What Changes to Expect in Modern Law Firms


What does it mean to be a modern law firm? More remote employees, firms using the latest technology, and thinking outside the traditional structure tend to be things that come to mind. However, one of the major changes for modern law firms that hasn’t been expected is the shift of the law firm model to a business organizational type structure. For example, the importance of a more team-oriented culture, along with more emphasis on branding and marketing has become necessary in modern law firms.

Law firms haven’t traditionally worked in “team” environments where they share clients with others and cross-sell services to attorneys. In the conventional law firm model, most attorneys concentrate efforts on their own practice and are territorial about sharing their clients. However, in modern law firms, partners and senior level attorneys typically prefer to filter work to associates and paralegals in an effort to 1) free them to get more business from new or existing clients, and 2) be more effective and cost efficient with workflow. Modern firms tend to more heavily rely on support staff and encourage a team environment throughout the firm. Trusting and relying on each other is vital for this type of modern law firms to succeed.

Additionally, marketing has become a necessary function for modern law firms and most even have someone on staff who manages their social media, ads, etc. Word of mouth alone is not effective enough anymore with clients having more options than ever to choose from. The marketing team or person must work well with the lawyers to create a unified message for the firm. This has also led modern law firms to narrow their specialties, instead of a do-it-all type of firm. Most clients aren’t wanting to hire someone for tax law when the firm also handles family law, medical malpractice, and trademarks. It can come across as the firm knowing a little bit about everything, but not have thorough knowledge on a particular area of law. Clients are more inclined to research the attorney’s bios, LinkedIn pages, and check out their history. They want to “win” or have success with their legal issue and would rather have someone who handles only that type of law.

Modern law firms are constantly changing and having to look forward. In order to keep up with the demand and change in clientele and the market, they are having to adapt and continuously review the way they do business. Law firms that are stuck and not willing to move forward will run into more and more struggles and will likely not be as successful in this evolving and highly competitive market.

For additional information, read our post and listen to our podcast on Is There Another Law Firm Business Model.

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Klemchuk LLP is a litigation, intellectual property, transactional, and international business law firm dedicated to protecting innovation. The firm provides tailored legal solutions to industries including software, technology, retail, real estate, consumer goods, ecommerce, telecommunications, restaurant, energy, media, and professional services. The firm focuses on serving mid-market companies seeking long-term, value-added relationships with a law firm. Learn more about experiencing law practiced differently and our local counsel practice.

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