Digital Marketplaces have become commonplace for many of the services, products and experiences we use in our daily lives. As far as I am concerned, a global digital marketplace for B2B Legal Services is just waiting to happen. We have already seen digital marketplaces for certain geographical areas or for certain firms, but what is yet to come is a global marketplace.
Today it is hard for the buyer to truly compare different legal service providers or those Legal Service providers truly compete with each other because the comparison is not based on actual knowledge or data but mostly rumours and assumptions. So, while a digital marketplace would ease the process for the buyer point, it really could help the law firms in competition between each other. While big corporations might have the resources to spend time finding the best law firm for each case it needs legal counselling, the small businesses are a different story. And with small businesses some of the legal issues could have some effect on the business owner’s life. And with that in mind, we can claim that a digital marketplace truly improves access to justice.
Once the legal service acquisition can be made easier and more transparent, this would also bring more business to the legal sector. The formal buying model at the moment doesn’t make the buying easy or fast. If all the service providers would be gathered into one marketplace the buyer would get all the information easily and swiftly, and it might even have a wider range of service providers to choose from. From the other side the law firms would reach more clients and this would make globality less complex and especially with international business it would be easier to reach for legal help.
Legal digital marketplace would be:
Without knowledge of processes, it will be like flying solo and this will just result in people ending up with the wrong tools. As far as I am concerned, digitalization requires knowledge of the processes, knowledge of the tools and the ability to match the process with the right tool. And this might seem easy, but it is not. This requires a complete change of the way lawyers and legal service providers think. Traditionally, we don’t see legal work as a process, we focus on the legal knowledge and expertise, but we are not focused on how the service is provided. So, in order to digitalize the corporate processes, we will need to study the process first, and this is interesting. I believe that process-centric thinking could actually change the practice of law because with enough knowledge on the processes we will be more efficient in developing technology and providing cheaper, more accessible legal services to a wider market.