THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
November 12, 2010 | 21
The recent global economic
downturn prompted the most
critical review of the business of law
in recent memory. Law firms and
in-house departments keenly
examined the ways they procured,
consumed and delivered legal services. Many pundits on the subject
even suggested the downturn
would have a radical and fundamental impact on the legal marketplace largely due to three interrelated topics; consumer sensitivity
to price, increased commoditiza-tion of legal services and the impact
of technology on the practice of law.
While the consumption of legal
services, whether in-house or in
private practice, will see changes,
ultimately, these are likely to be
more incremental than radically
Broadly speaking, the consumption of legal services can be split
into four categories:
1. Individual and personal legal
matters (i.e., wills & estates, residential real estate conveyance, etc.),
or “Personal Legal Services”;
2. Individuals or small corporations with business interests requiring a broad range of legal services
with varying complexity, or “Small
Business Legal Services”;
3. The often complex, yet routine, ongoing legal needs of large
in-house departments, or “
In-House Legal Services”; and
4. Complex commercial trans-
actions and litigation, or “Complex
Over the last decade we have
seen a movement towards the com-
moditization of many Personal
Legal Services. This movement has
been fuelled by both client demands
for lower prices and technological
advancements, which allow law-
yers to service the client needs
more efficiently. Real estate con-
veyancing is perhaps the best
example of these forces at work.
Software (instead of paralegals)
can now largely automate the
assembly of conveyancing docu-
ments so the lawyer need only
spend a little time on the convey-
ance, thus reducing overhead costs
and price. As a trend, this is likely
to continue. This is a great growth
opportunity for lawyers who can
harness technology and standard-
ization, while staying onside with
their law society obligations.
We are seeking a talented lawyer with two to five years
experience and superior advocacy skills to join our personal
injury and insurance practice. Great opportunity to develop
into a first-class trial and appellate lawyer.
Apply in confidence to the attention of:
Alan L. Rachlin | firstname.lastname@example.org
390 Bay St, Suite 1500
Toronto, ON M5H 2Y2
more sophisticated, demanding
greater efficiencies from all service
providers (not just lawyers). The
result is a more efficient delegation
of work within Complex Legal Services, with work being done by
paralegals, outsourced support,
and other business professionals to
deliver the same quality of legal
product to the client.
While price sensitivity will
remain in the delivery of Complex
Legal Services, legal remains a rela-
tively inexpensive transactional
cost when compared against the
fees generated by investment bank-
ers, brokers, or realtors on trans-
actions of a sizeable nature.
Furthermore, given the additional
liability and responsibility borne by
lawyers as compared to other pro-
fessionals, the value for fee remains
quite high when assessing legal
fees. As a result, a radical shift in
billing or billing practices for Com-
plex Legal Services remains
unlikely in the foreseeable future.
FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA
Fort McMurray's oldest and most prominent law firm requires a
lawyer willing to complete the requirements for membership in
the Law Society of Alberta.
Compensation includes base salary and attractive profit share.
The right candidate should anticipate earnings in excess of
$100,000.00 per annum (first year) plus benefits.
Fort McMurray is located within the beautiful Regional
Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Northern Alberta. It offers great
opportunities and significant financial rewards for a lawyer
wanting to make Fort McMurray their home.
If you are energetic, motivated and seeking a career opportunity
with partnership potential this position should be of interest to
you. Apply in confidence to Barbara Mullen at 212 - 9714 Main
Street, Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 1T6. Fax 1-780-791-0750
To find out more about the tremendous amenities of Fort
www.woodbuffalo.ab.ca or www.fortmcmurraytourism.com
All applications will be acknowledged.
Canada’s legal online job board.