Wanted to try my hand at liveblogging, which is really blogging your notes from a session: Let me know what you think.
My notes on session:
At the end of these economic difficulties, the legal landscape will not return to “normal,” instead it will be drastically changed.
KPMG mission statement – we exist to provide value from our knowledge to our clients. Lawyers must look for ways to find new ways to produce these values.
Clients want client dispute avoidance, not dispute resolution.
This means next wave for lawyers is legal risk management.
Understand the fundamental difference between automation and innovation. Not computerization what we already do but to making new things possible.
In other words, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.
The key is turning ideas into action. Some of these ideas have been around for a while.
“Fit for purpose” legal profession.
Inhouse legal counsel are under significant pressure – something has to give. I.e., clients want “more for less.” This is a fundamental premise.
Note the coming reality of external investment in law firms in the UK.
Two possible strategies:
1. Efficiency strategy – cut costs, move toward commoditization, multi-sourcing
2. Collaboration strategy – cost sharing, harnessing collaborative IT, online community
Disruption beyond imagination
Bespoke vs. Commoditised – Custom vs. commodity
Bespoke -> Standardized -> Systematized -> Packaged (packaging your knowledge) -> Commoditized
Legal expertise as product. Eversheds as a model
Many see packaged knowledge as anathema
Commodity in the sense of legal services is a metaphor. An online information service is his example of commodisation in legal services.
Hourly fees -> flat fees -> free
Innovation seems to happen in the systematized and packaged areas for Susskind. Most firms see that they are and want to stay in the bespoke area. Has bespoke become just a romantic vision of what we think we are as lawyers?
Clients, on the other hand, generally want to move away from bespoke and toward commoditization.
In other words, client work needs to be rethought.
Clients – cut costs, make costs predictable, quality improves (via standardization and systemization)
Watch for this axis to largely flip (in terms of percentages in each category over the next 10 years)
Multi-sourcing – using the least costly of many potential sources of services and/or the bringing together of multi-sourced work into coherent single product.
Susskind has 12 ways of multi-sourcing (NOTE: this is a key section of his book) e.g., insourcing, outsourcing, home sourcing, open sourcing, co-sourcing, leasing, computerizing, no-sourcing (not devoting legal resources/effort to low risk areas)
Law as project management.
Tendency among lawyers (outside this presentation room) that Google and BlackBerry is their technology. And belief that legal profession is the one area that will not be impacted fundamentally by the Internet and technology.
The interesting point (at least to me) is are we starting to see early impacts/symptoms of Singularity effects (e.g., Vinge and Kurzweil).
As technology comes to heart of our lives and work, no reason to believe law will be exempt.
Change is accelerating.
Another set of examples – Social networking, online communications, mass collaboration
[NOTE: It’s fascinating how our collaboration book is a handbook for using the practical tools that will power these trends in the profession. Don’t know if we were especially prescient or lucky. Or both.]
The key is how to apply these techniques (online communication, collaboration, social networking) in the legal profession.
Ten disruptive (in the Clayton Christiansen sense) technology for legal profession (listed in his book).
1. Closed client communities (collaborative) – Network of solo practitioners or clients
2. Online dispute resolution
3. Embedded legal knowledge
4. Electronic legal marketplace
Traditional pyramid model and shape of law firms will change dramatically
“What parts of lawyers’ work can be done differently?” Answer truthfully.
If we see ways Internet can destroy our business, shouldn’t you be doing that? That’s the challenge.
For what will lawyers be needed? A more fundamental question.
Deep expertise (legal) and complex communication.
Note that complexity and expertise can be modeled. Modeling is a key concept.
Lawyers tend to exaggerate level of creativity (across the board).
Direct contact is diminishing in many areas
Future jobs for lawyers
Expert trusted adviser
Legal knowledge engineer
He calls what is coming is an incremental revolution toward an IT-enabled legal profession and a fundamental change in the way legal services are delivered.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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