By Melanie Hodges Neufeld
The April 1989 issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine contained the article “Surviving the 1990s” in which top experts gazed into their crystal balls to see what the 1990s held for the legal profession. What did they predict? Some predictions included changes to firm size, increased specialization, and a greater reliance on technology. Here are a few predictions in more detail:
- “The 1990s will see the last of the profession’s resistance to technology in law firms. Those who have considered it a ‘passing phase’ will be forced to sit up and take notice when competitors are able to cut costs and improve turnaround times., not to mention capitalize on the firm’s greatest asset: its knowledge base.”
- “A bimodal distribution of law firms will emerge in which the large go ‘mega’, the small survive and the mid-sized are slowly squeezed out….In the ‘90s, mid-sized firms will have to compete strenuously to protect valued lawyers from raids to large firms. Small firms will abandon any notion of being full-service and focus on developing strengths in select areas.”
- “CD-Rom technology will also affect research in the profession. A single CD-Rom disk can hold volumes of information. Someday, CD-Rom disks could replace the aging and growing libraries in law firms.”
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