An old friend of mine – Paul Gilbert at LBC Wise Counsel wrote an interesting piece on Shouters (and Sitters) in the Legal Innovation discussion.
The legal industry now seems to be divided into two groups; The first group is rising as ”thought-leader” – a small self-appointed group of shouters (where I may be one of them). The second are sitting lawyers; they sit, metaphorically arms folded across their chests, demanding that others impress them with innovative thinking failing which they conclude they must be doing just fine.
No one is right and no one will be right – but that is what the true innovation is about … thinking, checking, trying, failing, restarting, trying again.
I have some clear opinions
- technology will assist lawyers in the future. It will have major impact in two areas; manual labour can be minimised (my home turf – agreement review can be done with help of software) and things that could not be done can be done (my home turf – we can review agreements by comparing them to millions of agreements)
- there will be lawyers in the future as well. There is nothing saying that we will not need lawyers – however they may need to do other stuff.
- there will be impact on business models. Some will win, some will loose, lawyers are not gone.
- BUT nothing will happen before the customers / clients are prepared to change. And here is where I see only a growing interest as evidence – not a tidal wave
Changes will come. Changes are always coming. We are however overestimating changes in the next two years and underestimate them in the next ten years (free after a Bill Gates quote).