As a noun, new means not previously known or found; as an adjective, fresh, young or recent. It can also mean reformed or refurbished, as in the new leadership of an organization or a reformation of a law. The term new can also be applied to legal concepts or approaches, such as the “new way of practicing law.”
Legal innovation has been a key driver of growth for many companies in the past two years and it is now extending across industries. However, the evolution of this paradigm shift remains a challenge for the legal industry. The legal function has yet to make the leap from legacy delivery models and outdated eduction methods to one that is customer-centric, data driven, and focused on delivering high net promoter scores and business impact.
For most lawyers, the idea of “law new” conjures up an image of something new, different or exciting but it can be hard to pin down what exactly that means. This is because the concept focuses on legal service techniques that have the potential to unleash client help without impacting other areas of practice that might be the primary focus of a firm’s main effort.
A well thought out plan making use of law new can offer the help that clients need and provide a secondary revenue stream without affecting other areas of the firm’s core business. The idea is to re-frame the way that lawyers and other staff members work in order to meet legal and business needs more efficiently, effectively and innovatively.
Despite intense business opposition, California’s “new” law will require businesses with at least 15 employees to put salary ranges in job postings and prohibit the practice of gender discrimination by requiring stores to price identical items differently for men and women. It’s a small step but it will give applicants a much better sense of what they can expect to be paid compared to the hit-or-miss that has historically been the case.
A key element of this new approach is collaboration with other provider sources, especially in-house departments and alternative legal services providers (ALSPs). Legal ops has brought established business processes, technology and multidisciplinary expertise (“non-lawyers”) to the industry but it has primarily been a hygiene factor focused on internal efficiency, not a catalyst for paradigm change. New law will integrate the entire legal supply chain, erasing artificial lawyer-created distinctions and providing agile, fluid resources with verifiable, material expertise and experience to meet customer needs. This will result in a more holistically diverse, cognitively, demographically and culturally diverse workforce, focused on collaboration, cross-functionality and delivering customer impact and an enhanced experience. It is this kind of change that will truly be law new.