The End of Lawyers?

Professor Richard Susskind, OBE

Professor Richard Susskind, OBE

This year’s keynote speaker at the ABA TechShow, running Thursday, April 2nd through Saturday, April 4th at the Hilton Chicago, will be Professor Richard Susskind, OBE, author of the book, The End of Lawyers?.  Professor Susskind, who’s been the IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and held several other prestigious posts across the pond, will be sharing his insights into the future of impending death of the profession.

“I write not to bury lawyers but to investigate their future,” pens Professor Susskind in his book.  But he goes on to say that “conventional legal advisers will be much less prominent in society than today and, in some walks of life, will have no visibility at all.”

He claims two major factors will contribute to the downfall of the legal profession as it is known today.  One is commoditisation of legal services and the other is legal technology.  “The challenge is not to assess how commoditisation and IT might threaten the current work of lawyers, so that the traditional ways can be protected and changed avoided. It is to find and embrace better, quicker, less costly, more convenient and publicly valued ways of working.”

“Lawyers, like the rest of humanity, face the threat of “disintermediation” (broadly, being cut out of some supply chain) by smart systems; and, as in other sectors, if they want to survive, their focus should be on re-intermediating — that is, on finding news ways of invaluably inserting themselves in supply chains.”

Are you scared yet?  See him up close and personal at the ABA TechShow on Thursday, April 2nd from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago.  You can read a series of extracts of Professor Susskind’s book on The Times online.  Here’s a link to the ABA TechShow program guide.


Sources for this entry:  The Times online and the ABA TechShow.

~ by CDLB on March 19, 2009.

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