Apart from the accounting industry, the legal industry is one of the last (if not the very last) where members of the industry have still to fully acknowledge the basic principle that governs any sizeable business enterprise: namely, that there should be an appropriate separation between ownership, management and production.
Law firms are one of the few major business entities where the owners of the business provide services and manage the overall business.
The current model under which most law firms are managed is the same business model that is utilized in small business enterprises such as a corner store or a hot dog stand. This ineffective system for operating law firms has survived mostly due to strict local regulations within different jurisdictions nationally and internationally.
However, "times are a-changing". In particular, law firms have been affected by the rapid changes in the market in recent years, including the globalization of business affairs, technological advancement and a general demand for law firms to be more productive and cost effective. In order to adapt to these changes, law firms need to change the way they are organized by embracing the principle of the separation of ownership, management and the practice of law.
Specifically, in order for law firms to succeed in the future, they must separate the management function from the provision of legal services and ensure that the foregoing two functions are not tied strictly to ownership.