The New Legal Service Delivery Paradigm

Client dissatisfaction has brought about the rise of law departments and alternative legal service providers.  Law firms have been slow to recognize this trend and take actions other than cutting costs to change.  Law departments and alternative legal service providers will continue to take market share from law firms.  In order to survive and grow, law firms will have to change the way that they deliver legal services.  As Mark Cohen writes in "Are Law Firms Becoming Obsolete":

"The practice of law has morphed into the delivery of legal services that requires legal, technological, and process/project management expertise. All but a handful of firms have failed to navigate the transition to delivering legal services. Law remains their stock in trade, and technology and process are laggards. Worse still, IT and operations professionals are accorded second-class status within firms. In contrast, in-house legal departments and legal service providers are not only melding legal, IT, and process expertise, but they are also becoming enmeshed in their clients’ (customers’) business in ways that law firms do not. This goes to the heart of why law firms are becoming extinct: they have failed to become integrated components in solving clients’ business challenges."