find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Traditional firms watch and learn from NewLaw

Traditional firms watch and learn from NewLaw

Laura Vickers

While NewLaw boutiques remain small fish in the legal market, their innovative approach is giving larger firms food for thought, one boutique director says.

Laura Vickers, principal of Nest Legal, believes larger firms are keeping tabs on innovation in the NewLaw sector with an eye to their own businesses.

“I think they're certainly watching and learning and thinking about what they can adapt to their particular circumstances,” she said.

“There has been a push in recent years [across the industry] to see that something has to change. And some of the more dramatic changes are coming from the NewLaw end of the market.”

Ms Vickers suggested it was unlikely that major firms will completely overhaul their approach, but may adapt elements from new boutiques, including a willingness to experiment.

“NewLaw firms often share similar hallmarks, be it fixed fees, promotion of a brand rather than individuals, flexi-work practices, separating lawyering from selling, or cultivating innovations that simplify the law to make it more accessible to a new market,” she said.

“Some of these are more easily incorporated into traditional firms than others. But the thing all NewLaw firms share is the mindset of reinvention and the willingness to experiment with new ways of doing things.”

Larger law firms often have more stakeholders, she said, making innovation more difficult to execute. While many firms devote large budgets to new models, implementing change is not simple.

"A lot of the big firms will have a whole innovation team devoted to thinking about these questions but it is a harder process because they have to please so many people,” she said.

While unlikely to pursue “innovation for its own sake”, she suggested firms were considering how new technology or ways of doing business could help solve problems.

“A law firm doesn't have to have the most sophisticated technological platforms in the world just to be able to ask itself the question of whether it could so something better to benefit its clients – or its lawyers for that matter,” she said.

Ms Vickers recently judged the LexisNexis Legal Innovation index and based on this experience, she suggested firms of all sizes were looking to do things differently.

“It cuts across the spectrum – everything from sole practitioners through to traditional top-tier firms through to NewLaw businesses,” she said.

“In this current climate of increased competition, surely a law firm that is constantly thinking creatively about how to make life easier for its clients has a better chance of survival than one that doesn’t see value in asking itself whether it can do things better than the way they’ve always been done.”



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Traditional firms watch and learn from NewLaw
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Queensland University of Technology, ruby milestone
Oct 23 2017
Queensland law school reaches ruby milestone
Celebrating 40 years since establishing a law course in 1977, the Queensland University of Technolog...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...