In a recent blog post, lawyer/consultant Jordan Furlong made six observations about the future of the legal profession. In short, fewer people are setting out to be lawyers, yet those that do outnumber the number of available legal jobs 2-to-1. More clients are using lawyer substitutes, making use of available technology or seeking alternate solutions to their problems. And thus, the monopoly on the legal services market, once held without doubt by lawyers, appears to be dissolving. At first blush, it may sound pretty dismal. However, where many might see disaster looming, we see an opportunity. What kind of success can you have, and how can you affect the reputation of lawyers broadly, if you are willing to look at what you do for clients from the clients’ perspective?
The wise lawyer will say, “These observations are true. I can’t undo or change them. So let me understand how I fit into the mix. How can I be empathetic to clients trying to find different solutions? How can I provide value outside of strictly legal terms by putting my clients’ interests ahead of my own?” When lawyers can be empathetic to a client wanting to find a non-lawyer solution to a problem, they are placing their own self interest at bay and helping the client solve their problem in the best way for them. With this kind of commitment to their clients’ needs, lawyers will succeed by cultivating loyalty – which can lead to a bigger piece of the pie down the road. Not to mention, they’ll have a competitive advantage over their peers who are desperately trying to hold onto business with both fists. It’s all a matter of perspective and embracing the spirit of generosity.
Have you already begun to adapt your legal services to include creative non-legal solutions for your clients? Let us know how below!