The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Fred Headon

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Rethinking the value proposition for the future

By Fred Headon April 29, 2013 29 April 2013

Technology. Cost. Research suggests that together the two will be the biggest drivers of change in the legal profession.

At the turn of the century, the talk around the future of the profession was all about how lawyers were going to be able to harness technology to work more efficiently. In 2013, the talk is of how technology can be harnessed to answer clients’ demands that legal work be done more cost-effectively, and with more predictability about cost, process and outcome.

That’s because the shake-up that followed financial scandals, a dot-com bust and a recession from which the global economy has yet to fully recover left the balance of power in the lawyer-client relationship in the hands that also hold the chequebook.

Today’s clients want work done their way, on their timetable and for a cost they can live with. Otherwise, research done for the CBA’s Legal Futures Initiative suggests that experienced clients – as well as those with little experience of the legal system – will either take their business elsewhere, or join the growing ranks of self-represented litigants.

“Legal services providers can choose to compete for those individuals who are in the best position to pay for someone to fight their case,” a CBA survey concluded. “Alternatively they can choose to reposition their promise of value to individuals.”

What’s your value proposition? Join the conversation. #cbafutures

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Fred Headon is a past President of the Canadian Bar Association and chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative. / Fred Headon est le président sortant de l'Association du Barreau canadien et préside le Projet de l'ABC Avenirs en droit.

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