In my Entrepreneurship Market Discovery and Intelligence Class, we have access to industry papers via MaRS Discovery District. Through this, I received access to IBIS World’s reports on the legal industry.
IBIS’s research shows that:
The Online Legal Services industry has experienced robust growth over the past five years. The industry has expanded at an annualized rate of 10.9% in the [past 5 years]… Demand has been driven by price-conscious consumers and businesses seeking reasonably priced alternatives to traditional lawyers…
Technology startups have shaken up the entire legal fraternity by rushing to meet demand for generic legal documents that can be customized by clients online to meet their specific needs. LegalZoom, one such service, is estimated to earn revenue of $235.8 million in 2014, making it by far the industry’s largest player. However, these online legal documentation companies have stirred up controversy with some lawyers and bar associations because they are not law firms and are barred from dispensing legal advice.
According to IBIS, the demand for online legal services will only continue to grow. However, demand for traditional legal services will remain constant in Canada at a rate of 1.7%.
In Canada, the industry is segmented accordingly:
5.9% Labour and employment law services
26.1% Other services
12.0% Real estate law services
18.0% Civil negligence and personal injury law services
38.0% Commercial law services
The discrepancy between the rate of growth for online legal services for traditional legal services shows a shift in consumer behaviour. As online legal services become the norm, lawyers will have to responsively shift the way they deliver legal services.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship program; however, the opinions provided are my own.