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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Changing World - who will be left behind?

The news that HMV has gone into Administration marks the end of an era. 

When I worked in Liverpool City Centre I spent many a happy lunch hour looking at and accumulating CDs –

But equally I have to confess that most of my music these days comes from iTunes or Spotify and I am struggling to remember the last time I bought a CD.

There is similar news today that the video chain, Blockbuster is also in trouble –

This is due to the decline in Video/DVD rentals.

Now in a recession which is as deep and enduring as any I have ever known, closures are to be expected. But these particular failures demonstrate more clearly than anything that the world is changing at a staggering pace. Businesses who adapted well to the changing world of the 20th Century are the casualties of the 21st.

What has this got to do with a blog lawyers and legal practice?  Simply this; lawyers who fail to adapt to the changing world are destined to be left behind. This is something that I have touched on before – particularly in relation to marketing –

Clients are unlikely to instruct particular lawyers because they have always done so. After April 2013 they will no longer be able to rely on buying work from referrers. There are areas of work which are highly specialised and clients will look for the best. Where will they find them? Google. I don’t book a holiday destination without visiting Trip Adviser. How do people communicate? They use social networking sites. Twitter and Facebook are becoming mainstream, and not just the domain of the young.

If only 5% of clients want to receive traditional letters why do so many of us spend time and money stuffing envelopes rather than sending emails?

This is an opportunity for lawyers to take advantage of the changing world and to become modern thriving businesses. Change can be a threat but it can also create opportunities. I suspect that we will have a very different legal profession in ten years time – although I might be doing the Virtual Gardener Blog by then!

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