Demographic Shifts TransformLaw Office Management, Research Shows

Sunday, October 1, 2006 - 00:00

Demographic shifts, globalization and increased corporate governance are three key factors changing the way law offices operate, according to a just-released white paper from Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing service specializing in attorneys, paralegals and other skilled legal professionals.

The paper is titled The Changing Face of the Legal Industry and is part of the company's continuing Future Law Office project. The research also indicates how legal employers are responding to the needs and priorities of an increasingly diverse, multigenerational workforce to recruit and retain top talent and remain competitive.

'The legal workforce is evolving, impacting the profession in many ways,' said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. 'Increasingly, law offices are re-evaluating their staffing and human resources practices in order to capitalize on the diversity of their internal teams and prepare for new industry developments.'

Attorneys and others in the legal profession also want to continue learning. 'Our research shows professional development is one of the leading reasons legal professionals remain at their current firms or legal departments,' Mr. Volkert said. 'With this in mind, law offices are investing in leadership development initiatives and business management training for senior-level attorneys. At the associate level, many firms have implemented mentoring programs to teach junior attorneys business development skills.'

Globalization is reshaping the business of law, research indicates. Sixty-three percent of attorneys surveyed ranked Asia as the leading geographic region where law firms plan to open an office outside the United States, followed by Europe (50 percent) and Latin America (25 percent).