Product liability lawyers are always confronting the cutting edge.
Not only do you have to keep up with the technical details of automated cars, e-cigarettes, and forever chemicals, but you also must confront the waves of transformations coming to the legal software industry as a whole.
This is a moment of macroeconomic uncertainty, with confusing signals from inflation, recession, and employment metrics. It’s also the dawn of new power players within the legal industry, with greater consolidation and the birth of alternative business structures (ABSs) allowing nonlawyers to invest in and deliver legal services.
Amid this wave of change, we look to legal futurists to teach us how to take advantage of the moment and build a thriving, forward-looking product liability practice.
That’s where Dr. Cain Elliott and Richard Newsome come in.
The product liability practice of the future
Dr. Cain Elliott is Head Legal Futurist for Filevine. Richard Newsome is a founding partner of Newsome Melton and founding faculty at the Trial School, a not-for-profit collaborative effort to provide free trial advocacy training for lawyers who represent people and groups fighting for social justice. Both of them are scholars studying ways to confront the changes ahead and create a better future for legal professionals.
Cain and Rich recently sat down together to discuss some of the big questions facing product liability lawyers.
Should you take a horizontal or vertical approach?
One hot question for the moment is this: facing our current uncertainties, should you try to diversify into new practice areas? Or should you dig deeper, and commit more fully to your niche?
As consolidation leads to bigger, higher-volume firms, Cain and Rich discuss the possibility that the legal practice will bifurcate. On one hand, will be employees of large consolidated entities. On the other will be “artisan” lawyers: experts in a specific field, sustained by a rich network of colleagues and clients.
The benefits of digging in are already apparent. Rich explains that some high-volume lawyers will never try a case in court. But when you prove you’re willing to take a case to trial, it changes how the opposing counsel sees you. In the future, they will be willing to offer settlements two or three times higher than those they offer to non-litigating firms.
Even as the practice transforms with legal software platforms and ABS, this trend will remain: the industry will reward depth. As Cain puts it: “if you're someone delivering value on your relationship with your clients, you are going to be needed. Your firm and your services are going to be highly valued.”
How can you amplify your product liability practice?
In this webinar, Cain and Rich explore the variety of ways product liability lawyers can deepen and strengthen their practice. This includes:
- How to build professional networks with other lawyers
- How to find and deploy the best experts
- How to protect yourself against recessions and industry shake-ups
- How to use technology transformatively
- How to develop standard operating procedures for the long-term strength of your practice
To learn more, watch the full webinar.