It’s been a while since I wrote a year-end prediction. But this year, the LexisNexis Make More Rain Blog asked me to contribute to its just-published post, 21 Expert Predictions for The Legal Industry in 2014.
Frank Strong, the post author, grouped predictions; mine appears in the section 2014 Predictions for the State of Law Firms. The other 11 experts in this section cover a range of ground but none are overly optimistic. The other two sections cover technology and business development.
Here is my prediction:
“I find that most predictions foresee big and often discontinuous change. My long experience in the legal market suggests that change, when it does come, is incremental and slow. So my prediction for 2014 is ‘more of the same’:
Client Service. To date, few law firms have grabbed the opportunity to dramatically differentiate by improving overall service delivery and advertising that improvement. So I expect we will see the trend toward slow adoption of legal project management and more sophisticated pricing continue. Likewise the trend to improve and better target competitive / business intelligence will continue.
Technology. I expect large firm CIOs will continue their focus on running infrastructure, upgrading core systems, trying to ensure security, assessing cloud options, rolling out SharePoint 2013, and supporting mobile devices. With all that, we cannot expect any break-out technology from law firms in 2014. The start-up market for legal technology has been vibrant and I expect that will continue in 2014.
I would love to be proven wrong and see a ‘break out change’ in 2014 in large law firm client service or legal technology.”