Tomorrow’s Lawyers by Richard Susskind-Key points for every future lawyer

07/30/2020

-Most inhabitant’s in today’s world tend to look for solutions by extrapolating from the past and on the assumption of continuity in the legal profession. To meet the needs of clients, we will need instead to dispense with much of our current cottage industry and re-invent the way in which legal services are delivered.

-The legal market is in a remarkable state of flux. In less than two decades, the way in which lawyers work will change radically. Entirely new ways of delivering legal services will emerge, new providers will be firmly established in the market, and the many traditional legal businesses will fail. On the other hand, a preneurial and creative young lawyers. Three main factors of this change are: ‘the more-for-less challenge, liberalization, and technology-globalization.

-The entire transition from bespoke service towards externalization-can usefully be termed the ‘commoditization’ of legal service. On occasions, some lawyers refer to ‘standardization’ as ‘commoditization’ where others equate commoditization with no cost externalization. However, even when law firms or other providers charge for access to their online services, this can still mean dramatically lower costs of service for the client, while for the law firm it offers the opportunity to make money while they sleep-this is a radical departure from the hourly billing hour, because the lawyer’s expertise is used without any direct consumption of their time.

-Many of our fundamental assumptions about the nature of legal service and the nature of legal process would be challenged and changed by the coming of technology and the internet. In other words, must that we had always taken for granted in the past, about the way that lawyers work and the way non-lawyers receive legal guidance, would be transformed because of the new systems and services that would be built on the back of technology.

-Legal practice and the administration of justice will no longer be dominated by print and paper in tomorrow’s legal paradigm. Instead, legal systems of the information society will evolve rapidly under the considerable influence of ever more powerful information technologies.

-Two kinds of traditional lawyer will, however, still be in play for the foreseeable future. When work cannot be standardized or computerized, and bespoke service is unavoidable, clients will still call upon their ‘expert trusted advisors.’ There are intelligent, creative, innovative lawyers who can fashion and articulate new solutions and strategies for clients who have complex or high value legal challenges (the expert element).

-New jobs for lawyers:

  • The legal knowledge engineer
  • The legal technologist
  • The legal hybrid
  • The legal process analyst
  • The legal project manager
  • The legal data scientist
  • The R&D worker
  • The ODR practitioner
  • The legal management consultant
  • The legal risk manager

-Tomorrow’s employers:

  • Global accounting firms
  • Major legal publishers
  • Legal Know-how providers
  • Legal Process outsources
  • High street retail businesses
  • Legal leasing agencies
  • New-look law firms
  • Online legal service providers
  • Legal management consultancies
  • LegalTech companies

-Online lectures, i-tutorials, and virtual supervision are only part of the future for legal education. The pioneering work of Paul Maharg moved us beyond this first generation into a world of simulation-based training and transactional learning as described in his book- Transforming Legal Education.

-These e-learning techniques will only become more powerful-simulated advocacy, drafting, client meetings, negotiations, document reviews, due diligence exercises, and much more will increasingly be available online. These facilities will be immeasurably more effective in training young lawyers than asking them to review endless piles of documents or memorize lists of cases.

 

By: Lana Fadel

Picture source: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/hand-with-future-technology-server_7133552.htm#page=3&query=future&position=40

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