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Demand for legal services is booming, but the trend is only benefiting a handful of elite law firms, writes J. Stephen Poor, Chair Emeritus at Seyfarth Shaw. That's because "increasingly clients are keeping work in-house or using alternative service providers," that provide commoditized legal services like document reviews or the drafting of legal documents.

Many partners have their heads in the sand, however. A recent study by Altman Weil showed that:

  • 61.5% of law firms are only "moderately" serious (or less) about changing their strategy to incorporate technologies and processes that help provide legal services more efficiently;
  • Only 7.5% of firms have seriously explored artificial intelligence tools; and
  • 65% of partners at law firms are resistant to adopting new technologies.

Why it matters: Lawyers are resisting change even as revenue outside the top two-dozen firms remains flat. There is a huge opportunity for lawyers and firms that learn to leverage automation technology to increase their productivity.

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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