Alternative legal services providers 2023

Accelerating growth and expanding service categories

The market for alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) is showing itself to be a highly dynamic part of the overall legal ecosystem. Its growth rate is increasing as it forges new paths to serving traditional law firms and corporate law departments alike.

Indeed, ALSPs now comprise a $20.6-billion segment of the legal market, according to the “Alternative legal services providers 2023 report” published by the Thomson Reuters Institute, the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law, and the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

The biennial report shows that ALSPs experienced a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% from 2019 to 2021, a significant jump from the 15% CAGR recorded between 2017 and 2019. It reveals an evolving legal market where the boundaries between alternative legal services providers, law firms, corporate law departments, and even technology and software firms are rapidly blurring.

“Both law firms and in-house counsel are increasingly seeing the value of alternative legal services providers,” said James W. Jones, a senior fellow at the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law and the report’s lead author. “Meanwhile, ALSPs are expanding the services they offer to law firms and corporate law departments by providing specialized services, improving cost efficiency, and delivering greater flexibility in headcount.”

The report compiles data from an online survey of contacts in decision-making roles at law firms and corporate law departments in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and Australia. In total, 649 respondents — 407 law firms and 242 corporations — completed initial survey questions related to the use or non-use of alternative legal services providers, and a total of 349 respondents completed at least one section related to an alternative legal service.

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