Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Recently, my daughter had a part in Oxford High School’s production of “Sunset Boulevard.” She astutely noted that advances technology had changed or destroyed the careers of many people in the movie industry, including Gloria Swanson, who starred as Norma Desmond in the classic film. One of Norma’s classic lines in Sunset Boulevard is “I am big! It's the pictures that got small.” She also says “We didn't need dialogue. We had face.” Norma’s inability to accept changes in her industry and adapt to them would lead to her downfall.
Technology has changed the legal profession, and nothing can reverse that. In the long run it will lower overhead costs, and provide more efficient access to legal services. It will allow small firms to compete with big firms. Technology is transformative, which is scary, but it is not a bad thing. The law schools and lawyers that adapt to these changes will be just fine. Those who do not will be Norma Desmond.