The legal profession changed at a rapid pace throughout 2022. The industry witnessed trends such as technology intervention, employee retention and much more, all changing its climate. All these issues were a driving force for the trends that we could observe in the legal sector in 2023. Now that we have already entered another financial year and have studied how the market is responding to various aspects such as inflation, talent retention and more, let us look at the top trends which have been evergreen in the sector.
1. Technology Nothing can top this factor. We have observed it well that technology has become a necessity for law firms, to perform tasks such as day-to-day operations, and also for retention and law firm selection. It has been acting as a talent attractor, performance driver and overall, acting as a productivity solution. In 2022, a survey found,
79% of legal professionals reported that the increasing importance of Legal Technology is a top trend.
64% of professionals in corporate legal and 63% in law firms plan to increase their investment in software to support legal work in the next 12 months.
87% of corporate lawyers and 83% of lawyers in firms say it’s extremely or very important for them to work for an organization that fully leverages technology.
Not only this, many such surveys have revealed somewhat same findings, that legal professionals’ belief and adoption of technology will be increasing in 2023. Factors of employee retention, client attraction and inflation have just been acting like a pawn in this game.
2. Adoption of external arrangements has been increasing. The way work is performed and who does it, is changing. Legal departments have been reporting that they are insourcing more work, and are increasingly leveraging different types of external arrangement to get their work done. As a result of this, we expect an increase in ALSPs, non-legal staffs and more self-service for clients. Mentioning another report from the survey above,
84% of corporate lawyers in 2022 reported making higher use of ALSPs, contractors and non-legal staff.
81% of lawyers in law firms reported making higher use of third-party or outsourced resources; 78% said greater use of non-legal staff; and 77% increased client self-service.
3. Increase in volume and complexity of compliance. Along with new and emerging areas of law, there has also been an increase in volume and complexity of information, posing a significant challenge for legal professionals. Legal professionals are now of the belief that increased volume and complexity of information is going to remain a top trend throughout this year and in all practicality, not even 50% of firms are prepared as of now to manage it. Considering the emerging areas in law, data privacy and ESG will remain at top, making it important for every person in the legal profession to get aware and educated about it.
4. Hybrid mode of work has been more alive. When covid struck and businesses came to halt, hybrid or remote working came into existence. Even after entering the post-covid environment, most professionals from every industry remained reluctant to work from offices. Hence, hybrid working became popular. Even now, for majority of legal professionals, home is where the office is, some of the time. Even many surveys have highlighted that in the legal sector more than half of the corporate lawyers expect to work remotely from home at all times or even part time
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