Friday, November 23, 2012
Some people believe that we shouldn’t be training our future lawyers to be entrepreneurs or that it isn’t necessary or perhaps even desirable. These people see lawyers and entrepreneurs as “strange bedfellows”. These people smirk at Richard Susskind’s book, the End of Lawyers?. They smirk – not because they don’t see the question mark – but instead, because the question itself is a non sequitur – “The End of Lawyers (That’ll Be The The Day)”. They know that it is not the end of lawyers nor will there ever be an end of lawyers. They know that the legal rebels and law disruptors and the big-bad-non-lawyers are NOT going to take over the law market. They know that law firms and law partners and law schools and law deans and law professors will survive.
And they are likely right.
But what they may not foresee is that the ones left standing (the lawyers, and the law firms and the lawschools and the law deans and law professors that will be left standing) will be those that no longer use the capital “I” that resides in “me, myself, and I” that has so long plagued our profession and that is based on Individual lawyers and Individual clients and Individual law school education that inhibits collaboration with nonlawyers. and that is at the heart of how most law firms and law faculties have organized themselves (see SlideShow making these points).
Instead, those left standing will be those that move the capital “I” from a place that has historically kept the legal profession in a closed environment, to a place where there is “Interaction” with non-lawyers, “Interdisciplinary” collaboration “Inter-department” education, and, above all, “Innovation.” Those left standing may not all be legal entrepreneurs but they most certainly will be Intrapreneurs.
“Smart organizations will seek out individuals who like to invent, innovate and want to be on the front lines of change. These individuals can work independently but even more important can work seamlessly as part of an integrated team structure and also effectively embrace and embody the culture of the intrapreneur’s host organization.”So although it is true that these new entreprenurial focused law ventures are made up of many legal rebels and law disrupters and legal entrepreneurs, and that they attempt to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in all that participate. More than that, they represent a community of lawyers that believe in the Intrapreneur in us all, the ability to exapt ideas from other places in order to affect change (see Article on the need for exaptation in the law market). They believe in those that use the capital "I" to replace the E in Entrepreneur. They believe that it is not just the Entrepreneurs but also the Intrepreneurs in law that will be left standing.
Those that continue to use the capital "I" as in "me myself and I" (and refuse to change) will be those that, like the cheese, stand alone.