What does the ‘millennial law firm’ look like?

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The millennial generation has become such a significant part of the legal landscape that it is changing the law firm as we know it, according to a new report from Lawyers On Demand.

Millennial lawyers are rewriting the DNA of law firms, said legal market analyst Jordan Furlong, who authored the report for the NewLaw giant.

“We are now in a place where we can see that millennials are the emerging law firm partner and GC. This is a generation that’s already showing itself as the real accelerator of change. Not just as lawyers wanting to work differently, but critically as clients too, buying differently,” said Simon Harper, LOD cofounder.

Furlong said that we are at the crux of two different eras of law. “Right now, in the late 2010s, we are standing directly on the fulcrum between two eras of law, at a key transition point in the evolution of the legal services market. That market is changing from a dormant, low-tech, individualistic system to a dynamic, high-tech, collaborative one,” he said.

There are six key changes in law firms clients should expect as millennial lawyers take the reins.

First is the rise of the disaggregated law firm, These organisations will reflect how mobile the millennial generation is. Another defining characteristic of the new law firm shaped by the generation is its diversity. It will set targets for gender and racial representation, especially in senior positions.

Law firms are also set to become more multi-disciplinary under the stewardship of millennial leaders, the report said. To offer solutions to problems encountered by millennial clients, law firms will retain talent who are not only lawyers.

Firms will also become more predictably priced. As millennials are inherently averse to time-based anything, flat-fee and subscription-style pricing arrangements will flourish, the report said.

“Internal data will be mined to determine and improve the costs and profitability of common tasks. The billable hour will survive, but as an exception rather than the rule,” the report said.

Responsiveness will also become a defining characteristic of law firms, as millennial leaders draw on their experiences of scrambling for work opportunities wherever they arose. This means these leaders have more appreciation for the importance of customer service.

Millennials also do not fear the tendency of technology to reduce hours, which means that law firms will become increasingly tech-enabled in the foreseeable future, the report said.

Lawyers On Demand’s new report also detailed how law firms can step up to meet the millennial client’s demands.


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