You may join a debate about the future of the legal profession and contribute to the shaping of a new book The End of Lawyers? by Richard Susskind. For the coming six weeks, The [London] Times will be publishing excerpts from the book and you are invited to comment on them. Learn more. Click for the first excerpt "Legal profession is on the brink of fundamental change." Susskind writes . . .
This is neither a lawyer-bashing polemic nor a gratuitous assault on the legal profession. Instead, it is a collection of predictions and observations about a generally honourable profession that is, I argue, on the brink of fundamental transformation.
That said, I do admit, if I may give away the ending, that these articles will point to a future in which conventional legal advisers will be much less prominent in society than today and, in some walks of life, will have no visibility at all. This, I believe, is where we will be taken by two forces: by a market pull towards commoditisation and by pervasive development and uptake of information technology. Commoditisation and IT will shape and characterise 21st century legal service.
Against this backdrop, I should be honest about one issue from the outset. I do not believe lawyers are self-evidently entitled to profit from the law. As I have said
before, the law is not there to provide a livelihood for lawyers any more than ill-health exists to offer a living for doctors. Successful legal business may be a bi-product of law in society, but it is not the purpose of law. And, just as numerous other industries and sectors are having to adapt to broader change, so too should lawyers.
I have been rather quiet at idealawg because I was focused on the first neuroscience and conflict resolution seminar held here in Denver last week. I plan to blog more now that the debut is over. Three weeks until the program at Portland State. There is still time to enroll.
Note (added October 30, 2007, 7:32 PM Mountain): The second excerpt from The End of Lawyers?: "A decade on: much changed, much still to unfold."
The third excerpt: "How the traditional role of lawyers will change."
The fourth excerpt: "Outside investors will demand a very different type of law firm."
The fifth excerpt: "No one has a vision for the next generation of lawyers."
The sixth and last excerpt: "Only a foolhardy lawyer will fail to embrace change."