Last month, I had the privilege to host a roundtable event with Deirdre Stanley, executive vice president and general counsel for Thomson Reuters, and Tommy Williams, vice president of Large & Midsize Law Firms at Thomson Reuters, entitled Law Firm of the Future. We were joined by managing partners from midsize law firms for a lively discussion on trends that are helping to shape the midsized market.

Among the key themes that emerged from the discussion was the dynamic state of the marketplace: how technology is impacting the delivery of legal services; the greater need to ensure data privacy; shifting partner-client relationships; and the steady pressure to make strategic decisions that may chart a firm’s future course.

Among the topics that “keep partners up at night” is the shifting data privacy landscape. Law firms must be vigilant in securing the data they hold, and so they are committing to greater investments in relevant training and dedicated teams. Several participants expressed increased trust and confidence in cloud service providers to provide enhanced security.

It came as no surprise that hiring and retaining talent remain focus areas for managing partners, particularly given the growing trend for early-career lawyers to seek a healthy work-life balance. In general, attendees agreed that the firm environment should be one where practitioners can grow, thrive and find partnership opportunities.

When it comes to selecting outside counsel, Stanley cited the importance of expertise around specific transactional projects. This is an area where midsize firms, which may lack the breadth of larger firms, can shine.

This post was written by Charlotte Rushton, managing director, US Law Firms, Thomson Reuters.

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