Losing the Law Business

In essence, law is facing a productivity imperative. To cope with globalisation, the world needs better, faster, and cheaper legal output. The artisan trained lawyer just can’t keep up. To address the productivity imperative – or, more accurately, to turn a profit from this business opportunity – a new generation of legal entrepreneurs has emerged.

Lawyers continue to have a lock on advocacy work and client counselling on legal matters. But an enormous amount of work that leads up to the courthouse door, or the client counselling moment, is increasingly being “disaggregated” into a series of tasks that does not need to be performed by lawyers. Indeed, it may be best performed by computer algorithms. Further, the entire process is amenable to continuous improvement, driving up quality and driving down costs. This is a job that is likely more suitable for a systems engineer, albeit one with legal expertise, than a traditionally trained lawyer.

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