Law is a set of rules passed by the members of a country or a community. Members have to abide by the law. Otherwise, a member is prosecuted and penalties are imposed. However, this member can be pardoned if well represented by an attorney. He/she might practise law independently or work for a legal firm. Here are the latest trends of legal industry:
Electronic information of e-mails, instant messages, voicemails, e-calendars, graphics and data devices are evidence. This was passed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. ESI or electronically stored information is expensive and complex. This electronic discovery is handled by digital professionals who use technology to manage electronic data. Their knowledge in information technology, legal processes are valuable to tech-challenged attorneys and clients. E-discovery professionals identify preserve, collect, process, review and produce the ESI in a litigant.
Social networking is combined with law. Legal professionals use social media for achieving the legal tasks and recruiting new attorneys. Also, it is used for communicating with the client. Popular social media include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These are also excellent marketing tools for reaching many audiences. Some of the sites recommended by legal firms are as follows:
- Martindale.com: Almost 30,000 members are connected to this legal professional site.
- Lawyrs.net – International law community for lawyers/law students.
- LawLink – Attorneys of the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K.
- My Paralegal Space – Social networking site for paralegal community.
- Pivotal Discovery – Litigation support and ediscovery professionals.
Outsourcing Legal Process
Attorneys’, paralegals’ and legal professionals’ work is sent to external vendors onshore and offshore. This is popularly known as legal process outsourcing (LPO) that is changing law practises. The firms are seeking to minimize costs, increase flexibility and expand their in-house capabilities. Outsourcing has cost benefit. Overseas legal employees earn 30% to 70% lower wages than in the U.S. and U.K. The firm may not have the talent it is looking for. Also, it can tap into the global legal experts in markets like India and China.
Modern law firms employ both in-house and external talented attorneys who can respond to client’s requirements. Small and mid-sized law firms face work challenges because there are fewer numbers of attorneys working. This prompts the legal firm to outsource the work to larger firms.
Virtual Law Firms
Legal professionals have access to powerful mobile devices, software and secure web-based technology. They work virtually from home, office or anywhere. Virtual law offices allow attorneys to practice law during flexible work hours. The legal professional can lead a work and balance life. Virtual work is for domestic lawyers as well as lawyers working far away.
Domestic law firms are expanding across borders and collaborating with foreign law organisation. The law firms are interested in forming intercontinental mergers removing all geographical boundaries. Ever since the development of the internet, globalisation has become very popular.
Going green has now become the global priority so legal professionals have reduced carbon footprint. Attorneys promote green law by supporting trade fair, organics, green building, renewable energy, and climate change.