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I usually do not write about legal practice. It is a very sophisticated profession helping lawyers to thrive.

Today I saw the open invitation from Isabelle Roughol, Editor of Linkedin for the inFluencer series “My industry”. As I did not find any inFluencer discussing the legal industry, I thought it was my cue to step up.

Legal services industry has been severely hit by the latest crisis and the many trends of the new economies: the global economy where law firms aggressively invest around the world to keep and gain more clients; the digital economy where many intangible goods, such as legal services, are free to use; and the collaborative economy, where rival lawyers become partners to profit.

As a consequence of that, lawyers, professionals, bars and schools have been searching for answers on how to keep our tradition and fit into the new economies.

There are two sides. The ones that want to keep the business of law model with improvements (Traditional Law), and the ones trying disruptive methods learned from other guilds to get a market share (New Law).

This is further explained by the theories of Clayton Christensen on the Innovator´s Dilemma, a classic book on the how well managed tech companies handle emerging disruption. Richard Susskind and many others have commented and adapted this to legal services … Because is actually happening.

The dilemma is whether lawyers embrace change brought by the new economies and other guilds. It is an invitation to re-explore their DNA and leave the comfort zone.

This is not black and white. New Law is probing value, but Traditional Law has centuries of traction. At the end, it is expected that some waste activities and processes of legal practice will just remain as legacy law.

This era of legal industry is just a rite of passage. A new form of practice is emerging, and who knows? Maybe New Law will disrupt this market for good and we can profit from it.

I am very interested in hearing feedback and ideas from my peers, lawyers and non-lawyers. This market is now open for everybody.


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