Lawscape 2025: Defining the law firm of tomorrow

Lawscape 2025: Defining the law firm of tomorrow is an exploration of the biggest innovations, strategies, and disruptors that are set to change the face of legal practice. 

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  • Publication date: February, 2017
  • Pages: 164
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-278-5


The legal sector is facing a period of major metamorphosis – disruptors are making waves in the structuring, process, and service-delivery models, and client’s needs are becoming more demanding and value-focused.

As the landscape of law transforms many firms will be left facing a situation of, in John Alber’s words, change or die.

How will law firms keep up with upcoming rapid and volatile changes to the legal sector, and what form will they take after the transformation? What will the law firm of the future be like, and what can firms do today to ensure they are properly future proofed?

Lawscape 2025: Defining the law firm of tomorrow is an exploration of the biggest innovations, strategies, and disruptors that are set to change the face of legal practice. Featuring leading industry experts weighing in on topics such as future firm structures and leadership strategies, revolutionized compensation measures, and the growing prevalence of big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence, this title will serve as a trusty manual on surviving the changing landscape of the legal world.


1. Foretelling the future – The practice of law as it will be 

By Thomas Berman, senior principal at Berman & Associates

  • The bigger picture  
  • The challenge of assimilating change 
  • Data integration and utilization  
  • Information availability and its utilization will define law firms in the next five years 

2. Future structures for law firms

By Patricia Wheatley Burt, director of Trafalgar

  • Future leadership strategies
  • Does size matter?
  • Segmentation of the legal market 
  • Future global structures
  • Expansion drives – Risky if not planned properly 
  • Case study 1: A holding group for multiple delivery structures
  • Client benefits of different business models 
  • Key take away points 

3. Leading the organization of the future 

By Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry, principals at Fortinberry Murray

  • What leadership means to humans 
  • Leadership styles 
  • Attributes and capabilities of a good leader 
  • Are good leaders born or taught? 
  • Leadership in a law environment 
  • Conclusion 

4. Compensation – A whole new set of rules

By Thomas Berman, principal at Berman & Associates 

  • The old model 
  • Assessing the impact of your compensation program 
  • Other issues 
  • Recommended program

5. GENgagement™ with work, the firm, and across generations

By Phyllis Weiss Haserot, president of Practice Development Counsel

  • Focus on the business case 
  • Focus on an engaging culture 
  • Recommended policies and practices

6. Design Thinking and the why of BI

John Alber, futurist at the International Legal Technology Association

  • Change of die
  • But change how?
  • Design thinking discipline
  • Empathy
  • Bringing empathy to BI
  • OMG 
  • Beginning with the prosaic
  • Back to the why of BI

7. Harmony and analytics – Building the predictive organization 

By Eric Hunter, director of knowledge, technology & innovation strategies at Bradford & Barthel LLP and the executive director of Spherical Models LLC

  • Harmony and analytics
  • Social consumer systems, analytics, and reshaping the organization
  • Leveraging organizational change
  • Evolutions in time
  • Time and velocity 
  • Divorcing time through velocity billing 
  • The Darwinian approach to time 
  • Evolving forward in time
  • Future-proofing your business
  • Evolutions in data capture
  • Predictive nirvana

8. Embracing the robot revolution

By Rohit Talwart, chief executive officer of Fast Future Publishing and Steve Wells, chief executive officer of Informing Choices and operations director of Fast Future Publishing

9. From BI to AI

By Joanna Goodman, , freelance journalist and IT columnist; author Robots in Laws (ARK Group, 2016) 

  • BI and big data
  • AI’s two-factor authentication
  • The AI of BI – and the BI of AI!
  • Get the BI right first
  • From dashboard to conversation

10. Reframing the AI question

By John Alber

11. Using knowledge management to increase firm profitability and pricing predictability 

By Jack Bostelman, president of KM/JD Consulting LLC, and Chris Boyd, senior director of professional services, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati LLP

