Today Wolters Kluwer is releasing the 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey. The study was conducted between December 10, 2018 and Jan 13, 2019. It is based on interviews with 700 lawyers in law firms legal departments and business service firms across the US and 10 European countries. The report also includes insights from legal industry thought leaders  including Bob Ambrogi, Marcus Hartung, Dean Sonderegger, Jeroen Zweers and myself.

The press release quotes Stacy Caywood, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory:.“After years of debate about the transformation of the legal sector – if, when and how it would happen – there’s no question that the global future of law is rapidly underway and that technology is a key force for change.”   Dean Sonderegger, Vice President and General Manager for Legal Markets and Innovation at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.  observes that “It is crucial for legal professionals to understand how different solutions can not only add value for the firm’s clients, but also how they can be leveraged in a way that benefits the firm fully.”

Key Trends

Llawyers foresee pressure from a series of trends they expect to impact their organizations over the next three years. According to the report the top five trends expected to have the most impact are:
• Coping with increased volume and complexity of information (72% report expected impact);
• Emphasis on improved efficiency and productivity (71%);
• Understanding which legal technologies deliver the highest value (69%);
• Meeting changing client and leader expectations (68%);
• Financial issues including greater price competition, alternative fee structures and cost containment pressures (68%).

It would be impossible to summarize all of the data in the report. I have hand picked a sampling of interesting charts from the report below.

AI, Analytics, Machine Learning The Study defined transformational technologies as including artificial intelligence, big data, predictive analytics, machine learning and decision support tools. Below is a chart examining the use of transformative technologies.


Innovation Lags

Although the chart above paints an optimistic picture, the following chart shows that only 19% of law firms have undertaken a formal innovation initiative.




Lawyer Resistance to Technology

I was particularly interested in the questions examining lawyer resistance to new technologies. Resistance is broken into three main catagories: Lack of knowledge about the technology, organizational issues (lack of strategy or support and financial ( costs as well as the absence of a clear way to measure ROI).



The report is full of interesting statistics and well worth a review.  Download the full Future Ready Lawyer Report at this link.