OUR OUTMODED RULES IMPEDE INNOVATION AND CAUSE OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM TO UNDERSERVE A PUBLIC THAT NEEDS IT MORE THAN EVER

In my first post on Legal Services Today, I wrote that, while we have a great legal system, it can and must do better.  Nearly every observer agrees that law has not kept pace with advances in technology and process design the way other businesses and professions have.  

I listed three reasons law is not more modern.  This week, I address one of those reasons : the unduly restrictive rules governing the practice of law.

The Context Compelling Regulatory Reform

Law is more important than ever before.  Law is in everyone’s life; every business’ business; and in just about how everything works.  Everyone needs legal services today.

The way our legal system now operates, it does not meet the needs of the public.  In some cases not at all. In others not as well as it should. Continue Reading It Is High Time to Reform the Rules that Govern the Practice of Law

8500 PROFESSIONALS FROM ACROSS THE LEGAL SERVICE ECOSYSTEM CAME TOGETHER FOR A WEEK OF LEARNING, SHARING, AND NETWORKING

I participated in Legalweek 2020 in New York last week, co-chairing the Legal Business Strategy Program with Gina Passarella, Editor in Chief of the American Lawyer.  It was a exceptional experience.

Here is my report:

The World’s Most Comprehensive Legal Technology Event

What began as “LegalTech,” the world’s largest and longest running legal technology trade show, has grown to become the world’s largest and most comprehensive event for the exploration of how everyone in law can benefit from the power of legal technology.

More than 8500 professionals participated in the three day event this year.  They included representatives across the entire legal services ecosystem: law firms, corporate law departments, alternative legal service providers, legal technology companies, judges, regulators, consultants, academics, and journalists.  Within each of these categories, the attendees reflected the diverse array of roles and perspectives engaged in law and technology today.

The event proceeded on three tracks: Legal Business Strategy (focused on the evolution of legal service delivery); Legal CIO (focused on the management of legal technology in legal service) and LegalTech (focused on developments in legal technology).  Each track offered informative and actionable educational sessions led by leading professionals engaged in cutting edge facets of the intersection of law and technology.  

By virtue of its scale and the diversity of its participants, the event offered a truly unparalleled opportunity to “network,” to connect with others in the legal technology world in a setting that fosters meaningful conversation about the issues challenging and stimulating all of us.

And the event continues to offer a massive exhibit hall in which participants can learn about legal technology products and services first hand.

Focused, Expert, and Pragmatic Educational Sessions

The educational sessions were led by professionals who are directly engaged in the work of integrating technology into the law. In the examples I share below, I list the session leaders for illustration. Continue Reading Legalweek 2020 In New York Was Outstanding

THE TRADITIONAL MODEL WILL CHANGE IN FIVE FUNDAMENTAL WAYS 

I wrote last week about law firms’ increased focus on innovation, the market forces behind it, and why it is important to the overall modernization of legal services.  

I believe this innovation effort will inexorably lead to five fundamental changes in the law firm business model.  Each change will have an impact on the others; once one changes, the others will necessarily adapt. 

Here’s how I think it will work:

Innovation Is a Search for a Better Way

To innovate is “to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.”  In legal services, innovation involves re-examining the established way of doing things and finding better ways that new methods, ideas, and tools make possible. 

Innovation is a search for a better way. A search that is motivated by a realization that the traditional way is no longer satisfactory.  It works, but not well enough.  It fails to draw adequately on the new reality of what is possible.  It is falling short of what the market is now demanding.

As they proceed to innovate, firms are finding that their business model needs to adapt to make a better way possible.  Continue Reading Innovation Will Change the Law Firm Business Model

Law Firms Are Responding to Market Pressure With Increased Efforts to Innovate

Law firms across the country are taking steps to innovate  the way they organize themselves and serve their clients.  This trend promises to be more than a passing fancy because it is driven by demands from corporate clients , as well as increasing competition from new entrants in the legal services market.

This development matters beyond the interests of the law firms.  In many ways, law firms, particularly the most prominent ones, set the standards for legal services.  They establish benchmarks for legal representation. And otherwise have an outsized impact on the pace of modernization in law. 

The pressure they feel, and the response they make, has the potential to accelerate the pace of modernization of legal services.    Continue Reading Law Firm Innovation Is Picking Up Steam

THIS YEAR’S PROGRAM PROMISES TO BE THE BEST EVER: TOPICS, SPEAKERS, AND FORMATS

Legal Week 2020 convenes in New York in just two weeks on Tuesday, February 4.  One of the most significant events in law each year, it attracts more than 8,000 participants, across the spectrum of stakeholders in contemporary American law.

Gina Passarella Editor-In-Chief, American Lawyer Magazine

I am delighted to be co-chairing the Legal Business Strategy Program at Legal Week this year, with Gina Passarella, Editor-in-Chief of the American Lawyer Magazine.

I have long been a believer in the value of convening people in the legal service ecosystem for informed discussion of the cutting edge issues they confront.  That is why I created the Law Firm Leaders Forum in 1995  and have produced it ever since.  And it is why I am excited about our program this year at Legal Week, which we have designed based on lessons learned in prior Legal Week programs, and in all the years of LFLF.

Our program will consist of sessions which address the most challenging issues in legal service delivery today.  Each session will be led by experienced leaders who will share their perspectives and advice. Each session will be interactive with the audience, assuring that participants get their questions addressed, and permitting everyone to benefit from the assembled group.  The opportunity for learning and testing one’s own outlook in sessions like these makes the time out of the office well worthwhile. Continue Reading Don’t Miss the Business Strategy Program at Legal Week 2020

RICHARD SUSSKIND PROPOSES AN INCREMENTAL TRANSFORMATION OF OUR COURT SYSTEM.  AND ENCOURAGES READERS  TO THINK DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES “ACCESS TO JUSTICE” AND “JUSTICE” ITSELF, AS THEY CONSIDER THE FUTURE OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION. 

 

In my introductory post on Legal Services Today, I said I planned to draw attention to people who are making a difference in the way legal services are delivered.  I can think of no better example than Richard Susskind. 

No one in the last two decades has contributed more to the discussion and examination of how legal services can be modernized than Richard.  He is a prolific writer, having written numerous best-selling and ground-breaking books, and one of the most popular speakers in the world of law, having spoken in more than 50 countries.  To both his writing and his speaking, Richard brings an uncommonly effective way of connecting with people:  he is clear, concise, and entertaining. And, of course, he knows what he’s talking about. Continue Reading  Richard Susskind’s New Book: Drawing on Technology to Achieve Justice

THE UNITED STATES HAS A GREAT LEGAL SYSTEM.  BUT IT CAN SERVE CLIENTS BETTER, BUILD STRONGER FIRMS,  AND CREATE MORE AND BETTER CAREERS IN LEGAL SERVICE.  

First things first

I am delighted to launch Legal Services Today.  I am grateful for the assistance of Kevin O’Keefe and the entire team at Lex Blog for their support in getting this new blog up and running.

As the name suggests, this blog will focus on how legal services are delivered.  More particularly, it will focus on two main ideas: (1) how the law works and (2) how we can make it work better for everyone. Continue Reading There Is A Better Way