Drawing on market research across the legal industry, Allegory Founder and CEO, Alma Asay, presented a 5 minute Darwin Talk at Evolve Law's kick-off event to the Legal Week Experience on January 30th, 2017.
A disturbing trend
When corporate counsel demand "more for less," many law firms respond by slashing prices, driving an unsustainable race to the bottom. Asay sees this as a trend that can result in law firms delivering "less for less," because they can no longer afford to deliver the same quality of services.
"The research shows that [corporate counsel] are focused on the price. They don't want to get involved in how the sausage is made, they don't really care to tell the law firm how to do their job."
The prevailing notion, Asay explained, is that corporate counsel will impose legal technology on their outside counsel. Market research reveals, however, that - faced with inefficient counsel, corporate counsel will bring the work in-house or switch law firms.
Law firms getting ahead of the curve
By proactively focusing on the service delivery model, Asay sees a way for law firms to rise to the top and capture the attention of corporate counsel. Evidence shows that law firms that focus on this are showing compelling success.
Lesson: law firms can't wait for corporate clients to ask for change if they want to remain relevant.
Key takeaways for Legal Tech
How then do legal tech start-ups get law firms to change their service delivery models?
Asay suggests a two-pronged approach:
- Overcome partner resistance by explaining how changing their model can benefit their business.
- Go to corporate counsel and explain how technology can enable them to bring more work in-house, enabling them to directly control costs.