News and Information
March 13, 2019

The Bar’s Special Committee on the Future of Law Practice Releases Final Report

Artificial intelligence. Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Globalization. Alternative legal service providers.

Virginia lawyers struggling to understand how these forces might shape their practice have a new resource. The Special Committee on the Future of Law Practice released its final 2019 report today – a follow-up to its 2016 version. 

Via regular meetings where members compiled studies and reports from other bars, and with input from guests outside the legal profession, the committee presents a range and depth of information on external, technological energies changing the practice of law. That includes increasing competition from nonlawyer service providers, generational pressures that are likely to impact law firm business models, the future of billable hours, the insourcing and unbundling of legal services, the accelerated globalization and multijurisdictional trends of legal services, and more.

“We feel the anxiety of lawyers facing a digital world that is often foreign to them — hence our emphasis on the need to educate lawyers and identify developments so they can find their place in that world, be competitive, and provide high quality legal advice and professional services,” it reads. “This report is meant to be easily read, enhance lawyers’ practices and advise them of probable changes they will see in the near and long term.”

The report concludes by offering a series of ten recommendations to the bar, its committees and boards, law schools, and all Virginia lawyers.  

The bar encourages lawyers to read the committee’s report in full (pdf). 

Updated: Mar 13, 2019