Law 2023 Update #3 – Has the demand for responsive institutions created new markets for accountability?

by Deb Knupp /

For the next several weeks on the blog, we’re going check in on the progress of predictions made by the groundbreaking guide to the future of law firms, Law 2023. Check out all our updates here.

We’re halfway to 2023. Let’s check in on how institutions are being held accountable in this era of greater openness and interaction.

The prediction: Social media and other technologies will continue to allow citizens to demand greater transparency and responsiveness from corporations, government, and other institutions. To avoid being caught off guard, institutions will need new tools to fortify their credibility, accountability and maintain public trust. Firms that already evaluate their success using metrics beyond profits (a “triple bottom line”) will be poised to weather the storms, understanding how important the element of trust is to their long-term viability.

Where we are today: This prediction has proven to be spot on. Millennials, driven by different priorities and a different ethos, are requiring firms to be more accountable for the impact they make on people and the planet. The need to be responsive is becoming more and more of a table stake.

What it looks like so far: Institutions are responding to this demand by going beyond profits per partner and paying attention to things like talent attraction and retention, diversity initiatives, and how to leverage pro bono work and charitable giving in the name of social justice and social entrepreneurship. Trust has become a key component of value, and firms are beginning to understand that it cannot be built without responsiveness and accountability.