Despite so much being made in the traditional press and on social media, of the impact of the forces of innovation and disruption on the legal profession and law firms in particular, there's a real sense that law firms aren't responding effectively or quickly enough to these challenges.
This is picked up in the excellent in-depth article in Forbes by Mark A. Cohen (link below). He describes and analyses law firms' unwillingness or inability to move from the practice of law to the delivery of legal services. Rightly he identifies the vital importance of client dissatisfaction.
Will there be a "tipping point" after which law firms will crumble and die (except for the top firms such as the Magic Circle that will surely keep the exceptional complex high-value work)? Will a new entrant into the legal marketplace turn out to be the Google or Facebook of the legal industry and sweep all before them? All that's certain is that the next few years will be a bumpy ride for law firms and developments will be fascinating to watch.
Meanwhile, client dissatisfaction with law firms remains high as evidenced by the rapid growth of in-house departments and elite service providers. This migration from firms has created a growing delta between increased demand for legal services and a flat demand for law firms. Excepting 20 or so elite, brand-differentiated firms that handle high-value, price-insensitive matters, law firms are confronting two systemic issues: (1) delivery; and (2) structure