During the recent CLOC conference, attendees had the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of Richard Susskind’s second edition of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future.” Susskind also spoke as the lunch keynote on the first day, and shared with us that while his first edition had been written for young and aspiring lawyers in the profession, he had found that everyone interested in the changing legal ecosystem wanted to hear more about (and sometimes argue with) what he had to say. And so the second edition was updated and published.
Towards the end of the book, with respect to the future of the legal industry, Susskind says:
Given our economic conditions, the shift towards liberalization, the new providers in the marketplace, and the burgeoning, exponential increase in the power and uptake of technology, I find it unimaginable that our current legal institutions and legal profession will remain substantially unchanged over the next decade. Indeed, it seems to me that the least likely future is that little will change in the world of law. And yet, the strategies of most law firms, law schools, and departments of justice assume just that. In truth, for much of the legal market, the current model is not simply unsustainable; it is already broken.”
Those are strong words, but we’re living in a time when change is fast-paced, faster than it’s ever been. And while most leaders in the industry are willing to accept that change is happening, not many of them are either willing or able to do anything about it.
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