Study Background
The Legal Transformation Study is co-produced and co-published by Decision Strategies International (DSI) and Legal Research Center, Inc. (LRC). DSI and LRC have created the publication to provide legal industry participants with accurate and authoritative information concerning the future of the industry. For more details about DSI and LRC see the About Us section.
The Legal Transformation Study identifies key global trends and uncertainties that will shape the future of the legal industry and present a set of planning scenarios from these forces.
The scenarios aims are to challenge current service models, help answer key strategic questions, and enable corporate law departments and law firms to proactively identify decision-making strategies for future business success. The Study's findings can help your organization:
  • Compete more successfully in the global legal marketplace;
  • Reduce the risk -- and cost -- of unexpected business surprises and threats; and
  • Identify new opportunities and strategies for business growth, enhanced profitability and competitive immunity in the legal industry.
In addition to the Study, an on-going monitoring effort of the identified forces will provide readers with comprehensive and up-to-date information on the evolution of the trends and uncertainties providing an invaluable tool to business leaders looking for help in crafting robust business strategies.
The legal industry is undergoing significant change and transformation due to numerous external forces influencing the nature and quality of legal service delivery. Some of these changes, such as the changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and globalization are obvious. Other changes, while receiving less media coverage, are also beginning to affect how legal teams are servicing their clients.
In the past, law firms, law departments and the internal and external customers they serve, have frequently been taken by surprise by unexpected practice forces – trends and uncertainties that directly influence the practice of law. These surprises have often negatively impacted the quality and value of the legal services delivered (or received) and force the practitioner into a reactive solution mode – at a higher risk and greater cost for their clients. Electronic discovery is an example. In retrospect, it seems possible to have predicted and planned for the explosion in electronic evidence, had we stopped ten years ago to consider that computers were enabling more and more documentation, and email inbox sizes were rapidly growing. It has therefore become increasingly important for legal professionals to identify and assess the impact of these practice forces, trends and uncertainties on the representation of their clients, so they can provide informed, proactive legal counsel before they are blindsided by unexpected events and risks. In order to continuously enhance the quality, value and efficiency of legal services to their clients — and proactively manage the expected risks that threaten our clients’ interests — lawyers must be more cognizant of the forces in the following categories that will directly influence their practice in the coming years:
  • Societal
  • Technological
  • Environmental
  • Economical
  • Political
In response to this legal industry and practice challenge, in 2007, a group of legal industry thought and practice leaders from law firms, corporate law departments and legal service supplier organizations were brought together to better understand and plan for the future of the legal profession. The group commissioned global strategic and scenario planning experts at Decision Strategies International (DSI) to create a Legal Transformation Study to help all participants in the legal industry better understand our collective future, through the design of four potential legal service delivery scenarios that may unfold between 2007 the year 2020. This Study contains the forces constituting the four scenarios, the scenarios and their strategic implications readers can plan for and leverage these scenarios to their clients’ strategic advantage by better managing their clients’ risk profile. Finally, the panelists will help attendees anticipate these trend forces in ways that will improve the quality of their legal practice and service delivery.
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