As the legal industry continues to evolve and change, a new phrase has emerged — “law new.” Although it’s difficult to define in its entirety, it can be said to refer to approaches to legal work that are innovative, different from traditional law practice, and that offer clients value. These approaches can also benefit the legal profession in general and its broader community.
The law new lexicon has grown to include catch-all terms such as legal innovation, legal tech, legal operations, alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), and more. These are all valuable and productive initiatives, but each is distinct in its own right. What is needed is a broad, integrated approach to legal delivery that can produce change that is impactful for legal consumers and society at large.
While this change is occurring across the industry, it has been slow to take hold in the legal function. This is partly due to the fact that many legal leaders and their teams lack the skills, resources, and tools to implement change. In addition, the legal industry often operates from a siloed business model that does not leverage or invest in technology. As a result, legal leaders are struggling to transform their departments and deliver better value to their internal clients.
Despite these challenges, there is good news: The era of law new is beginning to unfold at a rapid pace. Increasingly, companies are seeking legal products and services that help them drive significant value and capture opportunities faster and more effectively. As legal technology and digital transformation advance, the law of tomorrow will be a more fluid and integrated industry.
For example, the recently enacted legislation to provide paid leave for New Yorkers reflects a new legal paradigm. Additionally, laws like this one will allow New York City agencies to share information about student loan forgiveness programs with employees and applicants for employment, a practice that is consistent with State and federal law.
Moreover, the legal industry of the future will more closely resemble its corporate customers and society at large. This means that its workforce will be cognitively, demographically, and culturally diverse. It will be more tech and data proficient, empathetic, creative, and collaborative. It will possess the capability to identify, eradicate, and mitigate risk, and it will create synergies with cross-functional enterprise colleagues.
In short, the future of law will be an integrated, agile, on-demand, scalable, legal product and service that delivers value faster and more effectively, delivering the best legal experience for both business and society. This is what will truly be law new. Until then, we invite you to join us on this journey. We hope you find our content useful and helpful. If you do, please share it. You can sign up to receive our best articles and exclusive reporting straight to your inbox every weekday. You can also follow us on Twitter @ForbesNews. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us. We are always happy to hear from you.