Despite the best efforts of many law firms, their business models are no longer aligned with customer needs. This is why a new kind of law is emerging—“law new,” in which legal services are designed to serve the real world and solve societal problems, rather than merely preserve legacy delivery models and self-congratulatory awards and profit preservation. The law new of the future will focus on customer impact that produces high net promoter scores, not just internal efficiency. It will be a paradigm shift driven by technology and human adaptation. It will be powered by collaboration and fueled by the data and analytics that legal professionals need to better understand the risks, threats, and opportunities they face.
In the past, when it came to serving customers, new law largely meant finding ways to cut costs and reduce use of full time staff in favor of flexible work arrangements. Today, it’s about unleashing talent to meet the real-world needs of clients. The legal industry is resembling its corporate customers and society at large—cognitively, demographically, culturally, and experientially. Its workforce is more creative, tech and data-proficient, empathetic, and collaborative. It is a team-oriented and integrated organization that provides accessible, affordable, on-demand, scalable, legal products and services that match the speed of business and the scale of social change.
To be truly innovative, law must embrace the collaborative nature of our fast-changing world. That’s why many leading legal firms are starting to collaborate with external and internal partners, including startups and other businesses that offer solutions to common legal issues. This collaboration offers greater value to their clients, creates a more diverse and inclusive workplace for their staffers, and helps them become more agile, resilient, and adaptable.
One of the biggest challenges facing our legal industry is changing outdated legal education. This problem stems from a misalignment between the objectives of the legal academy and those of the marketplace. We are seeing a growing recognition that the legal academy must adjust its course to prepare students for the realities of the practice of law, which include a greater emphasis on the importance of fostering creativity and innovation and a more client-centric approach to practice.
In addition to state and federal laws, New York City has its own laws. The City’s laws are a combination of laws passed by the City Council, laws codified in the New York City Administrative Code, and decisions made by city courts.
The City is currently considering legislation that would require certain City agencies to provide notice to their employees and job applicants regarding federal and state student loan forgiveness programs.
The purpose of the City’s lawmaking process is to ensure that the rights of all residents are respected, including minorities. To achieve this, the legislative branch of the City’s government has established a system of review to make sure that City laws are not discriminatory or disproportionately impact minority communities.