Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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WWW.ILTANET.ORG 57 professional development for lawyers serving in those roles. We can also explore services tailored to new market participants, provide more exposure to such entities in our conferences and publications, and facilitate connections between emerging and traditional legal employers. At the outset, we acknowledge an instant challenge: even if the market is headed in this direction, will the legal industry view emerging legal opportunities with the same respect as conventional roles? Will law students and graduates be energized by these new opportunities, or will they appeal only to a niche subset of the profession? Will those actively seeking emerging legal roles be willing to accept that a JD alone will not provide adequate training, and that additional education in the form of apprenticeships or fellowships may be required? As the legal sector continues to evolve, it is inevitable that there will be more questions than answers. Our NALP Work Group looks forward to sharing its findings with legal career professionals and other legal management professionals as an initial step toward future investment in these developments. deep understanding of the legal industry and a desire to be integrated in the delivery of new products and services. From this, we extrapolate that tomorrow's lawyers must be creative problem solvers who are comfortable with unfamiliarity. They must be able to take a big-picture approach in anticipating client needs and identifying opportunities for collaboration. Tomorrow's lawyers are relationship-builders, both within and outside the firm, and they must focus consistently on the firm's and client's bottom line. A majority of the recently advertised positions have been posted explicitly for experienced professionals, but we have occasionally found some entry-level opportunities in compliance, e-discovery and legal technology roles. Therefore, at least at this stage, tomorrow's lawyers tend to be seasoned professionals with private practice experience. WHAT IS OUR ROLE IN SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S LAWYERS? As the nation's leading organization supporting legal career advancement, NALP is uniquely positioned to identify market innovations; the organization also bears responsibility for educating its members about the changing nature of legal employment. We can support tomorrow's lawyers and the emerging legal industry by sharing information we have gathered about emerging opportunities with law students, lawyers, and legal employers. In time, we can formulate best practices for recruitment and competencies to ensure THE WORK GROUP'S OBSERVATIONS Over the past few months, Work Group members have reviewed news articles about market innovations and new technology, and we have collected job postings for emerging legal roles. This environmental scanning led us to contact employers offering emerging legal jobs and to conduct informational interviews with lawyers holding those roles. These discussions have given us precious insight into this rapidly evolving and often proprietary space. We can confirm that many of Susskind's observations ring true and that change is upon us. Within the traditional law firm context, client demands for greater value have led to lower-priced lawyer tracks, legal process outsourcing, and stronger in-house project management to ensure maximum efficiency. While law firms remain the go-to provider for bespoke, sophisticated advice, disaggregation in the market for legal services means that some clients are taking their higher- volume, routine work directly to lower- cost vendors. On the client side, internal legal departments receive on-site legal support without increasing legal headcount through temporary attorney secondments (facilitated by external placement firms), and an increasing number of lawyers serve in compliance and administrative/business functions. New technology is shaping the delivery of legal services: lawyers are forming virtual firms — with no physical office presence — by leveraging cloud-based legal technology; contracts are becoming "D-I-Y" through online platforms offered by law firms or third-party vendors; and legal apps allow any consumer instant access to an online lawyer for basic legal advice. These developments have already created a number of emerging legal jobs. For example, we have repeatedly found law firms and companies hiring project managers (to leverage staffing and technology in delivering cost-effective solutions while maximizing their unique "thought product") and knowledge managers (to synthesize work product and legal know-how in standardizing legal advice). In conversations with hiring managers for these roles, we have learned that candidates must possess a About the Author Kristen Uhl Hulse is Director of Attorney Recruitment & Professional Development for Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP. She is a member of the NALP Emerging Legal Jobs Work Group. Contact Kristen at Learn more about ILTA's sister association, The National Association for Law Placement, at About the Author Diane Quick is Director of the Career Development Office at the University of Miami School of Law. She is a member of the NALP Emerging Legal Jobs Work Group. Contact Diane at

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