Law is a subject in constant change, therefore, the same should happen with law firms. Faced with the new challenges presented by the legal profession, at LAWYOU we believe that we cannot remain stagnant in the traditional way of practicing law. An example of this are the new models of law firms that take advantage of all the positive aspects offered by traditional law firms, but without losing sight of innovation and new technologies.
What do they offer?
The objective of these new models is to hire the best lawyers, allowing them to work from home or from the client’s office, to finally be able to offer the client the same quality of service, but at a lower cost.
The two fundamental pillars are: the introduction of new technologies and the creation of a new internal structure.
New technologies make it possible to avoid cost overruns and streamline procedures. On the other hand, by discarding the traditional hierarchical structure that prevails in law firms, and implementing a horizontal structure, collaboration between all professionals is favored, resulting in the best possible advice for the client.
Therefore, innovation also plays a fundamental role in the practice of law. In order to practice law, knowledge of the law is necessary, but it is not enough, we must be able to develop new skills. Such as learning to use new technologies and systems for the digitization and analysis of large-scale data. Systems such as ROSS (from IBM), which we already discussed in the Cognitive Intelligence post, and which have revolutionized business.
Likewise, we must not lose sight of the generational changeover. The new lawyers, who are part of what is known as «generation Y» or millennials, are joining the profession with new aspirations, such as flexibility, diversity or conciliation. Therefore, new office models are a more attractive alternative for them, tending to avoid traditional, hierarchical and rigid structures.
LAWYOU’s experts do not forget that internationalization is a determining factor in the current situation. In view of this, the introduction of a horizontal system and the possibility of providing services without having to go to a physical office, facilitates the provision of services to international clients, as well as the ability to provide services in different jurisdictions simultaneously.
Where are we now?
Today, this project is already a reality in the United States, where law firms that favor lawyer autonomy within a collaborative structure are becoming more and more common.
However, among Spanish law firms there have been no relevant changes, they have remained very static and without demonstrating the necessary capacity for evolution that the new situation requires. Therefore, the ability to adapt continues to be a pending issue for large Spanish law firms. They must adapt their business model to adapt to the demands of their clients and streamline processes to reduce costs, otherwise the popular belief that lawyers charge more than they deserve will end up becoming true.