The Co-op: legal profession “facing a tsunami of change”

The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) director of policy has said that the legal profession is “facing a tsunami of change,” as Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) become ever more prevalent.

Christina Blacklaws made the remark during an address for the Westminster Legal Policy Forum Keynote Seminar on the Legal Education and Training Review, published in June this year. Citing the rise of ABSs and their increasing market share, she said: “We have a picture of a profession that is facing a tsunami of change.”

The issue of whether legal education was fast becoming outdated as reforms to the legal market, such as the rise of ABSs and the drying up of legal aid work, affected the profession, was also debated by Blacklaws during the seminar.

Her verdict was that “educators may struggle to keep up” due to the “potential stark contrast between the speed of reform and the evolution of the market.”

She added that ABSs had a lot to offer new entrants to the profession, stating that CLS had taken on ten trainee solicitors for 2013. In May 2012, it vowed to take on 100 trainee solicitors annually by 2017 (24 May 2012).