Can Lawyers Be Rebels?
Has the revolution been co-opted? That was my first thought when I read that the ABA Journal, one of the most mainstream of all legal industry publications, is sponsoring the Legal Rebels project in an effort to remake the legal profession.
So who are the legal rebels? According to Ed Adams, ABA Journal editor-in-chief, the rebels encompass:
Dozens of lawyers nationwide [who] aren't waiting for change. Day by day, they're remaking their corners of the profession. These mavericks are finding new ways to practice law, represent their clients, adjudicate cases and train the next generation of lawyers. Most are leveraging the power of the Internet to help them work better, faster and different.
The Legal Rebels project will profile these innovators and describe the changes they are making. It will tell their stories in the ABA Journal, on this website and through a variety of social media channels using text, pictures, audio and video. The first of these profiles will appear here on August 25. Several will be added weekly through the end of November.
The Legal Rebels project seeks wide participation. Lawyers are invited to nominate "rebels," and according to recent tweets listed at the site, the nominations are rolling in. In addition, there's a Legal Rebels Manifesto posted at the site wiki so that lawyers can make their own edits.
I've not seen much buzz about the Legal Rebels project just yet. But at least one site -- the perpetually disgruntled Temporary Attorney -- isn't impressed. Citing a commenter, Temporary Attorney writes that:
[T]he REAL online rebel movement among lawyers online is the movement to expose the law school scam and how the legal establishment such as the bar associations are enabling the law school industry to lure hundreds of thousands of law students into 6 figure debt when there is a huge oversupply of lawyers already.
For years, the legal elites have benefited from this drastic oversupply and the cheap labor generated by these nasty unsanitary debt repayment mills. But now, however, even a shitty benefitless secretarial wage is too much for them to handle. Hence, this year we have seen the devastation unleashed by the ABA's opening of the floodgates to a massive wave of foreign outsourcing.
So who owns the revolution and what does it mean in the context of the law? Are legal rebels those who, as the ABA project suggests, innovate with technology to bring down costs and better serve clients, even if it means the elimination of traditional jobs? What about the hordes who read and comment on sites like Temporary Attorney, waging their online battle against what they see as the legal profession's race to the bottom?
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 22, 2009 at 02:39 PM | Permalink
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