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Read or Download More Essays on Legal Delivery by Mark A. Cohen

The eBook begins with the Introduction followed by 12 great articles.


This is my second collection of essays on the transformation of the legal industry. For those of you who read my weekly column in Forbes, my articles at LegalBusinessWorld or have read “Legal Mosaic: Essays On Legal Delivery (eBook | PDF)”, welcome back. And for new readers, glad you are here and hope you find these essays to be informative, provocative, and entertaining.

Law is a huge industry—approximately one trillion dollars of annual global spend. The legal vertical is undergoing accelerated transformation brought on by a host of inter-connected factors: the global financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath; technology; globalization; an agile workforce; products replacing services; and a misalignment of the traditional law firm partnership model with client/customer expectations. These forces have changed the way legal services are bought and sold as well as by whom, from what delivery model, and at what price they are delivered. Lawyers are not the only ones to deliver those services—technologists, process experts, accountants, and others including paraprofessionals-- are all part of a growing legal supply chain. Legal practice and legal delivery—like medicine and healthcare services—are no longer synonymous terms. Legal practice refers to core functions lawyers perform—client interaction, representation in tribunals, etc. Legal delivery describes the structure, process, and resources that fulfill them.

Law firms and their partnership model long dominated the legal supply side. Law firms still account for approximately half of all legal spend, but demand for their services has been flat since the global financial crisis—with no sign of picking up. At the same time, overall legal demand has continued to rise during this period. Market share has migrated from law firms to corporate legal departments and a growing array of legal service providers. A handful of elite service providers—including the Big Four accounting firms--are exceedingly well capitalized, tech and process savvy, global, operate from a corporate structure, and have deep domain expertise in their service and product areas. They are moving up the complexity chain and handling work once exclusively performed by law firms. These providers are doing that work faster, cheaper, and better than law firms.

It’s a buyer’s market, and today’s corporate legal consumers have a range of options as never before. They can do the work on their own (insource), disaggregate tasks and source them to different providers (outsource), or create a hybrid arrangement, partnering with outside suppliers. This new buying paradigm is problematic to all but a handful of elite, brand-differentiated law firms that still dominate high-risk, cost-insensitive matters. Everything else is up for grabs—and that’s about 85% of a trillion dollars of annual legal spend.

That mind-boggling amount of untethered ‘legal’ business is why there is an enormous uptick of innovation, capital, and new delivery models springing up in the long static legal vertical............

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