Legal services are rendered with regard to any type proceeding before a court of law or a tribunal. Legal services can be classified under the umbrella of two services in general, namely criminal and non-criminal legal services including legal advice. The services can be free or paid depending on the issue and the laws of the specific nation. Almost every democracy in the world offers free legal services to the citizens, not as a charity but as a democratic duty. Many nations across the globe have privatized legal services as there are legal firms that offer legal advice and legal assistance and charge a specific amount for these. Such firms usually employ lawyers who specialize in specific aspects of the law and deal with their clients accordingly. Many legal firms also offer free legal services such as consultations on particular issues. Organized distribution of legal services is a global market that has its own dynamics.
In terms of the global legal services market, North America and Europe are the regions with the highest maturity and highest market share. More than 60 percent of the global legal expenditure is accounted for by the legal expenditure in North American and European markets. Apart from that, APAC holds the maximum growth potential for the global legal services market size with an increasing number of service providers. The demand in the transactional practice areas such as corporate, real estate, and tax is increasing in APAC as well. The services providers are also using Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFA) for billing procedures.
New Advancements in the Legal Services Market:
The modern global legal industry is going through an era of transformation where long-practiced paperwork done by lawyers and their assistants is being replaced by applications and automated software. In addition, national boundaries are also being eliminated by trans-national operations, transactions, and related business activities. Businesses are establishing in-house legal departments that are adding value to the companies as corporate clients are playing a major role in managing their legal portfolios. Millennial lawyers are using technology to simplify the mundane processes whereas general counsels are trying to eliminate their need for legal firms by operating as entrepreneurs.
The global legal services market is growing due to increasing trans-national trade. In addition, keeping up with the technology and meeting client’s dynamic demands requires an innovative approach and therefore, technology will change the norms of the legal services industry. Global legal service providers are trying to address the unfulfilled legal requirements and they are also striving to improve the delivery of legal services. All of these efforts will modernize the industry and help make the services available to all.
Regulations in the Legal Services Market:
Internationalization of legal services comes with stringent regulations and market competition. Entrepreneurs/lawyers have to understand the modern industrial scenario. On a global level, both legal firms and consultancies offer legal advice and consultancies are trying to replace lawyers as far as they can. On the other hand, legal firms are trying their best to incorporate technology into their processes. This is quite a challenging scenario for the legal industry as some are embracing the change while the others are concerned about losing their ground. It will also stimulate the need for a sufficient understanding of technology in the legal sector in the future.
While skilled lawyers and strategies cannot be replaced by technology but mundane processes and paperwork can be easily replaced by the tech solutions. Legal professionals who are willing to increase their know-how and quality of services can no longer ignore the use of technology in their routine work.
The debate over the use of technology in the legal sector also extends to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), legal tech in courts, blockchain, legal chatbots, robot lawyers, and will writing technology. All of these will add value to the expertise of the lawyers and increase their efficiency. The future of the global legal industry is going to be legal tech systems, inter-industry work, and creating legal processes and systems for the clients rather than memorizing the book of law.
However, the efficiency of these systems will depend on the people using them which will also require tech-savvy professionals. Also, many potential legal consumers do not opt for legal firms due to manual paperwork and complexity of procedures. As the technology will simplify processes, more and more legal assistance seekers will reach out to the service providers.
Technology is penetrating almost every industry and the legal sector is not an exception. As it will continue to grow, the internal transaction of services will only pick up the pace and simplify the process for the end-users and help seekers. The future of the legal industry is expected to be about harnessing technology, capable people, and efficient processes.