The legal industry is a dynamic place. What worked one quarter may not be effective the next. That’s why many lawyers have adopted the mantra “law new.” This concept is not always easy to define, but it generally refers to providing legal services in innovative ways. This can include working with underserved communities or coming up with strategies that have not been a part of traditional law practice. It can also involve using new technology or creating collaborations with non-lawyer professionals.
Throughout the course of this term, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito conjured up a bizarre hypothetical about selling dog urine, Justice Amy Coney Barrett elicited a bit-too-personal childhood anecdote, and Justice Neil Gorsuch cracked wise about attorneys inflating their hours. The result was a rare moment when legal discourse achieved that most sought-after alchemy of turning lawyering into laughter.
Collaborative efforts are essential in a world that is increasingly complex, unpredictable, and fluid. Companies routinely collaborate with competitors on a range of development initiatives. The pharmaceutical company collaboration that produced the Covid-19 vaccine is a great example of this. Likewise, legal teams are increasingly collaborating with outside counsel and with colleagues within their enterprises on a broad array of matters.
The legal industry of the future will be more like its corporate customers and society in general. It will be holistically diverse—cognitively, demographically, culturally, and experientially. Its workforce will be more creative, tech and data proficient, empathetic, and collaborative. It will be more customer-centric, leveraging agile, cost-effective, and scalable legal products and services to help business and society move faster, meet challenges head on, and capture opportunities.
As the new law model emerges, platforms will play a vital role. They will provide a secure repository for the legal profession’s collective experience and knowledge to enable more practical, predictable, and efficient solutions to once-bespoke legal matters. They will enable the legal function to move with the speed of business and society, reduce risk exposure and the significant lost opportunity costs of protracted disputes, free-up resources to focus on core business objectives, and produce better-informed risk assessments and decision driving.
The law of New York consists of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory laws as well as numerous decisions, opinions, and rulings by City agencies and courts. These are consolidated into a body of delegated legislation known as the “law of the land” or administrative law. This law is the basis for the decisions and rules of the various City departments. It is the source of much of the City’s day-to-day operations and is interpreted by judges, lawyers, and other professional staffers. The law of New York is a dynamic and ever-changing body of work. In addition, State agencies are generating an increasing amount of delegated legislation on an ad hoc basis, which is not included in the law of the land. These changes to the law of New York are not covered by this publication.