What is Law New?
In a world of rapidly changing legal challenges, it is sometimes difficult to keep up. One idea that has been gaining traction in the industry is law new – a way of providing legal services in entirely different ways. It can mean working with underserved communities or coming up with strategies that have never been part of the legal landscape before.
It is a catchall term linked to such things as “legal tech,” “legal ops” and “ALSPs.” It is often considered in isolation rather than as part of a bigger change process that could transform legal delivery from its current self-serving, profit-driven model into one that focuses on customer impact and enhanced experience.
The pace of business and social change render it impossible to fully picture what law new will look like. But certain defining characteristics are starting to take shape. The legal industry will more closely resemble its corporate customers and society-at-large. It will have a diverse, highly creative, tech and data-proficient workforce that is empathetic, customer-centric and team-oriented. It will have an integrated platform-based legal delivery structure from which agile, fluid and on-demand resources with verifiable, material expertise and experience can be sourced. It will have an economic model that is based on output and net promoter score, not on the preservation of outdated delivery models, legal education and self-regulation.
For example, the California legislature recently passed a law that requires employers to include pay ranges in job postings. It’s a small step to increase transparency in the workplace, but intense business opposition blocked other similar measures that would have made it much easier for workers to get information about their compensation. In other areas, law new may involve providing information to the public about how to avoid fraudulent or misleading claims. It could be a new kind of data breach notification law or a rule that would require city agencies to notify people whose private information was hacked when it is reasonably believed that the information has been accessed, disclosed or used by an unauthorized person.
In short, law new is the paradigm shift that will make legal deliverables more relevant and valuable to the business community and to consumers in general. It’s a change that will be enabled by technology and driven by human adaptation. It is a journey that all legal professionals must undertake if they want to survive and thrive in the age of the customer. If they fail to embrace it, they will be left behind. That is a fate no one wants for themselves or their companies. This is a time to be bold and do something new – law new.