LegalOrganizing for innovation

Legal Profession Crisis: Dead End or Opportunity for Innovation?

Reading about the current state of the legal industry cannot make an aspiring attorney happy.

  • Getting a law degree is too expensive. Too many students are being lured into law, but end up laden with debt and unable to find well-paying jobs in their chosen profession upon graduation.
  • The job satisfaction of established attorneys has plummeted. Especially at large law firms, the likelihood of becoming partner has been decimated, yet never before have partners earned as much as they do today while leaving many behind.

The legal profession is in crisis. Where to start?

The legal profession crisis

The statements above come from The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis, which explains in detail how a combination of factors has created a lawyer bubble, even while the profession itself has become increasingly unstable. As this situation has so far been self-sustaining, there are few incentives for the legal establishment to change.

$274 billion up for grabs

A surplus of skilled labor and low job satisfaction in established firms, provide great opportunities to innovate, especially when added to an unserved market. Indeed, an estimated 50% of the market for legal services is currently not being served in the US. To current players it seems too difficult to serve this bottom half of the market. Nevertheless, it implies that a market of at least $274 billion dollars is up for grabs!

Dead End

Crises or OpportunityWill existing law firms wait till LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and others have scooped up this part of the market, and start eating away at this golden opportunity? Or will existing firms start to see the opportunities offered by the internet, text recognition and other technological advances, spurring the legal industry and their own firms into the twenty-first century?

Law firms that think that they are immune to change should think twice. Smith Corona—former preeminent manufacturer of typewriters—and Kodak—former household name in photography—and many other industry leaders have been ruined by staying on the sidelines of innovation.

Do you want to get stuck in a Dead End? It is not a question of whether changes in the legal industry are going to take place, but when, how, and by whom.

Are you interested in becoming an innovation leader in the legal profession? Please visit us at or contact us at info “at” organizing4innovation “dot” com.



Numbers on the legal market size (2014)

Steven Harper, The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis (2013)