Susskind: Why Law Firms Have To Change

Richard Susskind has been one of the more outspoken voices on the economies of the legal profession in recent years, authoring two books on the subject. Today, he has a post on the ABA’s Legal Rebels site that’s an interesting read.

He hits several nails directly on their respective heads, as he has similarly in the past, reiterating that “new methods, systems, and processes will emerge to reduce the cost of undertaking routine legal work” and “new ways of sourcing will emerge … and these will often be combined in the conduct of individual pieces of legal work.”

I don’t disagree with anything that he writes -- and we’ve written about these issues for some time -- but I do think his timeline for these changes to occur is on the ambitious side. Lawyers are typically slow adopters; I’m not sure the types of collaborative communities he outlines have enough time to form and truly share new and best practices that have been vetted and tested, especially on complex matters… even though there’s more communication than ever before among in-house colleagues on well-established communities like Legal OnRamp (and other various organic online connectors of in-house counsel). But his point is that the time is now, not down the road, to understand and address these issues.

Regardless, there’s little doubt the legal world is no longer considered flat and the new frontier is upon us. We know that there are some great ways everyone can work together to contain costs and generate the best possible results. Susskind’s post is a good read if you have a few spare moments today.