In England and Wales we often think that the external ownership of law firms is the reason the market is changing. Meanwhile there is a control sample of sorts in the US. This reminds us that law and society are changing even without ABSs.
Though a legal career can still be rewarding and lucrative, structural changes in the market for legal services have made it tougher for law grads to find steady work that pays well, says Campos. For instance fewer and fewer home buyers use lawyers to close deals. Title companies have taken on that task. More than 85% of divorces are now uncontested and involve minimal or no work by lawyers, says Campos, as companies like LegalZoom and Nolo provide do-it-yourself forms. Vast amounts of legal research has been automated, given that computers can perform discovery tasks like searching for terms in documents pertaining to a product dispute, a task that used to be painstakingly performed by humans with legal training. “It’s a classic supply and demand scenario,” says Campos.