For nearly half of a decade, I have been following a growing dialogue amongst lawyers on innovation within the law.
As the years went on, discussions about innovation and the “future of law” began to permeate nearly every legal magazine, newspaper, and blog. Not surprisingly, many of the predictions made by the most prominent early voices (Richard Susskind, for example) started to materialize in the industry.
Recognizing the real value of being ahead of the curve, I began to participate in the conversation and started to attend seminars and events geared towards the future-conscious lawyer.
However, as my participation grew, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the fact that the conversation seemed to be just that, a conversation. It was all talk and no walk.
For many, the “future of law” seemed to be nothing more than a hashtag.
I also became frustrated with the many pundits who believed that innovation within the law would not be achieved until all firms employed robot lawyers, and that the mere mortal lawyer was doomed for the unemployment line. Seriously, the amount of legal blog posts I have read that have used a stock photo from iRobot is too damn high!
Do not get me wrong, technology is and will be a major driver of change. But the changes that ought to occur within the profession stretch far beyond the need for better apps and operating systems. True innovation will require lawyers and law firms to rethink the entire practice of law, from the branding all the way to the billing.
It really is the design of law (or rather, the redesign) that truly captures the way that lawyers ought to think about the future of law. It’s about designing a method of practice that is relevant, relatable, and adds obvious value for the client.
The easiest way to redesign law is to start from scratch and build a practice from the ground up. A practice that is conscious of, and strives for, real change in the profession. As it just so happens, that is exactly what I have done.
- Ian J. Perry, Founder