The so-called sharing economy is disrupting everything from hotels to ground transportation. A recent post of mine for Lawyerist argues that the legal industry is about to join the list of industries disrupted by technological innovation.
The post explains that, like cab drivers, lawyers have been protected by legislation and regulation limiting who can practice law. This lack of competitive pressure has kept law nearly unchanged over the last hundred years. However, technological innovation makes it cost effective to offer new ways to serve the market, motivating entrepreneurs to go around protectionist legislation.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Law is an information technology—a code that regulates social life.” Thus begins a new paper about how machines will transform the role of lawyers in the delivery of legal services. It’s the academic equivalent of the canary in the coal mine for today’s lawyers, and lays out how, when, and why the legal industry is due for a shakeup similar in size and scope to what happened to American newspapers when the internet rolled around.
Moore’s Law describes the exponential growth of computing power. But certain industries, like law, have not innovated in tandem with technological progress. Law, like ground transportation and telephony, will instead endure a major disruption. To avoid death, lawyers will need to move into the areas touched last by the tidal wave or adapt by learning how to utilize new tech.
The difference between improvement and disruption is one of scope, not kind. Leaps forward are harder to adjust to than small tweaks, and thus more painful for the providers. Incremental improvement is part of the normal functioning of a competitive industry. Disruption only happens when an industry is insulated from incremental improvement by limited competition.
Check out the full post on Lawyerist!
Looking for Law Practice Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Law Practice Management software solutions.