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“We mustn’t be afraid of disruptive new business models reaching the legal sector”

ESADE and Lefebvre analysed the conclusions of a recent study by the publisher, entitled The 2nd Study on Innovation in the Legal Sector, focused on the evolution of professional profiles, trends and attitudes regarding innovation, and factors relating to transformation in the legal industry

This morning in Barcelona, ESADE Law School and Lefebvre held a panel discussion featuring renowned experts who analysed the conclusions of The 2nd Study on Innovation in the Legal Sector, a publication that explores various aspects of the future of the legal profession. Among other topics, this new study by Lefebvre focuses on the evolution of professional profiles, trends and attitudes regarding innovation, and factors relating to transformation in the legal industry.

The panellists discussed the various ways in which innovation is transforming the legal profession, the impact that this shift is having on law firms and legal departments, and other key changes taking place in the sector. José Ángel Sandín, CEO of Lefebvre, commented: “We mustn’t be afraid of disruptive new business models reaching the legal sector.”

Jordi Fernández, Director of Communication at Cuatrecasas, noted: “Important factors in the future will include having a customer orientation, finding creative ways to offer added value and being empowered to adapt to any disruptive model that may arise.” David Figueras, CEO of Milcontratos.com, echoed this opinion, adding that it will also be important to empower customers to handle administrative tasks that they are capable of doing, thus “positioning the lawyer as a high-added-value consultant”. 

New lawyers profiles

This new profile for lawyers was one of the topics debated by the panellists, who were introduced by ESADE faculty member Eugenia Navarro. “The lawyer of the 21st century must be able to communicate, drum up business, manage teams and have a good command of technology,” commented Ms. Navarro, before inviting the panellists to share their thoughts on the competencies that the law firms of the future will be looking for. In such firms, predicted Mr. Figueras, “there won’t just be lawyers; there will be engineers, sales representatives, strategists, etc.” In reference to the difficulty of finding job candidates with double degrees that combine legal training with other specialisations, Mr. Sandín commented: “Right now, it is very hard to find professionals with mixed profiles, although millennials are now seeking out this sort of training, with a view to pursuing this sort of career.” 

The 2nd Study on Innovation in the Legal Sector was a comparative study of France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands that relied on interviews with 50 national and international experts – “legal innovators”– who discussed the present and future of innovation in the legal industry. The qualitative portion of the study was complemented by 1,500 online interviews with a representative cross-section of professionals in the legal sector.

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