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The Future of the Law According to Richard Susskind

In a profession that prizes adhering to precedent, many lawyers might be inclined to ignore the advice of "legal futurist" Richard Susskind -- but doing so would be as foolish as not Shepardizing a brief.  In a recent interview with The Am Law Daily, Susskind, author of the upcoming new book, The End of Lawyers? (Oxford University Press, Dec. 2008) shares his thoughts on what today's law firms must do to survive in tomorrow's legal world.

Susskind's advice is somewhat counter-intuitive. You'd think that in a world where competition will stiffen as legal services become commoditized, law firms would be wise to engage in a survival-of-the-fittest combat to keep market share. Instead, Susskind tells firms to collaborate with each other and share information to spread the costs of legal services between clients. 

Another area where Susskind perceives growth is legal risk management. According to Susskind, in-house lawyers identify legal risk management as their central concern -- yet hardly any law firms have developed methods, tools or systems to help clients review, identify and quantify risks. Susskind believes that lawyers can play a central role in this type of strategic planning. 

Why don't you play the role of "legal futurist" for today? Where do you see the profession heading, and what should firms be doing to strengthen their own futures?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 14, 2008 at 02:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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