The legal profession has undergone massive changes as a result of the evolution of the legal industry and market. Also, the recent economical crisis has bought a vast change. Now, here begins the challenges for the legal professionals as this has empowered the clients to set the terms and conditions in the acquirement of legal service.
The challenges of the legal profession comprise of the changes in the world of corporate lawyers. The most common challenge for the majority of firms is institutionalization. Today’s companies do not need lawyers only to resolve legal issues but also to support their efforts in business development. They must have a standard deep level of legal knowledge. In addition, must have knowledge about training and tools in the areas of business, project management, technology, or data analysis.
Furthermore, it is no longer enough or productive for the relationship of clients with the firm to be completely based on contact with one of its partners. Also, the strategy should be made to develop multiple relationships and help the client. This will help the client to understand that in the background there is a group of professionals comprising of teams.
Some of the most common challenges of legal profession are explained below in detail :
Area of specialization
To survive one has to be a super-specialist in one’s area of practice and this is a challenge for legal professionals. However, it has become the necessity to focus on particular areas of practice that alternative service providers can’t address. Also, to keep up with the demands of upcoming industries in the business market this is important. And to deliver quality service, specialization in a particular area of practice became the first priority and necessity. And as a result, people started to prepare accordingly to compete in the business world. In fact, this requirement was predicted way long back as a big challenge of the legal profession.
Opening of the Indian legal market
In the past, liberalization and globalization have been extremely beneficial for the Indian economy. Thus, there exists a strong case for responding to the same in the legal service market as well. The potential opening up of India’s legal market has been a major talking point. The government has been pushing for liberalization. Firstly, allowing International firms in the Indian market would lead to increased competition among legal practitioners. This would lead to the growth of the Indian legal market. Additionally, this would also result in improved capacity and quality of services.
Also, this will provide Indian lawyers with the opportunity to work with the international society. This could lead to more employment opportunities. In addition to better pay and working conditions which would result in decreasing the challenges for legal professionals. Also, another benefit is Professionalism in Indian law practices would benefit in comparison to their international counterparts.
The liberalization could bring include the fear that law firms would meet the same fate as the country’s accounting firms. Moreover, the possibility of domestic law firms being overshadowed by their foreign counterparts in terms of performance and finances is the biggest disadvantage. Setting up alliances with foreign counterparts would result in the loss of referrals which could be a great challenge in the legal profession for lawyers to handle.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
Finding talented lawyers with the right attitude and the right skill set to work is often a challenge in the legal profession. Having a flow of information, responsiveness, and instant delight that does not necessarily have to be based on money are some aspects that new professionals are habitual to. Moreover, each team member’s contribution and impact must be measured differently. Also, talent management needs to be refined.
Innovation is the outcome of a demonstrated need and is not a matter of merely introducing a change, something that often finds resistance. Traditionally, lawyers are resistant to change; this reality is constant in the profession which could result in challenges for legal professionals in serving clients. In addition, it must also be done while keeping in mind that the mission of innovation is to better serve the client.
Legal service marketplaces
Slowly legal service marketplaces are creating market value by offering more cost-effective solutions to consumers on their own behalf. This could result in reshaping the legal industry. And backed by venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) funds online legal portals have seen a large expansion. But, the start-up community and other money-conscious clients are slowly moving away from the good old lawyers and law firms. Moreover, they are moving towards solutions powered by technology. To keep pace with the changing trend the lawyers have to change their method of business. One of the challenges for legal professionals is to face PE and VC-backed competition where the regulatory framework has not evolved yet in the business world. Consequently, evolution will take place with these changes.
The key to overcoming many of the issues and challenges of the legal profession is being aware of the risks, being responsive to such risks on a timely basis. Moreover, an overall appreciation is required for challenges and developing strategies by changing systems, and practices to ease their impact. Unlike other common law countries, India has not shown many positive signs for liberalizing the Indian legal market. India is going through a sea of change in terms of revolution in legal and managing space. Also, this has brought about new opportunities. By leading to the opening of new trending business opportunities in many sectors and industries.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has opted for a protectionist approach due to the fear of competition from international law firms. This is based on the belief that Indian practitioners will not be able to compete with foreign nationals. Such competition is a welcome change for the overall growth of the Indian legal market.
Eventually, the key to success lies in super specializing in one’s core practice areas. Today, the Indian legal profession is highly competitive and is ready to grow along with its foreign counterparts in a globalized world.