Family law, like other areas of law, is always evolving. Staying on top of trends can help you stay ahead of other law firms and offer the best possible services to your clients. If you're looking for family law services, it's also helpful to know what trends are happening in the industry right now. We'll fill you in on the biggest ones below.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure underwent recent amendments to make information that was stored electronically like instant messages, emails, e-calendars, voicemail, data on handheld devices, and graphics discoverable in litigation. This is electronic discovery. Electronic discovery significantly increases the complexity and costs of in-depth cases. New roles are slowly starting to emerge for support, and trial technology is evolving as a response.
In the coming years, social networking could transform the practice and business of law. Family lawyers have a growing amount of social media tools they can use to help them complete career objectives and legal tasks. Social networking is starting to change how people recruit, network, job hunt, manage their careers, locate clients, and how they interact with their clients. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are also evolving as marketing tools to help legal professionals reach new clients.
Domestic law firms have started to expand across borders, and it's starting to be commonplace for them to collaborate with foreign counsel. In turn, they can form intercontinental mergers that erase boundaries for the geographic scope of practicing family law. It's not new, but it's starting to gain momentum due to the automating of legal processes, the internet, new technology tools, and data security developments. Globalization is set to continue to reshape the legal industry's landscape for years to come.
Software-as-a-service, powerful mobile technology, increased security, and web-based technologies are paving the way for family lawyers to work virtually. As a result, many lawyers are shifting to work at home or as part of a virtual office. Not only do these virtual law offices foster a better work and life balance, but they also allow for more flexible hours to better meet their clients' hectic schedules. It's not just for lawyers either. Legal professionals from all sectors of the industry are starting to embrace the concept of virtual offices.
More pressure to stop rising legal costs is slowly forcing family law firms to change from only offering traditional hourly billing to offering alternative billing methods. These methods include offering flat fees, fixed fees, blended fees, or even capped fees. More law firms are starting to move toward this model to build long-term relationships with their clients while maximizing value.
If you need a reputable and experienced family lawyer, get in touch with our staff at Atlas Law Group. We're on hand and ready to answer your questions, address your concerns, or set up your consultation.