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  • Law Firm Leadership Series 2019/20

    Future skills and talent

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Future skills and talent

As law firms continue on the journey of digital transformation and adapt their business, finance and investment models to remain competitive, perhaps the most fundamental changes taking place in the legal sector are to its core asset, its people and their wellbeing. In our report we explore three key areas:

New skills and talent

The growing role of technology in delivering legal services is increasing demand for technology and data experts, as well as people who can translate between technologists and lawyers. As different types of professionals and lawyers deliver more value to law firms, this gives opportunity for reward structures to change to accommodate new skills sets. 

Managing a more diverse set of people and skills will also make law firm leadership a more complex task. This will require leaders to first change the minds and behaviours of the people who currently make up their law firms, so that in the longer term, the legal profession and industry can educate, recruit, promote, retain and motivate new types of talent and skills and welcome them into the legal mainstream. 

Legal careers 

Our report covers a rethink on the full spectrum of a legal career, from skills sets on entry and recruitment through to how routes to partnership may need to change to accommodate more diverse talent. On the aspect of legal education, the majority (84%) of law firm leaders we surveyed agree to some extent that legal education needs to change to better prepare students for the demands of the industry. For example, for Corporate Lawyers it’s important they learn the fundamentals and not just the basics of business and finance, and all lawyers would benefit from an introduction to new methods and tools to do legal work. 

 

Wellbeing and culture

Addressing the growing toll of the fast pace of business and the impact of being connected 24/7 has on lawyer’s mental health and wellbeing has become a top priority for leadership teams. In recent years, firms have taken positive steps to raise awareness and offer more flexible working options to support their people in achieving a more sustainable work balance. This has been accelerated by COVID-19, as law firms were required to support flexible and remote working virtually overnight following the UK’s national lockdown announcement. The experience of the last 6 months has further changed attitudes to where and how people work, and debates about the future of the office remain highly topical.

To read more about these three areas:

Read our report