Law new, like other aspects of the legal industry, is a rapidly changing space. Legal practitioners, “legal techies,” allied legal professionals and corporate lawyers are collaborating to produce change that’s impactful to legal consumers and society at large. But it’s difficult to pin down a specific definition of what “law new” means, even for those within the industry. It can mean anything from creating strategies to deliver services differently, to providing legal assistance for underserved populations or exploring alternative approaches to law practice and delivery.
Regardless of how it’s defined, it is clear that law new is not about technology per se but rather how it can be leveraged to create meaningful change in the industry. The key is ensuring that fit-for-purpose technology investments are part of a larger strategic plan whose end game is to improve customer/end-user experience and outcomes. This is a team sport that includes legal practitioners, “legal techies,” process/project managers and data analysts.
The legal industry needs to evolve into a customer-centric, technology-enabled, process-oriented function that mirrors the business and society it serves. This will require a diverse workforce that’s holistically diverse-cognitively, demographically, culturally and experientially. It will be agile, tech and data proficient, empathetic and collaborative. And it will be integrated across the legal supply chain, erasing artificial, lawyer-created distinctions between provider sources.
In the future, profit will not be derived by adherence to legacy economic models built on input; instead it will come from an integrated platform-based delivery structure from which agile, fluid and on-demand resources with verifiable, material expertise can be sourced. And it will be fueled by a data-backed, client-centric model rooted in output and net promoter score.
The law industry will need to rethink the way it teaches, attracts and retains talent. Creating a culture that supports innovation and allows individuals to grow their talents is an important start. This will be necessary to the continued success of our profession and ensure that the best and brightest continue to pursue careers in law.