Nr. 3. Future fact: lawyer revenue drop from 99% to below 50%

“Today lawyers generate 99% of a law firm’s revenue. Once productivity engines are ubiquitous in law firm that percentage could conevitably drop below 50%” according to Jordan Furlong in his book “Law is a buyers’ market” 2017 (p. 75).

What is causing this change?

According to the study and finding of Jordan Furlong in his book, Law is a buyers’ market it are the following:

  • Fundamental change in client perspective: Do I need a lawyer or can the problem be solved in a different way? More and more businesses and private people take up mediators, defend their own case is court and look for way to avoid hiring a lawyer all together.
  • Legal proces substitutes (p. 24)
  • Legal solution substitutes (p. 25 -26)
    • like legal document providers
    • contract drafting and analytics
    • legal research database
    • online dispute resolution
    • in-house operations
    • legal proces improvement
    • legal artificial intelligence (like IBM’s Watson)
    • Technology-assisted review (TAR)
  • Legal substitutes (p. 75):
    • Legal productivity engines
    • Law librarian
    • Legal knowledge engines
    • Legal data analyst
  • Legal Process outsourcing companies and legal flex-work agencies (p. 39-40)
  • Rise of procurement (price orientation) (p. 142)

This will change the number of lawyers active in law business and their role dramatically. There will be room for less lawyers.

“It isn’t simply a matter of work shifting from lawyers to lawyer substitutes; it’s that the cost of the work shrinks considerably in the transition.” Jordan Furlong

New job skills demand for lawyers like will become more important like:

  • being able to use complex data analyses tools
  • analytical skills
  • sales and acquisition excellence
  • projectmanagement
  • leadership skills

Link to “Law is a buyers’ market” by Jordan Furlong the e-book and paper book.

In the next article in this series you will find the 7 options lawyers can undertake to face the change!


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