As all lawyers know, the legal profession functions on the past. Legal precedent from courts and legislatures dictates future outcomes. The law evolves, but it takes time.
Why would we expect the profession as a whole to have a different feel when it comes to evolving business models? The changes are not so new that they forget about the past. Instead, the rich history of the legal profession is shaping the future. What we will see simply builds off of that history and takes us to the next level.
Curo is your source for figuring out where the puck is headed in the quickest, most time-and cost-efficient way possible.”
Technology, emerging business models, and the roles of bar associations and law schools are areas that will shape the future of the profession.
This means that self-preservation can creep into decision making. Lawyers have a comprehensive structure of ethics rules that are designed to protect and serve the public. When significant changes to that structure are proposed and nonlawyers enter into the mix, some folks may feel uneasy.
As a result, outside driving forces are key. Consumers of legal services have significant input regarding how they are represented. The age of lawyers being able to put their arms around the law as the sole gatekeepers is over. The fad called the “Internet” is here to stay. This is empowering for clients. A simple Google search often can help people resolve their legal issues or needs. In other words, when clients visit lawyers, they are no longer starting with a zero knowledge base.
A slightly over-used Wayne Gretzky quote is highly informative: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” This applies to the legal profession. Where are you going to be? Where the puck currently is or where it is going?
The tools exist for lawyers to go where the puck is headed . . . to restructure practices to remain viable and relevant.