Tomorrow’s Lawyers | Richard Susskind

Summary of: Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future
By: Richard Susskind

Introduction

Embark on a journey of exploring the future of the legal profession with Richard Susskind’s eye-opening book ‘Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future’. In this summary, you’ll be taken through the upcoming tectonic shifts shaping the legal landscape, driven primarily by technological advancements, liberalization, and the ‘more-for-less’ challenge. Gain insights into the future for law firms, the evolving role of in-house lawyers, new positions that will emerge in the legal sector, and how legal education should adapt to better equip young lawyers for the coming age. This summary will equip you with crucial knowledge to navigate and adapt to the fast-changing world of legal practice irrespective of your age.

Anticipating Changes in Future Legal Practice

The legal practice of the future will differ from the current practice and young lawyers, partners, and ambitious professionals should prepare for the upcoming changes. Law firm leaders must consider the future of their operations and partners’ pensions. To stay ahead of the game, lawyers must pay attention to the future, not the past, and anticipate the imminent legal market. Clients will soon purchase legal services in different forms due to the “more-for-less” challenge, liberalization, and information technology. Tomorrow’s lawyers must be in tune with tomorrow’s clients to keep up with the changes in their profession.

The Challenge of Modern Law Practice

The legal industry is facing a disconnect between traditional training and the demands of the modern world. The economic downturn has resulted in budget cuts for in-house legal departments, leading to a heavier workload for in-house attorneys. Small businesses and individuals struggle with the cost of legal counsel. The legal world must adapt to the needs of current clients and move away from traditional practices.

The Future of Legal Services

The legal industry is experiencing a shift towards more efficient and cost-effective services for clients. Traditional hourly billing and overall legal services are being replaced by more options and alternative business structures (ABSs). In 2007, England and Wales pioneered the liberalization of their legal industries with the introduction of ABSs, allowing nonlawyers to set up and run legal-service organizations. This new field has paved the way for notable brands such as Co-operative Legal Services to offer probate, conveyancing, and litigation services. Other countries are expected to follow this trend and liberalize their legal industries in the coming years.

Lawyering in the age of IT

The legal profession is undergoing a revolution due to technological advancements, and lawyers must adapt to survive. With over 2.2 billion internet users and 3.5 billion email accounts, lawyers cannot ignore the far-reaching effects of technology. Author Ray Kurzweil predicts that by 2020, desktop computers will have processing power equal to the human brain, and by 2050, more than all human minds combined. Lawyers should take advantage of technology to offer practical solutions and develop new ways of practicing law, or risk becoming obsolete. As technology changes every other industry, lawyers must not fall behind.

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