This is a brilliant piece by Mark Cohen. Traditional law firm models are starting to see the see the impact of alternative models as well as the continuing growth of in-house teams.
However, as highlighted in this piece, as much as traditional firms have challenges, so do new legal service providers and in-house teams. In my view, the answer is collaboration. Mark mentions the 'two company model' where a traditional law firm has a bundled services agreement with a legal services provider. We are definitely starting to see this level of collaboration. Such collaboration might mean traditional law firms engaging or white labelling alternative / NewLaw providers for the secondment offering they provide in-house teams. It might also mean NewLaw providers offering flexible resourcing solutions for traditional law firms.
In either case, such collaboration should be high on the agenda for traditional law firms, especially those who work directly with in-house teams.
What’s missing in the current legal landscape is a safe, scalable, cost-effective, legal delivery model that integrates the legal supply chain. There are many different structures and models that would accomplish this objective-- the most likely being a Clearspire ‘two company model’ where a law firm enters into a bundled services agreement with a legal service provider. Another iteration might involve a corporate legal department breaking off and rebranding itself as a law firm that is pared with legal operations capability, either in-house or via an established outside service provider. Additional elite legal talent would be readily available because there will soon be a diaspora of lawyers looking for a new model and a new home that aligns better with their interests as well as their clients’.