Monday, August 15, 2011

More on the effect of Google's "Rocket Lawyer" on the market for legal services

Technically-speaking, Google is just an investor, not the owner. Nevertheless, this will likely be a game-changed as we blogged about on Friday. Here's a take on it by Paul Lippe, one of the bloggers  responsible for the ABA Journal's "New Normal" column:

Today’s announcement that Google is investing in Rocket Lawyer—and will apparently use Google Docs as the basic productivity platform for small law firms—is another indication of the Google Maps-ization of law. Information that is already known will be organized to be more available. Business models built on information scarcity will be have to be revamped. Standards will emerge. Clients (whether big companies or individuals) will be reluctant to pay for reinventing the wheel. That doesn’t mean that lawyers will be “commoditized.” There are a whole range of skills that will continue to be valuable, from advocacy to judgment to counseling to expertise to how to organize information. Big company legal departments and the law firms that serve them will probably approach this somewhat differently, managing collaboration and confidentiality in dedicated systems.

But just as Lewis & Clark didn’t re-invent canoe-making for their expedition, but leveraged what was already known so they could solve new problems, lawyers can’t sustain business a model predicated on reinventing the wheel in a Google-y world. That’s the New Normal.

You can read the rest here.


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