Adapt or Die: Dramatic Changes Coming to the Legal Industry in the Next 10 Years


The legal profession is in the midst of radical change. Where will it all lead? Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession has been at the forefront of analyzing the changes the recession and technology have brought to the demand for legal services, cost cutting pressures, and how legal services are delivered--as well as the corresponding changes to lawyer career opportunities, career development, professional development, and legal education.

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HLS CLP's efforts, profiled by Harvard Law Bulletin's Elaine McArdle in "The Laws of Adaptation," are lead by David B. Wilkins (HLS professor, vice dean for global initiatives on the legal profession, and CLP faculty director), with contributions from prominent alumni like Paul Lippe (CEO of Legal OnRamp), Scott Westfahl (HLS professor and head of Executive Education at HLS); Michele DeStefano (University of Miami School of Law professor and visiting professor at HLS); and others.

While many focus on the pressures on BigLaw, CLP predicts all levels of the profession with have to re-examine how they provide cost-effective legal representation with high levels of client satisfaction, while delivering some value add that technology--or other options--can't.

As lawyers think about their own career development and job search, they'll have to keep these changes in mind. How can you deliver greater value? How can you communicate that value to clients and potential employers?