KEN Jagger knows the look of the legal landscape.
In a series of presentations to his senior in-house lawyers at AdventBalance, the CEO outlined a number of emerging trends and what they might mean for firms and counsel teams in the lead up to 2020.
Findings from current industry reports include a decline in partner numbers and a staggering disparity between the number of total law graduates and the number which gain work with top and mid-tier commercial firms.
Coupled with a rise in external competition from the UK and the US, Jagger says there's been a rift driven into the current legal training environment.
"Traditional law firms have been forced by the market to become leaner both at partner and associate level," says Jagger.
"As a result the traditional commercial training model is broken, no longer will the large law firms train significant numbers of lawyers who can then be picked up by in-house teams after 5 or 6 years."
Smaller companies which currently benefit from the top-tier-learned skills of fresh graduates may have to seek alternative solutions for sourcing new talent in the future.
"Companies may well be forced to look at training their own lawyers, even to the extent of developing their own graduate recruitment programs," says Jagger.
Reports have also indicated a rise in the number of alternative providers including legal process outsourcing companies, NewLaw professionals and online technology solutions companies, resulting in a further push towards leaner firms with multi-skilled employees.
"General Counsel are under pressure to do more with less," says Jagger.
"The options available to GC's in the market are continuing to increase, it will be their responsibility to know what those options are and how to incorporate those providers into their service delivery strategy."
Jagger has included these findings in his presentation called Legal Landscape 2020: Implications for in-house practice, as a part of the Corporate Counsel Day initiative run by the Association of Corporate Counsel (formerly Australian Corporate Lawyers Association.)
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