3 Trends That Are Reshaping Legal Employment
The legal industry continues to grow, a sign of promise for those interested in a career change. New workers face numerous opportunities, as firms and large-scale corporations increase their staffing numbers. The biggest challenge facing these businesses, however, is attracting and retaining associates in a competitive market. Employee burnouts and the new work/life balance has questioned the legitimacy of attending law school.
Career certificate courses offer a more affordable educational option, and they still help professionals gain a leg up on other applicants. A few key trends that have reshaped employment in the legal industry, helping legal prospects gain traction in an otherwise competitive market.
Streamlining Process (Electronic Discovery)
As technology has advanced, the need to lug around boxes of legal documents has dropped dramatically. Now, electronically stored information such as e-mails, instant messages, voicemails, e-calendars, graphics, and data are discoverable in litigation. The explosive growth of electronically stored information (ESI) has increased accessibility for law firms. Instead of having entire conference rooms dedicated to mounds of paper, all records can now be accessed via laptop, iPad, or other smart devices. New roles in litigation support e-discovery, and trial technology has emerged to address the electronic realities of a digital age.
Electronics help save both time and energy. Now, job candidates can be filtered out by qualifications, and interviews can be conducted online, saving time for employers and applicants. In order to begin your career, it is important to craft an effective resume and cover letter, as well as research the company you are applying to. Tips and tricks for job preparation are included in our “How to Find a Job as a Paralegal” Study Unit.
Diversity and Inclusion
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace has gained support from many organizations, especially law firms. Attorneys are more attracted to inclusive firms, as they are more comfortable environments. Subsequently, there is more loyalty and employee retention, as unique employee contributions are recognized, and respected. For paralegals, this means that providing different experiences and personal background is marketable—you can improve a brand’s reputation and improve workplace cohesion. Consider, for instance, how the recruitment process has changed.
Legal professionals now have social media tools that accomplish a variety of legal tasks and career objectives. This has affected how legal professionals recruit, job hunt, network, locate and discredit witnesses, manage their careers, and interact with clients. Social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are also key marketing tools, helping lawyers and legal professionals reach a broad audience and accomplish branding, advertising, and client development goals.
The brand for a law firm revolves around image, with diversity and inclusion as an important first step to recognizing professional growth.
Part-Time and Outsourcing Work
Another trend that is spreading through the workforce globally is new work-from-home jobs. This is seen in the legal profession through Virtual Law Firms. Virtual law offices provide an alternative method of practicing law that permits flexible work hours and fosters a better work/life balance for legal professionals. Virtual work is not just for lawyers; a growing number of legal professionals are working remotely. Consider the bevy of other career paths that can benefit from work-from-home opportunities: freelance lawyers, practitioners of law, telecommuting jobs, legal writers, and paralegals.
Depending on your law experience, you will find unique ways of getting clients. This could include attending networking events, setting up business profiles on social media, creating advertisements for media platforms, or by partnering with an attorney and working in a hybrid format.
There is also a multi-generational workforce in today’s market. As attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals tend to work beyond retirement age, many law firms and legal departments are trying to balance a generation gap of more than 50 years between the oldest and youngest employees. In order to meet these demands, work hours and job outsourcing have adjusted.
Legal Process Outsourcing, or LPO, refers to the practice of a law corporation obtaining legal support services from an outside law firm or LPO provider. This outsourcing is transforming law practice, as law firms and legal departments seek to minimize costs while increasing flexibility and in-house capabilities.
The Blackstone Difference
The only constant in the legal industry is that things are regularly changing. To promote a company’s success, paralegals should learn to recognize and adapt to these trends. In doing so, they keep legal organizations efficient, relevant, and competitive.
Electronic streamlining, work diversity, and outsourcing have subsequently increased the demand for legal assistants, making the industry both affordable and reachable for job prospects. Blackstone’s Online Paralegal Diploma Program helps students build and develop the skills necessary to succeed in the field, with low tuition costs and self-led instruction.