  • First financial case study – Practice efficiency improvements 
  • How KM can increase fee predictability 
  • Examples of KM resources 
  • Second financial case study – shift work from partners to associates 
  • Third financial case study – more efficient partner pitch preparation 
  • Conclusion 
  • Appendix A – The three financial models 
  • Appendix B – How to start/restart a KM practice efficiency program

12. “Intelligent marketing” – Practical marketing activities that really do create visibility

By Doug McPherson, director of Size 10 ½ Boots

  • What is “intelligent marketing”?
  • What is the difference between “intelligent marketing” and “tick-box marketing”?
  • Ten low-cost/high impact business development strategies that really work
  • The proven three-step implementation model – Confidence, focus, action

13. Business development – The GROW Method

By Ian H Turvill, chief marketing officer at Freeborn & Peters LLP

  • The GROW Method, Part 1 – GOALS 
  • The GROW Method, Part 2 – RELATIONSHIPS 
  • The GROW Method Part 3 – ORIGINATIONS 
  • The GROW Method Part 4 – WORK
Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Thomas Berman
Founder, Berman & Associates
Patricia Wheatley Burt
Patricia Wheatley Burt (PWB) has been consulting and advising in this sector for over 20 years. Projects include mergers, acquisitions, lateral hires, re-structuring leading to partner development, performance and remuneration management, and other business-focused services. She develops and delivers valuable interpersonal skills programmes, and leadership and management programmes Patricia Wheatley Burt is an experienced researcher: she has undertaken extensive research into the role of a MP and on leadership of which key information is provided in this report She is also a regular contributor for professional journals and is the author of Leadership in Law Firms (after the Legal Services Act, December 2010), The Role of the Managing Partner in a Law Firm (2006), Profitable Performance Management (2005), and The Role of the Law Firm Partner (first edition, 2012).
Dr Bob Murray
Bob Murray, MBA, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in strategy, leadership, influencing, human motivation, and behavioral change. Bob’s insights are based on his wide experience in business as well as his deep knowledge of research in the areas of management, psychology, genetics and neurobiology. Clients include premier global law firms and mid-sized firms in Australia, the UK and Europe, alongside many Fortune Global 500 corporations. With his colleague Dr Alicia Fortinberry, Bob won the American Science Achievement Award and was appointed to head the Obama Administration’s comprehensive national work stress initiative. Bob’s latest book with Dr Alicia Fortinberry, Leading the Future: The new human science of law firm strategy and leadership (Ark Group, London), shows the potential impact of the new science of being human on organizational success. With Alicia he is also the author of the international best-sellers Creating Optimism and Raising an Optimistic Child (McGraw-Hill, New York). Dr Bob has lectured at Sydney, Melbourne, Duke, Tufts, South Florida and California State universities.
Dr Alicia Fortinberry
Alicia Fortinberry, PhD (Organizational Psychology) has gained global recognition for her powerful, lasting impact on top-tier law and other organizations and leaders. Drawing on the latest science of human motivation and change, Alicia enables firms to shape strategy and build the right leadership, performance and diverse, cohesive culture. Alicia’s clients include internationals such as Herbert Smith Freehills and Allens Linklaters and major national and mid-sized law firms, as well as many Fortune Global 500 corporations. With her partner Dr Bob Murray, Alicia received the highly prestigious American Science Achievement Award and was appointed to head the US government’s comprehensive national work stress initiative. Their latest book, Leading the Future: The new human science of law firm strategy and leadership (Ark Group, London), guides leaders to apply the latest science to areas such as navigating a firm or practice group through rapid change, managing high performance teams, and understanding the needs and motivators of clients. With Bob she also wrote two international best-sellers Creating Optimism and Raising an Optimistic Child (McGraw-Hill, New York).
Phyllis Weiss Haserot
Practice Development Counsel
John Alber
