The legal profession is one that is always full of challenges. Competition has been known to be severest in this field. The best of brains that qualify from some of the most premier law institutions around the world vie continuously with each other to get to the top slot. While the legal profession is the most lucrative in terms of successful practice and making the right connections, a trend is recently been seen that the professionals who have been not able to make it to the top echelons but are extremely capable are now stemming into alternate professions; politics for instance.
What can be the reason for this?
There is heavy competition in the legal field. The density of law graduates is increasing exponentially every year. Almost all the countries have law professionals in higher proportion than what is actually needed for the smooth running of the judicial processes. Not that anyone is complaining because there is always room for more. But the fact remains that this can cause a lot of pressure on the existing professionals.
The information boom:
The internet has proved itself to be not so big a boon when we are talking about the legal profession. While it is true that internet and all the convenience that comes with it has also helped the professionals in this field still what can be bothersome is that clients expectations from their attorneys has risen so high that is virtually impossible to meet all of them. There is a high chance of friction between the attorney and his clients only because of these high expectations. For instance, picture this: Mr. A who has a case entrusted to his attorney M/s XYZ has approached him with all the basic research done prior to first meeting him; The information courtesy being the Internet. Now, the client has already tried to gather as much information about the prospective redressal that he can get. Obviously, he will expect his attorney to be extremely proactive and be as much informative as the internet has graciously been. The thing that such kind of clients do not understand or fail to grasp completely is that when they source specialized knowledge from the internet they are not very sure if the person across who is trying to give them information is giving out completely reliable information or not. At most times, the nitty gritties of the law are so complex that the same kind of information is never relevant in similar cases unless physically verified and checked.
Have you heard about the legal service providers on the net? They are a strange breed of legal practitioners who do work for lesser amount than what you would do if you hired and retained an attorney. Some of the firms also have a presence on the internet apart from a full-fledged practice that they have. For instance asbestos solicitors is a specialized attorney firm for helping victims with their compensation claim.
Documentation and legal advice that is done at a percentage of the cost that they could have got if they have hired an attorney is chipping away bits off the pie that used to be the attorney at bar's practice. This migration of clients from hiring the services of a proper attorney at law to the attorney on the internet is undoubtedly a misplaced gift of technology!
Law as a genre is peculiar to a particular country but lawyers who are generically trained to understand and interpret law and the legal nuances are fit and rightly so in order to be able to practice anywhere that they choose to. But unfortunately, this is not the case. A lot of countries do not allow lawyers and attorneys from other countries/federal states to practice in their territory. This can be a very big impediment to the expansion of their practice.
A lot of attorneys who are good at their work but are not technology savvy can lose a bit of edge when compared to the lawyers who graduate today and who have a lesser learning curve in technology. The attorneys who do not give due respect and importance to technology and also the things that it can do to enhance their practice are definitely going to be left behind.
The list is not exhaustive:
Even though the list is not exactly an exhaustive one, it pretty much sums up the main challenges that lawyers face today. Not to say that they cannot work around these problems. Where there is a will there is definitely a way. Or like the attorney say, “where there is a will, there are relatives! Wink!!