New Report: Tech Challenges, Need For Specialized Expertise Redefining Practice Of Law

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Technological innovations and the movement toward specialization are two of the key drivers of change in the legal field today, according to Future Law Office 2020: Redefining the Practice of Law, a new report from legal staffing and consulting solutions firm Robert Half Legal. Three in 10 (34 percent) lawyers surveyed for the annual research project said emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on the practice of law during the next five years. Corporate governance regulations ranked second, with 19 percent of the survey response, followed by privacy and data security concerns (18 percent) and increased globalization (12 percent).[1]

Top trends redefining the practice of law

Key issues being addressed by law firms and corporate legal departments to remain competitive and ensure future success include:

  • Strategically partnering with IT to address tech challenges;
  • Redesigning legal workspaces to enhance productivity and reduce costs; and
  • Meeting increased need for specialized legal expertise.

View an infographic of the research.

Legal teams strategically partnering with IT to address tech challenges.
As electronic data and cloud computing complexities grow and concerns about cybersecurity and compliance matters escalate, the need for legal and IT departments to work in tandem has become more critical to safeguard business operations and minimize risk, the research confirms. Eight in 10 (83 percent) corporate lawyers interviewed for the Future Law Office project said collaboration with their technology counterparts has increased during the past two years. Litigation and eDiscovery, data privacy and security, and regulatory compliance were cited as the top projects fueling the need for alignment between legal and IT teams.[2]

Redesigning legal workspaces to enhance productivity and reduce costs.
Technology continues to influence how legal work is performed and where it is conducted. "Law firms are redesigning office spaces to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce and support cloud-based computing solutions," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "By reducing the number of traditional offices and creating work areas that foster employee collaboration, firms are able to save costs while improving team productivity."

Meeting increased need for specialized legal expertise.
Throughout the legal field, demand is rising for specialized knowledge. Sixty-five percent of lawyers surveyed said it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled legal professionals today.[3] With more clients seeking counsel in emerging practice areas, legal professionals who specialize in data privacy and information governance should remain highly marketable in the years ahead, Volkert noted.

About the Future Law Office 
For this annual project, Robert Half Legal surveys lawyers with the largest law firms and companies in the United States and Canada, conducts research to assess how legal organizations might operate in the future, and obtains the insights of leading experts in the legal field. To learn more about the research and download the report, visit futurelawoffice.com.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, we provide a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. We offer in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. To learn more about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions, visit roberthalflegal.com.

[1] Survey of 350 lawyers among the largest law firms and companies in the United States and Canada, commissioned by Robert Half Legal and conducted by an independent research firm.

[2] Survey of 175 lawyers among the largest companies in the United States and Canada, commissioned by Robert Half Legal and conducted by an independent research firm.

[3] Survey of 350 lawyers among the largest law firms and companies in the United States and Canada, commissioned by Robert Half Legal and conducted by an independent research firm. 

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150805/256288-INFO

 

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Lisa Hamilton, (650) 234-6234, lisa.hamilton@roberthalf.com


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