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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Erosion

More work may be headed in the direction of alternative legal service providers, and there’s a chance that law firms won’t be entirely sorry to see it all go. While many firms have been actively concentrating on the lucrative and high-level services that behoove their enduring perception as a trusted legal adviser, ALSPs have emerged as a major force in the type of process work that dominates much of clients’ day-to-day activity.

Still, transactional work such as e-discovery or due diligence may comprise a larger portion of the legal ecosystem than law firms realize or admit. And as demand for those types of services continue to fuel the growth of ALSPs, firms could find their grip on the market loosening with regards to scope, talent and clients.

“I think in the short term, I don’t see how it’s not going to erode law firm business,” says Nathan Cemenska, director of legal operations and industry insights at Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions.

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Frank Ready

Frank Ready is a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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