The fight for control between the law firm vs. the lawyer is ongoing. Lawyers have had a sense of autonomy for some time and, more often than not, have a sway in the firm's strategic decisions, regardless of whether they are good or bad.
In the coming years, a growing share of law firms’ revenue will emerge from sources other than its lawyers. Additionally, automated systems and paraprofessionals will also be a relevant revenue stream.
As this post suggests: "Firms that recognize and catch this trend will begin to change what they are, what they do, and how they do it. And the legal market will be transformed in the process."
"Clients hire lawyers, not firms,” is the oldest line in the business development handbook. Law has long been a personal services business with a strong relationship component: clients come to rely not only on a lawyer’s expertise, but also on his or her judgment and advice. By contrast, the law firm is equally far away from the client, normally present as just a name on a letterhead or an invoice. Most of a law firm’s clients deal primarily, if not exclusively, with one lawyer or small group of lawyers and staff.