The noble legal profession is notorious for its inability to move away from long-standing traditions. While many firms of all sizes experiment with new technologies, methodologies and business practices, the vast legal landscape can hardly be distinguished from itself two or more decades ago.
“To what extent should societies delegate to machines decisions that affect people?” This question permeates all discussions on the sweeping ascent of artificial intelligence. Sometimes, the answer seems self-evident.
During the past few months, I have been giving presentations all over the world. One of the things I would touch upon are the eroding effects of commoditization. I know there are a lot of misconceptions around this topic. By now, most lawyers acknowledge that commoditization exists, but most believe commoditized work equals "simple work" or "bulk work." This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Five years ago, a committed group of law firm leaders and law firm service providers embarked on a journey to reimagine the legal profession with a futurist’s view.
While many innovation journeys begin with an examination of the current state of a business, team, product or service in order to determine how to make what exists better, this innovation journey was different.
I think many law firms historically acquired their clients first and their markets second. Somewhere early in a firm’s genesis, one of its lawyers landed a client and performed the assigned tasks well; impressed, that client hired the lawyer again and recommended the lawyer to a similar client, which also retained the lawyer, and more followed.
HP’s legal department recently announced that it will withhold up to 10 percent of fees from law firms that do not meet its diversity standards, to draw attention to law’s lagging performance in advancing diversity.
Innovation has been the buzzword in the legal sector for several years. These days, there is a seminar or conference on innovation or IT disruption in the legal sector every week. Fueled by these repeated messages, many law firms start building apps, giving models away for free or embark on using software for such tasks as due diligence.
One complaint. Out of 103,000 lawyers. One solitary complaint. The Florida Bar only received one formal objection to its proposal to add three hours to its MCLE requirements and reserve all three hours for technological competence.