Finance and Legal

Revealing The Best Legal Trends That Will Dominate In 2024

Let us examine the legal trends that will shape the coming year, such as the emergence of generative artificial intelligence, the acceptance of alternative legal costs, the investigation of untapped markets, and much more.

The legal industry is changing at a dizzying rate. This fiercely competitive and intricate industry faces a plethora of obstacles, including the rising cost of living, the growing need for specialised knowledge, the growth and disruption of alternative legal service providers (ALSPs), changing client expectations, the expansion and contraction of practice areas, and a host of other issues. However, the industry will change, grow, and eventually overcome those obstacles. Over the past few years, legal companies and attorneys have demonstrated an unexpected degree of adaptability, sincere resilience, and a general willingness to change. Legal companies and attorneys are expected to advance even further in 2024 by embracing cutting-edge technology, adopting creative payment methods, breaking into new markets, and more.

Key legal developments to look forward to in 2024:

  • Acceptance of substitute legal expenses: Although the billable hour has long been the standard billing technique, clients are raising concerns about the model, claiming it generates perverse incentives, leads to duplicate billing, fosters inefficiencies, and offers a poor return on investment. Calling time on the billable hour: A recent LexisNexis report examined how clients are using alternative fee arrangements (AFAs). Numerous ALSPs and platform law firms have embraced AFAs. The most common option is flat fees, when clients and firms agree on prices in advance of projects; other alternatives include blended rates, capped fees, fixed fees by phase, and so on. Since AFAs reduce expenses and more accurately represent the work completed, clients frequently embrace them.
  • Handling the drop in income: According to the LexisNexis GLP Index, demand for legal services will increase in 2024 by +2% over 2023. Perhaps that is a trend in the right direction. However, 2023 saw 6% growth, indicating a sharp slowdown in the sector’s growth. Experts widely recognise the causes of decreased growth. Geopolitical unrest, the macroeconomic climate, the pandemic aftermath, and increased regulatory complexity have caused the professional services sector to suffer.
  • Smaller legal companies seek more organic growth: It’s difficult to expand a legal practice. But expansion will be extremely challenging in an uncertain economic climate, when new competitors could disrupt the legal market and income could decline. Still, legal companies have high growth aspirations, as evidenced by the most recent Lexis Nexis study. Moreover, the emphasis is on the organic, as opposed to past years. The report demonstrated that small businesses prefer to grow organically—that is, by expanding their marketing and business development departments—as opposed to using more conventional strategies. Survey participants observed that comprehensive approaches to advertising tactics have proven to be effective, with social media, public relations, and the internet all focused on offering education.
  • The Ascension of Generative Artificial Intelligence: ChatGPT, DALL•E, Jasper, Soundraw, and other generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems were the topic of 2023. Not just in the legal area, but throughout the economy and around the world. A recent LexisNexis report, Generative AI and the Future of the Legal Profession, sought to better comprehend the sector’s existing awareness and deployment of AI. And, while current use appeared to be low, with just over a third (36%) of respondents indicating that they use the technology, anticipated use appeared to be massive. To find solutions, lawyers are increasingly turning to generative AI. They are utilising technology to create briefs, documents, and content. They are using AI to generate ideas, improve processes, and streamline operations. They draft, negotiate, and analyse contracts. Lawyers are employing reliable legal AI systems to significantly accelerate and improve their legal research. They are also employing AI in everyday jobs, such as the most fundamental types of communication. In short, AI will begin to transform the legal profession in 2023 and will become even more prevalent in 2024. The technology has an air of inevitability about it, and lawyers who do not use it or who do not embrace the benefits it provides will eventually fall behind.

Customer service may not be as important to retention as solutions are. More than ever, clients are expecting faster turnaround times, innovative billing models, improved communication channels, and much more. The firm acquires clients, but smaller businesses can only expand by exceeding their expectations.

Therefore, in 2024, discovering organic approaches to draw in and keep customers will probably be very popular.

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