Over the course of the past week I have seen two news items that include comments by prominent industry experts advocating that for law firms to success in the future they will need to specialize.
The first item was a short [1 minute 40] video interview of David Lat (editor of Above the Law) titled More ‘Shakeout’ Coming for Big Law, Says Above the Law Editor in which (the recently married – congratulations David) Lat touches on the issue that for firms to survive going forward, they will need to get much better at the specialization game.
The second item, from the same day (11 September), was an article (‘How future-ready is your law firm?‘) on the Australasian Lawyer website that included comments by Keynote speech presenter Jordan Furlong of Edge International and Tim Williams of Ignition Consulting Group at last week’s ALPMA (Australasian Legal Practice Management Association) Annual Conference on the Gold Coast (at which I was not a participant).
In essence the article promulgates the experts opinion that the “future of law firms will be specialisation, rather than expansion” and that “In reality, clients have changed from wanting to be loyal to a full service firm to shopping around for the best firm suited to a particular project.”
Both the article and Lat’s interview video raise an interesting issue and I have to say that while I largely agree with William’s view that:
“Buyers [today] are seeking best in class solutions to their problems. They no longer need to fall back on a generalist firm that they can count on for everything in their hometown.”
it has yet to be fully explained to me why some, but certainly not all, full service firms cannot also claim that they provide “best in class solutions to their clients’ problems”.