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Globalization, talent crunch among trends affecting the legal profession

Study examines the future of the legal profession

Several interesting findings about new trends in the legal profession are emerging, thanks to a recently released study by legal recruiting firm Robert Half Legal. The report, The Evolving Legal Profession and Emerging Workforce of Tomorrow, which is part of Robert Half Legal's 13th annual Future Law Office project, revealed that the millennial workforce, globalization and a talent crunch are among the top trends affecting the legal profession.

Other key findings included:

  • Client service is broadening – Clients are looking for more value from their relationships with law firms. In addition to flexible fee structures, they want their law firm partners to have in-depth knowledge of their industry who can serve as trusted business advisers.
  • Globalization is affecting how law firms work with clients – As the economy continues to expand internationally, law firms are responding to client needs abroad by opening law firms in more countries and hiring talent who understands the local laws.
  • Highly skilled talents are needed – Law firms and corporations increasingly need more specialized lawyers. Litigation and e-discovery are pivotal areas in which legal organizations continue to need targeted expertise.

The younger generation and social media are influencing the legal workplace – To attract Gen Y and the Millennials, law firms are adapting to their wants, offering open office spaces and work-life balance perks, including flexible scheduling and telecommuting.

"The economic downturn reshaped law firm operating models, prompting even large, established firms to modify longstanding traditions, such as hourly billing, in order to improve efficiencies and offer clients more options," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "With reducing legal costs still a prevailing goal for many companies, firms need to recognize clients' resource constraints and prepare creative fee proposals that will work within corporate budgets. These are essential first steps for winning new business and retaining existing clientele."

Read more about the Robert Half study.

See more Facts & Figures on InsideCounsel.



Cathleen Flahardy

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