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Legal Delivery Must Meet the Speed of Business
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Summary: The legal industry must deliver at a quick speed, according to Forbes contributor Mark A. Cohen. 

The legal industry needs to deliver as fast as business. That’s a thesis according to Mark A. Cohen, a writer for Forbes.

  
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“The legal industry has the tools to expand access and improve the delivery,” Cohen said. “The ‘profession’ will continue to provide differentiated legal knowledge, skills, expertise for matters that demand it. The industry–‘business of law’– will be dominated by providers whose delivery capability responds to the pace and needs of business. Traditional delivery paradigms, notably law firms and corporate legal departments—many of whom still operate like law firms, not businesses—will either be reengineered or become marginalized by a new breed of ALSP that is culturally and operationally aligned with business. The recent ‘rebadging’ of hundreds of legal professionals from GE and DXC to UnitedLex, a global service provider, is evidence that some corporate departments recognize what matters is expertise and results, not pedigree and bluster.”

Cohen said that the legal industry typically is not known for its speed, but he said that providers who “deliver services with speed, value, and results will dominate.” He stated that lawyers have benefitted from not allowing outsiders into the industry, and this control has given them the benefit to control the pace of delivery.

Cohen said that law has not accelerated as fast as other industries but there are signs it may transform.

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“Legal practice is no longer synonymous with legal delivery, and lawyers are not the exclusive providers of legal services. New expertise, organizational structures, economic models, delivery options, tech-driven solutions, knowledge management systems, process and process management, and financing for customer-centric solutions are hastening the sunset of the legal guild. Not only is the cost of legal services coming under intense scrutiny (even as law firms continue to raise rates and incoming associate salaries), but also the speed and efficiency of legal delivery is increasingly held to business—not legal—standards,” Cohen said.

For legal professionals to increase their delivery speed, Cohen said there are different steps that can be taken, and this includes removing the use of legalese and increasing the use of technology.



“There are several practical steps that legal professionals can take to accelerate delivery,” Cohen said. “The list includes: plain language (no ‘legalese’), concise communication, responsiveness, answers instead of equivocations, proactive practices, risk assessment, the appropriate resource—human or machine—for the task, people skills, focus on net promoter score (NPS), not profit-per-partner(PPP), diversity in the broadest sense of the term, a holistic approach to problem solving, and meaningful performance/ delivery/customer satisfaction metrics. Legal professionals must collaborate, appreciate the speed of business, embrace process and project management, utilize technology, and view challenges from the client perspective, not a narrow lawyer’s lens. Delivery of legal services must be accelerated to mirror the speed of business–and life.”

What do you think of Cohen’s take on legal delivery? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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