In the past decade, the legal profession has gone through an identity crisis of sorts. The recession brought years of bad news, layoffs, and closings; and although the industry is better and some top firms have seen their profits rebound, solo practitioners — the majority of all licensed attorneys — have seen significant decreases in their yearly income topping off at an average of $49,130; down from an inflation adjusted rate of $70,747 in 1988.
There are many reasons for this decline, but none more devastating to small practitioners than a shift in how legal services are offered and consumed through technology. Legal service organizations are turning do-it-yourself law into a reality. Relatively simply processes — the ‘bread and butter’ work for smaller firms — like wills, trusts, and leases can now be done through automated processes at a fraction of a firm’s cost.