We don't have to crush the current legal system and rebuild a new from the ruins of the old. We need to reshape it in the image of the client. Like every other industry, the legal industry must reform itself and leave the epoch of shareholder primary behind to enter the client-centric era.
As with everything else created by the humankind, technological transformations can be for the better or for the worse. There is no intention in history - it is up to us to shape it. That is why it is important that the legal industry understands what is happening and takes it seriously. Our society needs the legal system as a bulwark against bad ideas and a guarantee of justice. That said, this digital transformation is a great opportunity to improve access to justice, create better legal services and shorten the gap between legal professional and client.
In order to elicit these positive changes, we believe that law firms must open up. Instead of being entrenched entities with solidified boundaries, they should have flexible membranes that can absorb and extract seamlessly. They shall value inclusion over segregation, strategize for externalization and engage in collaborative ecosystems to meet client demands and maintain trust.
We call this vision The Fluid Law Firm!
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There is a significant disconnect between law firms and their clients. Companies bring more legal work inhouse and consumers report that they deal with issues that could have been handled legally but wasn’t.
Simultaneously, the concept of customer-centrism is becoming increasingly important. The internet has improved the customers' access to information so they can gain knowledge about a firm and its product from a multitude of sources.
Furthermore, law firms should adopt a more client-driven approach to innovation instead of the usual firm-driven innovation. They should invite their clients to co-create, collaborate and participate in the innovation process and test the new tools.
Besides workflow tools, modern law firms must invest in client-faced tools they can make available for the clients and use to collaborate in.
The idea of the fluid law firm is to introduce more fluid boundaries around the firm and thereby enable it to engage in the surrounding ecosystem. We don't suggest that a law firm necessarily should pursue all strategies of fluidity. This is not a fixed concept but rather a broad externalisation strategy with different elements that can be used in different situations depending on practise area, jurisdiction and level of digitisation.
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