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New Laws for Law Firms

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For years, law firm leaders have grappled with how to change the way they practice. They have focused on cutting costs and reducing expenses, but they have also realized the need to think differently. The need for change is what is driving many of the changes that are being called “law new.”

The term “law new” has been a bit of a catchall industry term to describe a variety of initiatives and strategies, including legal operations, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs), and other business process improvement projects. While these are important to the future of legal services, they only scratch the surface of what is being called law new.

New law is the paradigm shift in the delivery of legal services that will allow firms to meet their clients’ needs in more strategic ways. This change will bring them into closer alignment with their corporate customers and society at large, by moving the industry away from a legacy economic model that is based on inputs to one that is customer-centric and is driven by outputs.

A law firm’s ability to provide its clients with what they need, when they need it, and how they want it will be a critical factor in its success. Law firms that can deliver on this promise will have a competitive advantage and become market leaders.

The past fifteen years have produced changes in legal delivery through the implementation of established business processes and technology, augmented by multidisciplinary expertise (“non-lawyers”) and driven by cost takeout objectives. This is good delivery hygiene but not true innovation. It focuses on internal efficiency, not client impact and experience. New law will produce change by building on this foundation with an integrated platform-based delivery structure from which agile, on demand resources with verifiable, material expertise and experience can be sourced.

Laws passed in the current legislative session

The following are laws passed by City government agencies and enacted into law by NYC Council, Mayor, or other municipal authority:

Local Law 80 of 2021: Requiring that when a fast food employer is forced to lay off employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, such employers must discharge such employees according to inverse seniority and provide them with schedule pay premiums.

Local Law 99 of 2020: Providing protections to displaced hotel service workers in the event of a sale or bankruptcy of a hotel.