The Future of Legal Practice
My name is Henry Demasco, and I’m an Operations Associate at Comar LLP. From now on I’m going to be contributing my thoughts on the firm’s blog as often as I can, so be sure to check back here soon! The first thing I want to write about is the future of legal practice…
When asked about attorneys and what they do, most people look to Hollywood portrayals: probably of men and women wearing expensive suits pushing around papers from the tops of glittering skyscrapers, or perhaps Atticus Finch-like characters arguing persuasively in front of moved juries. (Actually, this image is surprisingly accurate in many cases.) But as time goes on, we believe that these glamorous traditions of the legal profession will be largely done away with. In its place will be a much leaner, more client-oriented way of doing business, in which lawyers are driven by the following directives:
· A need to offer business as well as legal counsel. Sophisticated attorneys often have dozens of active matters that are live at any one time, and have observed countless different fact patterns involving countless forms of business relationships. Attorneys are not management consultants or CEOs, but a good attorney will have wisdom into business scenarios and can help clients structure deals and business outcomes based on what they have seen work in the past. This is something that many lawyers hesitate to do today, and it is something that template documents will never do.
· An ability to cross legal disciplines. Lawyers will need to have the courage and the smarts to cross legal disciplines and master a number of different legal fields. Good deal making requires knowledge of litigation, and good litigation requires the ability to think about a deal, and in today’s modern economy, domain mastery over information monetization and intellectual property is a must.
· An authentic commitment to positive values. Lawyers comprise some of the most educated members of a society, and we believe that sophisticated consumers of legal services will demand that their counsel display and prioritize a genuine commitment to the common good. This doesn’t mean that every firm has to have an Atticus Finch; but it might mean that corporate lawyers think about how to use a corporate structure to help mitigate social and environmental externalities, and in the litigation context, it might mean that litigators think about what it might to take to get warring parties to a meaningful and balanced settlement.
Stay tuned for more of our thoughts about the future, and how we want to position ourselves for it.