Thursday, February 14, 2013

Innovation - No Longer Optional for the Legal Profession

There is now an innovation imperative in the legal industry. More law firms and in-house counsel departments are undertaking radical legal service-related innovations, but the majority of lawyers and law firms still innovate incrementally, reactively and/or piecemeal.

To be successful, innovations include an appropriate mix of technology, processes and/or people and are implemented at various levels – whether by client, project, practice area, department and or firm or company-wide. Examples of successful, collaborative law firm/client and in-house legal department innovations are on the rise and include a myriad of objectives including: adding real value, controlling costs, predictability, on-line tools, process and deliverable improvements, procurement’s role in purchasing outside legal services, revenue-generating legal departments, sole-sourcing and unbundling litigation just to name a few.

Law firm and lawyer created blogs and apps are also on the rise. Approximately 70% of AmLaw200 firms have blogs, yet the majority are not successful. Legal industry apps are no longer just for research and document creation/management. Innovative law firms have created and launched a range of successful blogs and apps.

Finally, to support the evolving law firm business model in this increasingly competitive market, law firms are adapting their formal, in-house marketing/business development departments/functions/roles. Approximately 20 years ago, a handful of law firms innovated by trying to adopt the accounting firm "sales" model within their law firms. Some law firms asked senior Partners to reduce their billable hours and concentrate on rainmaking. Other law firms hired sales people from outside professions to "sell" for the firm. The majority of these efforts dissipated for various reasons, but in recent years there has been a resurgence.

To get up to speed on the range of innovations underway within the legal industry (some of which are described above), consider attending the Legal Services Innovations Forum™ - Value in Client Service, Delivery & Development to be held Friday, May 10, 2013 at the NYC office of Orrick. For more information, click here or email

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