Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 54 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 56 FEATURES routine work. In this environment, law firms are just one vendor engaged to address a client's legal needs — and while there will always remain a need for certain "bespoke" advice, ultimately there will be fewer private practice opportunities for young lawyers. This creates a positive and emerging opportunity for lawyers not bound to the idea of traditional law practice, whose strengths and aptitudes lie in their creativity, adaptability, relationship-building and business acumen. Tomorrow's lawyers may not practice law in the traditional sense, but they must possess an equally challenging, and evolving, skill set; they will develop and support the systems and processes that inevitably will be instituted to control the cost of legal services while at the same time adapting to client needs in an increasingly technological environment. Survival in this new legal landscape will require unique skills, training, and experiences, to say nothing of the ability to redefine the expectations that come with graduating from law school. Susskind devotes one-third of "Tomorrow's Lawyers" to emerging legal jobs for young lawyers, identifying the following new professional opportunities: expert trust adviser, enhanced practitioner, legal knowledge engineer, legal technologist, legal hybrid, legal process analyst, legal project manager, online dispute resolution practitioner, legal management consultant and legal risk manager. Susskind's emerging legal jobs are proactive in nature, requiring an anticipation of issues, needs, and services. Similar roles may currently exist in corporate structures, though often are not held by lawyers. While these roles are not yet common in law firms, that could change to meet client demand, and tomorrow's lawyers may need additional education and training not currently offered by the traditional law school model (though the increase in joint degree offerings may suffice in some instances). Although Susskind notes there will remain a need for some traditional litigators and transactional attorneys, it is his belief that these emerging opportunities are the positions for which future law students will train. the current legal market, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) recently convened a limited-term Emerging Legal Jobs Work Group composed of individual law school and law firm representatives. Our work is well underway; our environmental scanning confirms that the market is undergoing radical and rapid change, and that tomorrow's lawyers are already serving in emerging legal roles. WHO ARE "TOMORROW'S LAWYERS"? Susskind argues that the legal profession is undergoing a fundamental transformation as the "more for less" challenge drives the market toward the disaggregation of legal services. Traditional law firms face increased downward pricing pressures, and the rapid development of legal technology means that clients can more readily attain cost-effective and efficient solutions for In the introduction to his 2013 book "Tomorrow's Lawyers," legal futurist Richard Susskind declares that "(l)egal institutions are at a crossroads … and are poised to change more radically over the next two decades than they have over the last two centuries. If you are a young lawyer," he says, "this revolution will happen on your watch." Evaluating the post-Great Recession landscape, Susskind describes technology- fueled disruptive forces to traditional law practice and identifies multiple new opportunities for lawyers in emerging legal roles. If Susskind's theories hold true, there will be a paradigm shift in the delivery of legal services and remarkable change in the recruitment and professional development of lawyers in the emerging legal space. To explore whether Susskind's predictions are readily observable in W ho Are "TOMORROW'S LAWYERS," and How Can We Help em? Adapted from an article written for the January 2015 NALP Bulletin.

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