Over the last few years the legal sector not just in India but globally has seen a high growth in the level of competition. It has become imperative for law firms to gain competitive advantages by understanding the advancements in technology and client needs. Those who turn a blind eye to these changes would unfortunately be obsolete in the next few years.
But the question still remains, What would a law firm in the next few years be like ?
The law firm of the future would be very different from what we see today. Let’s shed some light on a few aspects of what the futuristic law firms would be like:
Innovations in servicing clients:
The way clients are serviced and treated would drastically change in the future. Law firms would look at innovative ways with regards to how they approach their clients. One of the biggest factors in doing so would be innovations in the pricing model. Law firms today price their services primarily based on the time taken for it to provide the services or in other words, the billable hour method, however this pricing method would go obsolete in the future. To service their clients better, law firms would look at innovating their pricing strategies and implement say a Performance based pricing strategy : As the name suggests, under this pricing model Law firms would agree on certain performance metrics with their clients and would get paid only once those metrics have been achieved. The advantage of such a pricing model is that such a strategy would be extremely client friendly as the client will need to pay only when targets have been met. This will create huge amount of trust in the law firm which in turn will allow them to get more clients and generate higher profits
Shift of focus from Revenue to Higher profits :
Law firms of today have always focused on increasing revenue, however if we look closely the competition between law firms have constantly been increasing however the demand for legal services has been stagnant making growth in revenue extremely difficult. Therefore the law firms of the future would not be focusing on revenue but on higher profits and margins
Making Technology the foundation for growth:
Last 3 years have seen a significant introduction of new solutions aimed at making the legal sector more advanced and efficient. From E-Discovery solutions to automation in contract drafting, various legal tech startups have come up to improve the lives of a lawyer, however the adoption of technology in law firms is still very low. The biggest disruption that has been talked about is the use of artificial intelligence in law. Artificially intelligent softwares will help law firms become more efficient and possibly reduce costs and gain higher profits.
The law firm of the future would not only adopt these technologies but will also work in synergies with various companies to build solutions that could further improve the legal sector.
High focus on brand value:
With increasing competition it is essential for a law firm to stand out to its clients. The law firm of the future would focus heavily on their brand presence. We can already see this becoming a focus for firms with more and more conferences being organized by them, investments in innovative solutions and creating a work environment where innovation is key.
It would be exciting to see how the law firms of today transform to the law firms of the future. With increased competition and a likelihood of foreign law firms to foray into the Indian legal sector, it is paramount for Indian law firms to look towards the future and grow their practice accordingly.