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Predictions on What 2016 Will Hold for the Legal Profession

Every December, David J. Bilinsky, an international practice management consultant based in Vancouver, invites experts on the legal profession to predict what will happen in the coming year and publishes their responses on his blog, www.thoughtfullaw.com. The following was recently posted on that blog.
The winds of change that have been buffeting the legal profession, not only in the United States and Canada but also world-wide, will intensify. These will be some of the strongest gusts:

  1. The number of non-law service providers will continue to increase, as will the number of services they provide at less cost than firms can afford to charge.
  2. Legal departments in corporations and non-profit organizations will continue to grow in size because clients will keep more legal work in-house since it is less costly and can be managed more efficiently.
  3. The large international firms will continue to grow in size as they merge-in other firms, but the total number of practicing lawyers in firms and legal departments will continue to decrease and fewer people will enter the profession.
  4. Non-lawyers with backgrounds in business, marketing and technology will continue to play a greater role in the management and operations of law firms.
  5. The Big Four Accounting firms will continue quietly but steadily building their legal services divisions in the countries that have authorized multi-disciplinary practices (MDPs), Britain, Australia and Mexico. However, rather than trying to build full-service practices, they will continue to concentrate on areas of law that complement their existing services such as immigration, which fits with expatriate tax work, labor which fits with human resources consulting and compliance, commercial contracts and due diligence.

Bob Denney

Robert Denney Associates Inc. provides leadership, strategy and management counsel to law firms throughout the United States. Previous Communiques, as well as information about our services, may be viewed on our web site.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPractice Management

About the Author: Robert Denney Associates Inc. provides leadership, strategy and management counsel to law firms throughout the United States. Previous Communiques, as well as information about our services, may be viewed on our web site.

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