What will 2011 have in store for law firms?

Happy New Year everyone! My hiatus from posting was brought to my attention earlier this week when a client mentioned she hadn’t received any blog updates in awhile. Well, I’m back and hope to stay on track throughout the year.

I’ve spent the last day or so catching up on commentary about what the future holds for law firms. Richard Susskind has predicted greater acceptance of cloud technology and greater influence of the iPad. Larry Bodine opines “innovate or die” will be the new law firm watchword. Jerome Kowalski predicts the current system of legal education and training of lawyers will undergo revolutionary changes.

These observations clearly hold merit. So for my 2011 forecast, I add merely a corollary: If, to paraphrase Jonathon Livingston Seagull, “every problem is an opportunity in disguise,” then I predict great opportunities for law firms in the coming year.

Even with an increased demand for services, law firms will continue to face rough waters in the year ahead.

The underlying problems — illuminated, not caused, by the economic crisis — of failing to adopt new technology, to shore up billing and compensation plans, and to respond better to the needs of a more sophisticated legal market is in fact an opportunity.

The firms that do leverage new technology such as cloud computing, that do innovate, that do undergo revolutionary change in the way they train lawyers who will be the ones who ultimately survive and create a new model for practicing law.

I hope your firm is one of them. Have a great year!

Posted on January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

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