Posted by Law Campus Admin on the 27th January 2012.
I have had the pleasure of catching up with many of the LexisNexis Student Associates this week. During our conversations, a few of them have told me that law firm application forms and interviews are now containing questions about the rise of Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) under the new regulatory regime brought in by the Legal Services Act.
At its most basic, what this means is that law firms can now attract outside investment to grow their businesses and other organisations can offer legal service in competition with law firms. This is what has been known as 'Tesco Law' in the legal press. However, I would suggest that it should now be talked about as Co-Op Law, at least in certain sectors. If you didn't know, the Co-Op has ramped up its presence in Family law and is looking to recruit 150 staff for its legal business.
The question I was asked by them was where can we get information and insight about what is going on. Clearly there is a lot of good information that can be gleaned from the legal press - The Times, The Guardian, Legal Week, The Lawyer, Legal Business etc.
However, in order to help them and you, I went to speak to a colleague, Mark Smith, who is one of the LexisPSL Practice Area Directors here at LexisNexis. Mark was In House Legal Counsel for WNS and a buyer of legal services and then set up a company called Intelligent Challenge helping law firms and lawyers increase effectiveness. I asked Mark who he looked to to provide him with insight into how legal services might change and he directed me to the 'blawg roll' on his blog The Intelligent Challenge. The website for The Intelligent Challenge is still there, along with all of Mark's posts about the future of legal services, so do start there.
The blogs on the roll are all well worth reading but I would draw your attention to one in particular - Legal Futures.
Legal Futures is a website run by a guy called Neil Rose and he blogs regularly on the possible impact of the Legal Services Act on the provision of legal services.
Two other commentators that I would also encourage you to follow are Professor Stephen Mayson (College of Law) and Professor Richard Moorhead (Cardiff University). Both of these gentlemen sat on the panel for a LexisNexis sponsored debate entitled 'Do Lawyers Need to be Scholars' that was held at UCL towards the end of last year.
Clearly there are many more people out there commenting on the future of legal services and new companies entering the market all of the time but hopefully this will give you all a start in finding out what the profession you dream of joining might be like in the next few years.