If you want to be among the lawyers of the future – read this article by R. Amani Smather – it tells a lot about what we need to develop into to stay or become relevant as professionals. Current traditional lawyering is simple not good enough anymore.
Twentieth-century lawyers were “I-shaped”—they had deep legal knowledge and skills—but 21st-century lawyers must be “T-shaped.” A T-shaped lawyer still has deep legal expertise but also has the ability to collaborate across many disciplines, such as technology, business, analytics and data security. Changes in the legal market, lawyer ethics and new jobs for lawyers demonstrate the need and demand for T-shaped lawyers in this century.
The T-shaped lawyer is not necessarily a Renaissance man or woman. He or she does not have to be an expert in computer systems, big data analytics, Six Sigma, gamification and whatever the next fad is in business and technology though being an “H-shaped” expert in law and one of those disciplines could give a lawyer a profitable market niche. Twenty-first-century lawyers must still be legal experts but also have enough knowledge in different areas to identify issues, understand concepts, contribute to teams and connect ideas across disciplines.Twentieth-century lawyers prided themselves on, and were valued for, their deep legal expertise. In the technology-driven 21st century, clients demand more—and the T-shaped lawyer is better equipped to provide it.