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2021 Trends in Legal Industry

In the coming year, transformations in client expectations, technological advancements, and new ways of working are likely to contribute to a series of trends that will shape the legal industry as a whole. As such, it is incumbent on law firms to grasp and capitalize on these trends in order to gain a competitive edge in 2021. Keep reading to learn the major shifts likely to be seen in over the next 12 months. 1. Innovations in Hiring and Talent AttractionTechnological innovations have allowed firms to generate greater value for clients by immersing themselves in new talent attraction strategies. The non-lawyer hiring landscape has moved beyond administration professionals, paralegals, and IT workers to include executive roles including CMOs, CEOs, and the like. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to assist with routine and repetitive duties that do not necessarily need massive human involvement, something which is generating economies elsewhere within firms. In addition, temporary and contract workers are facilitating scalability based on client needs, a tactic that is likely to broaden in 2021. 2. Enhanced Client Focus Client demand for value is continuing to push changes including customized pricing, value-based service options, and other ways to streamline the experience for consumers of legal services. Increased transparency about costs and billing are going to be of renewed importance in 2021. 3. Narrowing Legal Niches Rather than marketing themselves as "all things to all people," growing numbers of law firms are positioning themselves to provide a high-value concentration in very specific areas of the law. Micro-niches of this sort can create deep appeal for subsets of clients who are focused on maximizing their legal service experience. Working with a law firm that is honed in on their industry, their overall objectives, and their distinct challenges are something in which business owners are increasingly interested. 4. Emphasizing Diversity and Inclusion Though diversity initiatives were once something mainly found in big law firms with vast financial resources, such efforts are increasingly being furthered by small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as a means to foster greater equality and inclusion within the industry. It is likely that programs designed to attract top minority talent to law firms everywhere will expand and flourish in 2021 and beyond, given the larger societal emphasis on addressing lingering disparities. There is no doubt that the year to come will be full of thoughtful and innovative approaches to meeting the call to provide greater client value, bolster diversity, and make the most of technologically-possible economies of scale. After the disruption of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic, these shifts will surely be welcomed by many.

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