Unlike other industries, law firms have not felt any of the intensive pressures of competing with each other, until just 15 years ago.
According to President Jasmine Trillos-Decarie of the Legal Marketing Association, New England chapter, it has only been 15 years ago when competitions for clients and work started among law firms and thus, the need for them to operate similar to a business.
Given this situation, law firms in the country are lately starting to adopt the competitive methods of corporate establishments.
The Legal Marketing Association facilitated a seminar regarding competitive intelligence in Boston. This activity is conducted with due consideration to the fact that competitive intelligence has already started to make the rounds on law firms all over the country as a business strategy.
In the corporate scene of America, competitive intelligence has been a usual buzzword. For a business to possess competitive intelligence, they have to monitor the industry trends, collect feedback from clients, conduct market research and utilize other strategies similar to these in order to keep on top of their game.
All of the important knowledge that can be concretely used to arrive at crucial business decisions is considered competitive intelligence. The other terms used to imply it are opposition research, market analysis, and even considered as corporate spying.
Once, according to Trillos-Decarie, work comes in for law firms simply just by having an in-house counsel pick up the telephone and call up a friend. Lawyers also tend to work only with one company so they always get a load.
Nowadays, the law firms' nature of business has gained significant changes. They are already competing with each other for work. Thus, it is helpful for them to have sufficient understanding of what and how to do "competitive intelligence analysis."
"Competitive intelligence analysis" for lawyers may include the following:
- How an imminent law firms merger could affect the competitive arena and change it
- How projected regulatory adjustments could have an effect on the business
- When the time comes that a practice area is already probable for significant expansion
- What implications and threats could arise in the arrival of a national law firm
These are but several of the important knowledge a firm must not take into account. With gaining sufficient market analysis, there will be no chances of overlooking some promising opportunities, like entering into a merger or gaining a lucrative client over a considered rival firm.
Lawyers everywhere are giving a lot of stock with competitive knowledge since the market trend of the legal industry is geared on increased competition.
Here are the conditions that have brought up this trend:
- rising number of attorneys all over the nation
- abundance of mergers between law firms
- Companies becoming more budget conscious resulting to reduction of hiring law firms and resorting to bidding contests among those vying to be hired.
According to comments from personalities involved in organizations dedicated to propagation of competitive intelligence awareness and practices, the present trend of legal industry gives fertile opportunity for law firms to apply totally new approaches in doing their business. It encourages them to think of better ways on how to serve their clients and improve working methods with clients in the future.