Re The Future of Law – Something to Ponder

This comment is in response to a blog post entitled ‘The Future of Law – Something to ponder…’ found at


I agree that publishers and firms will never be perfect rivals.  The legal profession is much too self important to be displaced!


Seriously though, I do feel that there will be a transformation in the type of work that law firms do.  Gone will be the simple transactional type legal functions, performed by an actual lawyer, which expert systems will be able to replace.  No longer will firms be able to “turn and burn” simple mortgages and residential leases, through brut force, for a quick buck.  That being said, I think that law firms may become the keepers of these systems, as the transaction may still need the legal ‘seal of approval.’  If the publishers become too powerful, I’m sure that law societies will find a way to slap them down.  The legal profession has been good at keeping others out for centuries.  I don’t see this changing any time soon.  Don’t take me as being too cynical about this point.  I’m not trying to beat them; I’m trying to join them!

If the above is true of expert systems and the law, then there is also something to be said about the changing tide of business models.  With the demise of the “lower” cost/high volume business model, another will step in to fill its place.  I predict that if this does occur, and this is a pretty BIG if, then there are greater possibilities for the high-end/specialty product business model.  With the cheap, easy transactions gone, firms will concentrate on the complex, high cost legal products that can’t be easily duplicated by expert systems.  Possibilities will also increase for small “boutique” firms with niche focuses.  The money will still be there; however, it will be further concentrated in the best of the best.  Regardless, as long as the “law” remains fair and just, who really cares who is making the money?



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