John Alber serves as Futurist for the International Legal Technology Association and for the Institute for the Future of Law Practice. He writes, speaks and consults on the need to reshape the delivery of legal services to suit a future demanding excellence far beyond substantive legal skills.  John has served as a transportation industry CEO, as a practicing attorney and as a law firm leader. During his 16 year tenure as Bryan Cave’s Strategic Innovation Partner, that firm came to be recognized as one of the most innovative law firms in the world. While at Bryan Cave, he also served for 7 years on the firm's Operating Group (its management committee). At Bryan Cave, John created one of the first practice economics consulting groups, one of the first client facing software development groups, and one of the first in-firm legal process outsourcing (LPO) organizations. The groups he created developed innovative web-based, client-centric applications that delivered legal advice to clients, managed complex workflows and even created pleadings automatically. They also developed client-facing knowledge management, project management, project estimation and business intelligence systems and highly technology- leveraged alternative staffing solutions for engagements of all types.  John is an Emeritus fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He has received a number of awards, both in the legal field and in information technology generally. Among other awards, he received ILTA's first ever Premiership Award, was named American Lawyer Media’s first ever ‘Champion of Technology', was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Law Technology News and recognized as one of the ‘Top 25 CTOs’ in the world by Infoworld. In addition, while under his leadership, Bryan Cave received recognition as a CIO Magazine ‘Top 100 Company' and was twice recognized as ILTA’s Most Innovative Firm.
Eric Hunter
Eric Hunter is the director of knowledge, technology & innovation strategies at Bradford & Barthel, LLP, executive director of Spherical Models, LLC, and a legal industry futurist. Eric leads the spherical models team focusing on spherical business innovations, models, and process workflow leveraging big data, strategic pricing, predictive, futurism, social, and collaborative solutions. Eric is constantly looking to leverage innovation solutions to enhance client service interaction while driving business optimization solutions internally. Eric speaks and writes on futurism, competitive strategy, evolving business models, process evolutions, big data, strategic pricing, predictive analytics, and collaborative cloud solutions globally and is the recipient of ILTA’s 2010 ‘Knowledge Management Champion’ Distinguished Peer and ILTA’s 2010 ‘Innovative Member’ awards. Eric is on the editorial board for Managing Partner. Follow Eric on twitter.  
Joanna Goodman
Joanna Goodman is a freelance journalist, writer, and author. She covers business and technology topics for national publications and blue-chip corporates. She is the IT columnist for the Law Society Gazette and writes regular features for The Guardian about cutting-edge technology, brands, and media. Her favourite topics include artificial intelligence, robots and chatbots, virtual assistants, connected devices, driverless cars, and virtual and augmented reality – and she’s always interested in finding out about technology that’s new and different. Her professional life reflects her interests in technology, books, art, and design. Joanna has written several short films and an independent feature film, Alfheim’s Edge (2016). She has an MBA in strategic management from Kingston University. Joanna is based in London. She likes films, going to dance classes, and travelling to new destinations. 
Jack Bostelman
Jack Bostelman is president of KM/JD Consulting LLC in San Francisco, California, which advises law firm leaders on practice management, including knowledge management and other productivity improvements. Before founding KM/JD Consulting, Jack was a partner for over 20 years at pre-eminent AmLaw 20 firm Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City, where he had a nationally recognized transactional securities law practice and exercised management responsibilities.
Chris Boyd
Chris  Boyd  is  the  chief  operating  officer  of  Wilson  Sonsini  Goodrich  &  Rosati  in  Palo  Alto,  California.  Chris  leads  the  firm’s teams  that  handle  attorney  recruiting,  business  development,  diversity  and  inclusion,  human  resources,  knowledge management,  marketing,  practice  management,   professional   development,   research   and   information   services, and work allocation. These teams work with firm and practice leaders  to  implement  processes,  programs,  and  tools  that  support  the  firm’s business  goals  and  help  the  firm  deliver  more  value  to  clients.  Chris  has  an  undergraduate  degree  from  Princeton  University and  a  law degree from Stanford Law School.  Before joining Wilson Sonsini’s management  team,  he  worked  as  a  management consultant,  corporate  and securities lawyer, and technology company knowledge management leader.    He  is  a  member  of  the board  of  directors  of  the  International  Legal Technology Association and the board of trustees of the College of Law Practice Management.
Douglas McPherson
Director, Size 10½ Boots
Ian Turvill
Chief Marketing Officer, Freeborn & Peters LLP

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