Looking down the line
Increasing changes in technology mean that the law firm of the future will be a very different animal. Stuart Holden and Doug McLachlan look at some of the possibilities
The legal world is rapidly changing due to an increasingly competitive business environment; the availability of new technology, such as application service providers (ASPs), web TV and the internet; ‘legal profession-specific’ technology such as case management systems; and sociological change. The main changes to the legal world have been driven by competition. In the search for increasing competitiveness, all areas of the delivery of legal services have been scrutinised and the legal world is continuing to evolve, first through procedures and then processes.With the procedurisation of the legal process came the development of IT-based applications to help with this. Case management systems have helped automate these newly-designed processes providing the firm with the basis for a fundamental change in the delivery of legal services. The process of delivering a legal service could then be ‘productised’ and the products compared so one firm’s process could be directly compared to another’s and the best one selected by the customer. A knock-on effect of this could be that law firms can think about selling their processes to each other, so that a small firm can access the expertise of a large firm.
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