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Current Trends and Issues

The legal industry is in a constant state of flux as a result of changes in education, business developments, globalization, and many other factors. Law firms now must compete with non-lawyer service providers for customers, and many are trying to increase profits by hiring more contract workers and making it harder for attorneys to become partners. Some legal services are being off-shored to foreign countries, where wages for legal-industry workers are lower, and others are being in-shored from big U.S. cities to smaller towns, where the cost of doing business is not as high. Lawyers are attempting to stay competitive by pursuing LL.M. degrees and honing their technology skills. (Robert Half Legal reports that employers “increasingly consider technical aptitude a preferred skill for attorneys and a mandatory requirement for associates involved in document review and e-discovery matters.”) Law school enrollment has declined as a result of a perceived oversupply of lawyers and the misrepresentation by some law schools of their graduates’ success in finding jobs. These are only a few of the developments and trends that will shape the future of the legal industry.

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