The real future of legal services

A steel driving man

A steel driving man

A short while back, the comment was made here that software programmers are hacking off great chunks of what used to be law practice and computerizing them. And Ernst & Young is delivering legal services in China. Those were hardly scoops.

Two more recent developments make the same point. PriceWaterhouse has gone into law practice in a big way and so has LexisNexis. They are using organizational structures available in Great Britain.

Meanwhile, back in the States, LegalZoom is breaking down “unauthorized practice of law” barriers brick-by-brick; and Kevin O’Keefe said recently that blogs are transforming if not replacing large chunks of legal publishing.

Somehow it makes sense to me that Great Britain is getting the job done with alternative business structures, while the U.S. is doing a different version of the same thing with computers and the Internet.

Anyway, this discussion is no longer about predicting the future.

The real  discussion now is about the work that real lawyers do. And about what kinds of organizations are best suited to deliver legal services and provide cultures  in which real lawyers work best. That’s what the earlier post said.

(Hint: the personal commitment of excellent professionals to their clients and to excellent work still makes a major difference in hard cases.)

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