The recession affected every industry in the U.S., some irreparably so. The legal industry did not emerge unscathed from economic downturn, and has changed in notable ways. Certain factors including technology and economic shifts have contributed to the changing face of the lawyer, what kinds of prospects new lawyers can expect, and how the role of the legal department functions. Brooks Pierce Managing Partner Ed Winslow shared some of his insight with InsideCounsel as a veteran of the legal industry with 40 years of experience.
The industry is evolving in some specific ways since the recession, and Winslow says that part of the hit the legal market took was a product of the overall slowdown in business activity:
Winslow highlights that segmentation is one of the clearest effects we can see from the recession on the legal industry, that there is no longer a standard answer for how the legal industry acts. He says:
“The segmentation of the legal services industry seems to me to be the overriding structural change, together with the rise of transnational and multijurisdictional firms. The new mobility of lawyers and groups of lawyers has changed what it means to be a member and partner in a law firm in fundamental ways. Law firm mergers are occurring with greater frequency.”