Published on February 20, 2014
Idaho Association of Paralegals New Paradigms and Legal Industry Trends Affecting Paralegals John N. Zarian February 20, 2014 800 W. Main Street, Suite 1300 Boise, Idaho parsonsbehle.com
Paradigms par·a·digm /ˈ parəˈdīm / noun A distinct concept or thought pattern
Epiphanies Started with case involving securities, contractual issues, corporate control. Ended with case involving patents, trade secrets and related IP claims.
Outliers Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell, 2008) “10,000-Hour Rule” – The key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.
General Paradigm Shift for Paralegals Take ownership! Shift from projectbased to team-based Understand your unique role on team Adapt to your law firm, attorneys, practic e areas 5
Questions to Ask in Yourself in Shaping Your New Paradigm(s) Do I understand the overall mission? Do I understand the work styles and needs of the attorneys that I support? Am I contributing to making the attorneys that I work with and my firm successful? Do I have the skills that I will need to be effective in the future (5 or 10 years)? How can I be proactive in light of the overall legal industry trends? 6
10 Trends Shaping the Legal Industry 7
Trend #1: Technology & Software Legal research tools / resources Communication tools & software Tools that “level” the playing field Task-based software (e.g., trial) 8
Trend #2: E-Discovery Changing rules of litigation for ESI Changing face of complex litigation Changing focus of discovery New roles in litigation support 9
Trend #3: Social Networking New/changing tools affecting – Discovery – Client contact – Marketing – Networking Tools to monitor legal developments 10
Trend #4: Changing Law Firms Impact of trends – Demand for legal work – Pricing pressures Strategic planning! – Local factors – Firm leadership Nature of firm – – – – Boutique law firms? Regional law firms? Traditional law firms? Future of “Big Law”? 11
Trend #5: Virtual Law Firms Changing workforce and technologies Impact on lawyers and paralegals Impact on pricing and staffing models 5% of lawyers (2013) 12
Trend #6: Globalization & Outsourcing Foreign clients Collaboration with foreign professionals Use of external vendors by clients Legal process outsourcing (LPO) to reduce costs 13
Trend #7: Alternative Billing Models Alternatives to the billable-hour model Fixed, flat, blended or capped fees More than 50% of companies using alternative billing? Alternative billing software/tracking 14
Trend #8: New/Growing Practice Areas Think BIG about growing practice areas (e.g., IP, e-discovery, labor & employment, elder law, environmental law) Cyclical practice areas (real estate, bankruptcy) 15
Trend #9: Changing Work Force Pressure to be more productive / efficient Economic pressures & compensation Multi-generational workforce in firms Work-Life balance? Workplace policies 16
Trend #10: “Other” Trends?! 17
Final Word … Paradigms How do your concepts and thought patterns about your job/profession align with (a) current circumstances, and (b) overall legal industry trends? 18
Thank You!@ QUESTIONS & COMMENTS John N. Zarian direct: (208) 562.4902 email: firstname.lastname@example.org 19
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New Paradigms and Legal Industry Trends Affecting Paralegals. February 2014. from Parsons Behle & Latimer. Featured. Attorneys. John N. Zarian. Boise. 208 ...
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