A variety of new ideas in law and business are generating buzz. It is important for lawyers to know about them and to understand how they might be incorporated into the practice of law. This article will discuss what makes these ideas “new law.”
In this sense, new law refers to a paradigm shift from provider-centricity to customer impact driven by internal efficiency and enhanced experience. It is a multifaceted change process that involves multiple legal industry stakeholders – legal practitioners, “legal techies,” business of law professionals, and allied professional service providers. It requires a holistically diverse team that is creative, tech and data proficient, empathetic, and collaborative. It requires a shared purpose of providing accessible, affordable, on-demand, scalable, data-driven, practical, solutions-based legal products and services that help solve business challenges and capture opportunities at the speed of business and society.
The legal industry has not yet achieved this. In fact, it is still grappling with legacy delivery models and self-serving legal industry promotion. The legal industry needs to look more like its corporate customers and society at large, with a diversified workforce that is cognitively, demographically, culturally, and experientially diverse. The legal function will be internally integrated and work cross-functionally with enterprise business units as well as across industries. It will be focused on customer impact that produces high Net Promoter Scores, not aspires to win accolades for internal efficiency.
Legal technology has been a fad for many years, but it is no longer a standalone solution to solving a particular problem. A fit-for-purpose technology must be a key component of an overall strategic plan that is aimed at delivering a better client experience and driving significant business value. This includes integrating the entire legal supply chain, erasing artificial, lawyer-created distinctions between provider sources; and using data to deliver efficient, practical, predictable, cost effective, risk mitigated solutions.
Moreover, the legal function will be able to use this newfound capability to provide better guidance and advice to corporate customers about their legal issues and risks. This will enable them to avoid the substantial costs and lost opportunity costs of protracted disputes, and to free-up management to focus on their core objectives. This will also facilitate the development of a more strategic, forward-looking, collaborative approach to business.
Finally, the legal industry will be able to share more of its expertise with other functions and businesses, especially in areas that address significant global challenges, such as cyber-security, regulatory changes, and the emergence of disruptive technologies. This will create synergies that will produce more rapid, pragmatic, and practical solutions to legal problems and to societal risks. The broader integration of the legal industry will allow it to be more responsive to a rapidly changing business environment, and thus make businesses and society more productive. Local Law 13 of 2022.