What the New Year brings
Interlink Recruitment02 January 2019
Happy New Year everyone – we hope 2019 brings you plenty of new opportunities and career success, whatever your aspirations and resolutions. As we put the festivities aside and head back to work (and reality!) this week, we look at what’s on the legal horizon for the new year ahead. Will 2019 be a defining year…?
As much as law firms will continue to look towards tech to remain competitive in the marketplace, lawyers will also be faced with the challenge of understanding advances in technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to continue to grow, with uptake of it increasing commercially, which will see lawyers required to understand the basics at the very least. Such knowledge will be vital when drafting contracts and agreements, and in the case of IP law, to make sure content generated by AI is protected. We expect to see a growing demand for this level of knowledge and experience.
While technology brings us many business benefits and cost savings, it also has the potential to rear its head as an arch nemesis. Yes, it was something big on the agenda for law firms last year and will continue to be so this year – cybersecurity. Law firms especially, with many public and commercial clients, managing financial transactions, mostly in an online environment, are at high risk of IT security threats. Understanding how to deal with threats will be vital for firms of all sizes, including making sure staff members know what to look for and what to do. Putting in place disaster recovery plans and investing in staff training to ensure optimal security will be top of many firms’ agendas this year.
Yes, it must be mentioned, especially with the big ‘vote’ scheduled for next week. If not already, this year will see Brexit be the biggest challenge for law firms. Businesses and consumers will want answers depending on the outcome and want them quickly. Firms must be agile enough to be able to react quickly once there is a clear understanding of where the country will be, providing the best advice and solutions for clients. For now, it’s not expected that Brexit will have an impact on the legal market in terms of how firms operate, but it will very much depend on the practice area as to whether Brexit will have a positive or negative effect. Expect to hear a lot about this, even if you’ve had enough of it already!
Recruiting staff hasn’t been easy for law firms over the last few years, many, especially full-service firms have struggled to find the right level of talent for their needs. As demand for services increases, so does the need for experienced staff, and this need is spreading across the country. We are seeing an increase in roles offering training and development, which is a positive as charting clear career progression for employees will help with staff retention. Culture will play an important part in helping firms to keep hold of their best assets too – from flexible working to good internal communications. There is plenty that firms can do to attract and keep staff, and this year will be as important as ever to formulate a strategy to do so.
So, bring on 2019…
There’s no doubting the tough market conditions that carry on through to the New Year; Brexit and a turbulent retail high street are two major ones to mention. The challenges will be felt by law firms too, but those able to be resilient and adapt to change quickly will perhaps fare better. Change is going to impact us all and we must be ready to embrace it.
If you are looking to grow your team, department or firm across specialist areas in 2019 and require a trusted legal recruitment partner to help you, contact us today. As well as making sure to understand your firm’s culture and beliefs, to recruit the right people as much as those with the right skills, we also have access to an excellent pool of legal talent, which is growing all the time. Give us a call to talk through your legal recruitment needs and together we can grow your firm for 2019!