The need for realizing the prospects of a future arrangement of the bar stems from the need for timely planning by attorneys of the most rational forms according to which they may organize their professional activities. The scope and nature of the threats faced by the legal community on the threshold of the third millennium emphasize the importance of understanding the strategic vectors in the development of the legal profession which, if taken into account, may ensure competitiveness and professional longevity. Despite the revival of scholars’ attention to these aspects, we have to admit that such an issue as the future of the bar remains unexplored and unclear. This does not make attorneys more confident of tomorrow and has a negative impact on the ability to respond to the challenges of today.
The purpose of this article is to discern the outlines of the bar’s future and to formulate recommendations to attorneys on how to adapt to the forthcoming changes in the profession.
The author notes that in terms of development of the bar, the following factors are most sensitive: globalization, decrease of regulatory restrictions, increased competition and the problem of “more for less” (when clients want to get more of high-quality services at a lower price), a change in the behavior of clients and employees of attorneys-at-law firms with regard to finding of an attorney and maintaining of business relations, and also a rapid development and an increasing role of technologies and innovations, in particular, enhancement of the mechanisms of online dispute resolution, introduction of e-justice, an increased share of alternative subjects, processes and methods (outsourcing, insourcing, online services) of legal assistance, and enhancement of the potential of artificial intelligence.
The author has established that artificial intelligence gives unreliable results when the circumstances of the principal’s case are uncertain or vague. It is quite difficult to automate the functions which require creative thinking, emotional intelligence and social sensitivity. The author arrives at the conclusion that the era of artificial intelligence in the legal domain will not begin soon and that the human potential will be the determining factor of attorneys’ activities for a long time.
Recommendations are formulated for attorneys and attorneys-at-law firms to see and understand the vector of changes; to be at the forefront of innovations; to enhance specialization; to strive at establishing the relations of particular trust with clients; to develop business skills and ensure a clear differentiation of the firm by developing USP (unique selling proposition) which is similar to that offered by their clients; to engage highly qualified lawyers to project implementation by offering them an employment model which is flexible in time and space; to automate the processes; to reduce costs; to improve technical skills of the staff.
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