The New Normal in the legal industry refers to the dramatic and inexorable changes to the types of services provided, who provides them and the way those services are delivered. Every business in the industry, every legal department and every individual is impacted now and, increasingly so, in the future.
There are many reasons for, and manifestations of, these changes. As regulation of the practise of law is relaxed in some countries, non-qualified lawyers now own and manage legal businesses. Services previously provided only by lawyers are now handled by non-lawyers - often from remote locations. On the other hand, lawyers are increasingly providing services that extend beyond legal practise. Indeed this can be an area where in-house lawyers, in particular, can make contributions that are highly valued by their business colleagues. Leading lawyers are starting to apply business practises - such as process improvement, project management, Lean, Six Sigma and Design Thinking - to develop new business models and innovative product and service offerings. Technology is being used to not only automate manual tasks for greater efficiency but also to facilitate truly disruptive innovation in the provision of legal information and support to clients.
There is an ever increasing amount of commentary on the New Normal. One example is a blog published on the American Bar Association Journal’s website which is dedicated to Legal Rebels and the New Normal.