all this talk, few people seem to have a handle on what this new market actually is. There remains a lot of back-and-forth about where New Law fits into litigation or a legal department, whether they’re competitors or collaborators with law firms, and just how wide the definition of what a New Law provider should be.

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is the editor-in-chief of Legaltech News. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Zach has been with LTN since 2015. He can be reached at [email protected]

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