(Dawning of a) New Era in Legal Services

Guest Article from Andrew Weaver, CEO, LawyerFair
Legal services are in a state of flux and uncertainty.  Old orders and expectations are being shaken to the core by emerging business models, ideas and innovation.

The era of wood panel boardrooms, pin striped suits and opaque deference is being shifted aside and hurrah for that.   But boy oh boy, there is still some distance to travel before the majority of lawyers settle into the commercial mainstream of service expectations and deliverables.

Many lawyers still work in a world of hourly rates and access on their terms.  There seems to be a traditional expectation that legal services are supply rather than demand led.

As entrepreneurs, we’ve often scratched our heads in bewilderment at the approach of many lawyers to customer service.  For every radical, innovative lawyer who understands the need to deliver exceptional customer care, there is a battalion of non-believers clinging onto the old way of doing things.

But they will be forced to change.

It’s rare to believe wholeheartedly in government pronouncements but they were right (and had to be right) when stating in October 2011 that “the new Legal Services Act will offer more choice and better value for the public”.

We’re in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, there is no other direction for the legal services sector to go but forward and yet, there remains some serious kicking and screaming at the audacity of the market to expect change.

Eventually and with ever increasing rapidity, as Richard Susskind has long since foreseen in his excellent and visionary books, the legal services sector will and is changing.  It needs to become more aligned with the commercial realities and expectations of its clients.

It needs to become a demand led and not supply led sector.   It will become a demand led and not supply led sector.

Those with a knowledge of late 70’s ska music (OK, we’ve narrowed down our audience quite considerably) will recognise the title of this blog from the magnificent Specials.   Some lawyers need to take note of another memorable track from the same band to understand where their approach to legal services will be living in the not too distant future.  Ghost Town.

Contact details for Andrew

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