"A survey of 1,012 U.S. adults by Corporate Responsibility Magazine and Cielo Healthcare found 86% of women who responded said they wouldn't join a company with a bad reputation, compared with 65% of men. And 92% of men and women said they would consider leaving their present jobs to join a company with an excellent reputation." - Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2015. Here is the article.
A pioneer in organizational values which drive success, IBM had been an early adopter of the concept of corporate responsibility. It went way beyond keeping on the right side of the law. IBM called it "being a good corporate citizen." And it was upfront in positioning and packaging this as a commercial value. Not a feel-good.
Therefore when the company entered a new market such as Japan, it made it its business to develop the skills of those hired there. That was essential to being a good corporate citizen in Japan.
Currently, that concept, which has been a mandatory but yawn part of annual reports for many organizations, could become an actual core competence. The ability of an organization to be a positive force on planet earth could become as important in its operations, branding, and stock price as its technology. More and more companies could be adopting that in their business model.
Of course, that requires the guidance of lawyers. Issues about ethical business practices, reductions in force, the free-speech rights of employees on social media, and what are perceived as windfall profits will all have to addressed.
If the tech bubble implodes, mergers and acquisitions decline in number and dollar amount, and corporations continue to veer away from major litigation, this could be where more law practices will focus.