Whenever the term ‘entrepreneurship’ is introduced, we do not commonly associate it with law. In particular, the legal profession has always been traditionally conservative, which brings us to the fact that lawyers have always had an emotional attachment with the existing social and economic order that has brought them fame, and thus they find it difficult to employ any fundamental change which would disrupt their sector.
But since a few years, the concept on legal entrepreneurship is being brought up in the sector and the first question it raises is if legal entrepreneurship actually exists? How is it different from the mainstream entrepreneurship?
Before breaking down this concept, we should firstly understand that before the pandemic struck, the legal industry was very conservative. It was during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that lawyers and legal professionals had to bring in alternatives in this sector in order to keep their businesses afloat. Today, the legal market, as we know it, is the result of the “intrusion” of the entrepreneurship, which has definitely regulated the legal profession, making it accessible for everyone.
In this article, we will break down entrepreneurship through the eyes of the legal industry, while also discussing what it takes to be a legal entrepreneur.
For us, lawyers are professionals who look to mitigate risks and prevent things from happening when there are no clear limits. These professionals are trained and licensed to prepare, manage and either prosecute or defend a court action as an agent for another and who also gives advice on legal matters that may or may not require court action. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are those individuals who set up their own business, while taking up financial risks and hoping for profits.
In general, a legal entrepreneur sits in the middle of these two cards. While an entrepreneur just goes along with his idea and has an objective of making things happen fast, a legal entrepreneur usually faces rigid regulation, old customs and other archaic market behaviours. This is mainly how a legal entrepreneur distinguish themselves from a mainstream entrepreneur. Moreover, we can define a legal entrepreneur as someone who is innovating the delivery of legal services or legal process by starting their own business to play out their theory.
Now that we have understood what the concept of legal entrepreneurship actually means, we should now consider why this concept is essential in today’s market. We have made it certain that the legal industry has always been reluctant to change. Conducting in-person court hearings, having face-to-face client meetings is how the sector has witnessed itself working. However, if we turn back in time, to the previous two or three years, the change was a necessity. There was no way business could be conducted in physical mode, and it was then that the legal sector had to put away its traditional functions and embrace the technology, as a way of making legal services accessible to their clients and everyone else. Now that we look back, this change has tremendously changed the legal fraternity, where we can observe a mark of technology in whatever business function we perform. A duty of an entrepreneur is to identify the problems lying in their business and rectify it. Similarly, for a legal entrepreneur, the problem which gravely concerned them was the traditional way of performing business which was hindering the sector’s growth at a great level.
Let us now finally discuss the features of a legal entrepreneur.
Anyone can learn legal entrepreneurship. It is just like craftsmanship. The more we practice and experience it, the more we will learn and perform. However, as an entrepreneur, it is also to understand that we need to be ready to work with our inner self. This implies trusting the decisions we make and being certain about them. While making any decision, we do not need to prove ourselves to anyone, however, our only focus should be on delivering what the customers want. One can never excel in becoming an entrepreneur, it is not a three-year course at the end of which we will get a certificate stating our skills and ability. However, it is a process of learning, where one makes their own decisions.
To become an entrepreneur, one needs to have courage, the courage to test or talk to other people. However, if we team it up with the legal environment, the option of testing becomes limited. The legal fraternity is not easily forgiving, we cannot make mistakes here too often. Therefore, in order to become a top class legal entrepreneur, it is important to find the strength to move on. Being an individual who wants to bring change to the environment, a legal entrepreneur will have frequent encounters with people who will look at them with a doubt about the policies they wish to introduce, or what their viewpoint of an ideal business environment is. In such cases, it is important to focus on what or inner self speaks, rather than focusing on what others say.
As a legal entrepreneur, we need to understand the essence of collaboration. Moving along with a team is not just a great way to having new ideas being brought to the table but it also introduces encouragement and excitement which contributes to the team’s development.
Being an entrepreneur, we should keep it in mind that making mistakes is accepted, and if we hold ourself accountable for the mistakes we make, and learn from them, there lies no harm. In legal entrepreneurship, almost everyday we face challenges and most of the times we will find it difficult to overcome them. Therefore, it is important for us to reflect on these experiences and learn from them. Since these individuals are in charge of their course of action, they will have to take responsibility for what they decide. While legal entrepreneurship will bring us liberation from working under anyone else’s order, it will also come with commitments and consequences.
Follow Global Lawyers Association for more news and updated from International Legal Industry.