My husband is an attorney. He has practiced law for over 12 years now. Although he is a corporate lawyer, he has explained how early in his career he was exposed to litigation and other areas of the law. One of the big topics in the legal profession over the past several years has been about how the practice of law is changing due to the economic downturn and whether the changes are permanent. The changes all surround the way that legal services are delivered.
You see, historically, big law firms offered a host of services from in-house teams. They rarely outsourced the delivery of any related litigation support services. They would almost always have depositions performed by highly priced partners or associate attorneys. However, in light of the market downturn, there has been a lot of client pressure on law firms to deliver legal service more efficiently. This pressure has led to the growing importance of several companies that permit law firms to reduce cost by outsourcing certain litigation services.
For example, rather than having to pay for the data entry skills of a more highly compensated legal secretary, law firms are now able to hire companies that offer professional court reporting services. Also, perhaps more surprisingly, law firms are also able to outsource certain deposition services. This is something that would have been almost unthinkable only about 15 years ago.