In 2022, the California legislature passed nearly 1,200 bills and Governor Gavin Newsom signed many of them. While most of those laws will have little impact on the everyday lives of Californians, there are a handful that could make a difference.
Law new refers to a variety of things, from alternative legal service providers to the ways that lawyers practice. The underlying concept is that the legal industry is changing and that those changes need to be embraced by all players in it.
The guiding principle of law new is that the legal industry will more closely resemble its corporate customers and society at large. As a result, it will become more holistically diverse-cognitively, demographically, and culturally. Its workforce will be more creative, technology and data-proficient, empathetic, and collaborative. The industry will be anchored by a customer-centric value proposition, which focuses on accessible, affordable, on-demand, scalable, data-sharing legal products and services to help businesses and societies identify challenges and capture opportunities at the speed of business and life. It will have an integrated delivery structure, erasing artificial, lawyer-created distinctions between provider sources.
It will be led by a customer-centric leadership team that includes legal practitioners and allied professional (non-lawyer) teams as well as process/project managers and data analysts. It will be powered by an integrated platform-based delivery model, backed by a secure repository of shared legal content and solutions. The platform-based law firm will be a multidimensional hub of collaboration, enabling the industry to share expertise, resources, and ideas at scale, while facilitating risk mitigation and cost savings and allowing legal and business functions to leverage each other’s knowledge, experience, and best practices in ways not previously possible.
New law will also focus on the integration of the legal supply chain, erasing artificial, lawyer-created differences between provider sources. For example, it will be commonplace for law firms and in-house legal departments to collaborate on a wide range of matters with a variety of other providers such as consulting firms, technology companies, accounting and tax firms, research firms, and outsourcing companies. In turn, those providers will work together to serve clients and the needs of the legal industry.
It will also be common for the legal function to partner cross-functionally with other enterprise business units and across industries to identify, assess, mitigate, and/or eliminate risks, avoid significant lost opportunity costs of protracted disputes, free up management time to focus on core objectives, and produce better-informed risk assessment and business decisions. This will enable the function to provide significant value to its business and commercial customers, while minimizing the risks that legal and other functions run the risk of becoming obsolete due to the pace of technological change.
Finally, new law will be driven by a culture of innovation. It will be a mindset that all stakeholders in the legal ecosystem must embrace, from the most senior leaders to the most junior associates. This will require a shift in the industry’s paradigm, from preserving its legacy delivery models and outdated legal education to a customer-centric, customer-impact focused, value-driven, tech-enabled model fueled by net promoter score.