Sunday, January 30, 2011

How IT can save us from Susskind's prophecy

Apropos to our blog post below is this article from the Law News Technology blog called "How to Prevent the End of Lawyers" in which a remedy to Richard Susskind's dire prediction (for lawyers that is, not clients) is offered:

Susskind argues that while most lawyers view themselves as offering customized services (termed "bespoke" in the UK), and while many law firms have begun to "standardize" and "systematize" their internal processes, clients are pressing for "packaged" and even "commoditized" services. What he describes, in fact, is a trend typical of many industries. The true epiphany here may be that the legal industry is not immune to such forces and that significant restructuring in the way legal services are delivered may be required.

. . . .

The question is, given the encroachment of market forces on the legal industry, and the need for constant innovation: what roles can information technology and IT professionals play in helping firms deliver the legal services clients need and demand profitably, now and in the future? I believe there are three core benefits information technology offers law firms in this regard:

• It can accelerate both the delivery and rate of innovation of legal services

• It can extend the reach of a firm's legal services to more clients

• It can combine and focus the expertise of the firm to produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

If you want to read more about how IT can save the legal profession from the further commoditization of services, click here.

A hat tip to Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips blog - a must read if you aren't already subscribed.


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