As 2019 winds down, Legal Current is revisiting milestones and key accomplishments from the Legal business of Thomson Reuters this year. Today we look at the “2019 Report on the State of the Legal Market,” released last January by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law School.

The report relies on Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor data to review the performance of U.S. large law firms. It breaks down the market realities that drive the need for firms to take a longer-range, more strategic view of their market positions.

The 2019 report emphasized that law firms should question long-standing assumptions and re-examine traditional business models, which may not be suited to address growing challenges. In particular, the report noted the impact of increasing competition from the Big Four as well as more-nimble alternative legal service providers (ALSPs).

This competition is leading to high levels of talent and client poaching by rival firms, the report noted, and firms’ responses may be increasingly counterproductive. The report urged firms to “imagine a new model of how the legal market now works,” suggesting approaches that adapt to specific client needs, firm strengths and market competition.

Throughout the year, media outlets often covered trends in the legal market and explored how non-law firm competitors like the Big Four and ALSPs are altering the landscape for law firms. Many of these journalists and influencers cited findings of the “2019 Report on the State of the Legal Market” in their reporting.

For example, Mark Cohen cited the report in Forbes when he discussed the distinction between practicing law and engaging in the delivery of legal services – the business of law. Also, Legal Support Network cited the report in coverage of law firms looking to centers of excellence to increase operational efficiency.

Watch for the 2020 edition of the report in January.

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