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Five Considerations for the Australian Legal Industry in 2016

Five Considerations for the Australian Legal Industry in 2016

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UTS Law Dean Professor Lesley Hitchens recently launched the Future of the Legal Profession series with Paradigm Shifts, a panel discussion exploring trends within the law industry. 

The panel consisted of leading legal practitioners including Nick Abrahams (Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright), Sharon Cook (Managing Partner, Clients, King & Wood Mallesons), Tony O’Malley (Australia and Asia Pacific Legal Services Leader, PwC) and Michael Williams (Partner and head of IP team, Gilbert & Tobin).


The panel explored the following issues:

  • What’s the future for the billable hour? The question on everyone’s lips at the moment, as you could expect, caused different views to be offered. But key to the debate was the link between fees and value for the work provided.


  • Is the traditional law firm model still working? In summary it is, but importantly, for how much longer will it continue to effectively operate?


  • What’s changed in the legal profession? Key factors identified included the rise of in-house counsel, globalisation and the impact of technology on legal practice.


  • How is technology changing legal practice? Automation of repetitive tasks was a hot topic but the panel noted it is an advantage easily replicated. How then do firms create a sustainable competitive position within the market to attract clients?


  • How can students and universities prepare graduates to enter the legal profession? To current law students and law schools the message from the panel was clear. One, get the core skills and knowledge right. Two, learn how to use technology. And three, position students through cultural and language skills to work in Asia.

Please view the video highlights from the discussion, generously provided by Boardroom Media, and we welcome your feedback.

The Future of the Legal Profession series seeks to understand the forces driving change, to question if business as usual is still an option and to investigate what might be on the horizon. Please connect with the UTS:Law social media channels (Linkedin: UTS Faculty of Law, Facebook: UTS Law or Twitter: @utslaw) to stay informed of upcoming 2016 events including the UTS Future of the Legal Profession series.




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