3 Top Legal Sector Trends for 2024
With 2023 ending, naturally we reflect, analyze, and prepare. Looking forward to the legal trends of 2024 there are three key highlights that stand out for the legal industry next year.
Like everything today, the legal industry is improving at a rapid speed. Legal is highly competitive industry with an array of challenges including but not limited to the increasing demand for specialist knowledge, AI becoming a major contributor, a change in client expectations, and the fluctuation of practice areas.
What will take place, as is constant with evolution, the sector will adapt. We can expect the legal industry to continue its adoption of technology, innovative payment structures, and introduction into new markets. Law firms will not only accept but embrace change in the follow 3 areas.
- Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI platforms are now here to stay, making a splash in 2023. LinkSquare stated that over (36%) of law firms suggest they use tech in in their daily functions relating to an AI related space. With lawyers looking to AI to produce briefs, documents, and content, offices are streamlining operations by drafting, negotiating, and analyzing contracts. This is reported to improve their legal research. Concluding, AI took hold on 2023 and will be more openly accepted in 2024. Law firms and lawyers failing to embrace technological advancements will fall behind.
- Alternatively Accepted Legal Fees
The popular ‘billable hour’ has come under increased fire, with clients reporting it encourages inefficiencies providing poor return on investment, causes double billing, and off-putting incentives. Law firms are adopting alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) and flat fees are becoming more and more common. A flat fee base is the arrangement between the firm and client include other options such as capped fees, fixed fee by phase, blended rates, etc. With AFAs becoming increasingly popular, firms will be forced to accept to meet the demand of the client and keep competitive with other firms.
- Smaller Law Firms Looking for Organic Growth
Last, but most importantly, with a high influx of new talent in the legal sector smaller law firms are looking for ways to grow their business in more organic ways. This is means law firms are straying from traditional methods and building out their marketing and business development areas. Law firms are reporting success with online, social media, and public relations all focused on information, engagement, and relevant content. Producing referrals, networking, and website creation using search engine optimization helps gain authority in your professional sphere.
How firms can retain clients is also a major contributor, having less to do now with customer services and more to do with the solutions produced. Clients want faster answer and a more easily understandable billing structure. Getting the client is half the battle, but the focus now is meeting or surpassing expectations to help smaller firm growth.