Four Things Legal Professionals Should Be Thankful For This Year

Ready to count your blessings on the record? 2017 hasn’t lacked for dull moments in legal maneuvering and the pursuit of undistorted truth. But here are a few things we think everyone who loves the law can be grateful for this holiday season:

1. Automation and client pressure makes the practice of law more interesting.

Clients are getting smarter about what they can ask for (and demand) from counsel and firms. Artificial intelligence is getting smarter about parsing through documents and complaints almost instantaneously. Some bots can even prepare and file documents and build a course of action. That amplifies pressure on people to live up to some significantly heightened expectations. But on balance, those are good things. It’s pushing the low-value grind and the hour-padding busy work out of the system. It’s giving people a chance to focus on more sophisticated questions, and take a bigger-picture view of client problems than simply applying an understanding of the mechanics of the law.

2. More than ever, people might care about your secretly great GRE score.

If you had a fantastic GRE score because you were low-key planning a doctorate in political science as a backup to law school, congratulations! You no longer need keep an embarrassed silence! Schools now accepting the GRE for admissions are still in the minority, but there are clearly cracks in the LSAT dam. So the next time you casually drop your GRE into conversation at a cocktail party (as one does), it will land with a little more heft.

3. The growth of virtual law firms.

Only about one in twenty non-solo firms call themselves virtual, but they’re doing well for themselves, so toast them this holiday season. Healthy revenue growth, partners with Biglaw credentials, and a growing range of cloud-based legal tech are coming together to make virtual law firms an ongoing success. It’s a win for everyone who loves the law more than they love commuting and marble-slathered lobbies. And when crunch time is on, you know you’re guaranteed a sleeping spot under your own desk.

4. People are taking mental health and substance abuse issues seriously.

The conversations have been uncomfortable and solutions will be many years in the making; but there have been real strides talking about difficult personal issues facing the profession. The landmark study published in 2016 demonstrated how widespread addictions and abuses have become, and got people talking about untreated challenges to sound mental health. So, spare a moment over your Thanksgiving break to think about how you can play a part in the ongoing dialogue about improving work/life balance, and reducing pressure on yourself and others.

Special Counsel is grateful to work with so many wonderful clients and candidates. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, or need to find quality legal talent heading into 2018, contact us today!

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