PESTLE Analysis

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CL-BD, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. CL-BD

    CL-BD Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have some questions regarding a PESTLE analysis and the legal industry.

    If, for example, you were asked to consider the current business environment in which a firm operates in and asked to select one issue/factor you feel is most important, would you be tempted to discuss one PESTLE factor affecting the legal industry? E.g. Politics

    Secondly, what route would you take on PESTLE analyses for law firms/legal industry? I'm struggling to think of examples. I find myself discussing legal clients as opposed to law firms. Example: for 'Environment' I would discuss the paradigm shift in focus towards 'clean energy' and the way in which businesses within the energy industry are diversifying their products to include renewables etc. I'm not sure how I would apply such an analysis to a law firm besides the fact that law firms may assist clients in such processes (incl. setting up pipelines, agreements, financing projects).

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    So, off the top of my head these are a few things that spring to mind:

    Political - potential impact of the US/China trade war and Brexit on law firms

    Economic - can't really get away from COVID-19, so how law firms are being forced to adjust their practices/help clients, how counter-cyclical practice areas are now very busy and others may be a little quiet so that could impact lateral hires/hiring etc.

    Social-Cultural - what firms are doing for BAME equality and for social justice given the BLM movement that is in the public eye at the moment e.g. corporate donations, training on unconscious bias etc.

    Technological - given the rise of remote working due to COVID-19, what are firms and clients doing to make this transition as smooth as possible? What products are they using to allow the transition to work effectively e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.? How are firms using AI/legal tech to speed up processes?

    Legal - fairly self-explanatory in the world of commercial law but I imagine Brexit would apply again here: are there any legal changes which could impact on clients when the UK leaves the EU? Are there any regulatory changes that affect clients and, if so, how do these changes affect them?

    Environmental - Clean energy is incredibly relevant as you say; renewables are now very high on the agenda as is ESG investing for many firms - what initiatives are firms taking to be as green as possible? Perhaps reducing the number of face-to-face meetings that require executives to fly constantly across the world?

    That's what I've got just thinking aloud. I'm sure other people have good suggestions so please comment them below :)
     
    #2 Daniel Boden, Jun 22, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  3. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    In terms of if I was asked to consider an issue that is most important I think you have to mention the impact of COVID-19. I'd then go through the various issues it creates using the PESTLE format described above and explain the issues it causes for the various stakeholders in a business or for a law firm/law firm's client depending on the question.
     
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  4. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    in terms of your first point, whilst PESTLE covers great ground, don't feel confined by it. If you can think of an issue which covers two aspects of PESTLE or one that does not come under this at all then do share it. It is what you deem to be most important though PESTLE offers a good framework to aid your thinking.

    Dan has done a good job of showing you how to link to law firms above but it's really about thinking about law firms as businesses, beyond the fact they service clients.

    As with your environment example, they, like many other businesses, have to be more mindful of their carbon footprint because they have a responsibility to do so. Law firms' reputations and brand are important as well and they need to be responsible for their actions and initiatives in the same way we would expect Apple and Google to as well.
     
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  5. CL-BD

    CL-BD Active Member

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    Thanks!

    I find it interesting that you've mentioned that "it's really about thinking about law firms as businesses, beyond the fact they service clients." What do you mean by the latter half of the sentence?
     
  6. Alice G

    Alice G Legendary Member
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    I mean that , yes, their primary aim and function is to service clients well but they are also concerned with things like employee welfare and corporate social responsibility.
     
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  7. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Agreed with this. PESTLE can be a good starting point, but if it's for an application or interview answer, just be wary of giving an answer that's too broad or in an area that you aren't too familiar with. Likewise, if you're asked about the business environment a firm operates in, you'd also want to think about the factors affecting that particular firm rather than law firms generally - taking into account its market position, practice area focus, international reach, size etc.
     
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  8. Jessica Booker

    Jessica Booker Legendary Member
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    Completely agree with this. Sometimes candidates have a tendency to go off on a tangent or a long ramble if they try to describe a full PESTLE or SWOT analysis in an application, but particularly at interview.
     

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