Not Even the Lawyers are Safe

By Deane Barker on November 10, 2011

The End of the Lawyers: I read the abstract of this book (via getAbstract), and it was fascinating enough to get me to read the entire thing.  Law is one of those things I figured you could never outsource, but technology is making is easier.  Sure, a guy in Mumbai can’t represent you in court, but how much of practicing law involves going to court?

In the end, the practice of law is about operating and maneuvering within a set of rules.  And you don’t have to be an American or living in America to understand those rules, you just have to have the communication tools necessary – and the Net has given us those.

This is a world in which, at least in part, legal services are commoditized, IT renders conventional legal advice redundant, clients and lawyers are collaborators under the one virtual roof, disputes are dominated by technology if not avoided in the first place, and online systems and services compete with lawyers in providing access to the law and to justice. For the conservative legal adviser, the message is bleak. For the progressive lawyer, an exciting new legal market emerges.

From the abstract:

When the dust settles, lawyers will no longer be pivotal backstage players, in firms or
as in-house counsel. Indeed, though it may be difficult to imagine, lawyers will have
no professional function in certain areas of life. Information technology (IT) and the
commoditization of the law will have disintermediated many lawyers, who will need to
find new ways to make a living.