Synopses & Reviews
This widely acclaimed legal bestseller has provoked a tidal wave of debate within the legal profession, being hailed as an inspiration by some and as heresy by others. Susskind lays down a challenge to all lawyers, and indeed all those in a professional service environment. He urges them to ask themselves, with their hands on their hearts, what elements of their current workload could be undertaken differently - more quickly, cheaply, efficiently, or to a higher quality - using alternative methods of working. The challenge for legal readers is to identify their distinctive skills and talents, the capabilities that they possess that cannot, crudely, be replaced by advanced systems or by less costly workers supported by technology or standard processes, or by lay people armed with online self-help tools.
In the extended new preface to this revised paperback edition, Richard Susskind updates his views on legal process outsourcing, courtroom technology, access to justice, e-learning for lawyers, and the impact of the recession on the practice of law. He analyzes the four main pressures that lawyers now face (to charge less, to work differently, to embrace technology, and to deregulate), and reveals common fallacies associated with each. And, in an entirely new line of thinking, Susskind argues that law firms and in-house departments will have four business models from which to choose in the future, and he provides some new tools and techniques to help lawyers plan for their future.
Susskind argues that the market is increasingly unlikely to tolerate expensive lawyers for tasks (guiding, advising, drafting, researching, problem-solving, and more) that can equally or better be discharged, directly or indirectly, by smart systems and processes. It follows, the book claims, that the jobs of many traditional lawyers will be substantially eroded and often eliminated. Two forces propel the legal profession towards this scenario: a market pull towards commoditisation and a pervasive development and uptake of information technology. At the same time, the book foresees new law jobs emerging which may be highly rewarding, even if very different from those of today.
The End of Lawyers represents a compelling vision of the future of the legal profession and a must-read for all lawyers. Indeed this book should be read by all those whose work touches on the law, and it offers much food for thought for anyone working in a professional environment.
"The End of Lawyers? is a road map to the archipelago of legal innovation already emerging all around us. Ignore it at your peril."
"This book should be compulsory reading for all who care about the future of the law."
--Mark Harding, Group General Counsel, Barclays
"This book has already played a major role in reshaping the debate over the profession's future. The tremendous changes in the attitudes and practices of clients and lawyers in just the short time between its original publication and the appearance of this new edition underscores that practitioners ignore Susskind's thorough and nuanced arguments at their peril."
--Professor David B. Wilkins, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School
"Whether lawyer, teacher, law student, judge, arbitrator, mediator, client or entrepreneur, disregard of this new exposition is fraught with peril. The newly added analytical framework and tools provide those with the courage to embrace change with both incentive and fortitude to do so and to act quickly."
--Jeffrey W. Carr, General Counsel, FMC Technologies Inc
"This book paints a scary future. But as a call to arms, to embrace the future, it lays down a challenge for lawyers everywhere for we have no birthright, no power to avoid development, to 'freeze the frame'."
--Stuart Popham, Senior Partner, Clifford Chance
"Richard Susskind's predictions of 1996, in The Future of Law, can now be seen to be coming to pass. I am confident that those in this new work, where he looks even further into the future, will likewise come to pass, given the extraordinary depth of knowledge, analysis and reasoning he has brought to bear and which this book demonstrates on every page."
--Lord Saville of Newdigate, Justice of the Supreme Court of the UK
"Anyone who wishes to understand where the profession has been and where it is going should read this book."
--Jonathan Groner, freelance legal writer and PR consultant, Washington, DC
About the Author
Richard Susskind is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments. His views on the future of legal service have influenced a generation of lawyers around the world. He has written numerous books, including The Future of Law (Oxford, 1996) and Transforming the Law (Oxford, 2000), and has been a regular columnist at The Times. He has been invited to lecture in over 40 countries, and has addressed legal audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 200,000. Richard is Honorary and Emeritus Law Professor at Gresham College, London, Visiting Professor in Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University, and IT adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. He holds a doctorate in law from Balliol College, Oxford, and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to IT in the Law and to the Administration of Justice.
Table of Contents
1. The beginning of the end
The challenge for lawyers
The Future of Law
Progress over the last decade
The flow of this book
2. The evolution of legal service
The path to commoditisation
The pull of the market
Shedding light on various conundra
Decomposing legal service
Resourcing the evolution
Two case studies
3. Trends in technology
Community and collaboration
The net generation
Clicks and mortals
4. Disruptive legal technologies
The electronic market
Online legal guidance
Embedded legal content
5. The client grid
The asymmetry of lawyers and clients
The law firm grid
The client grid
Three possible models
Meeting clients' challenges
The role of clients
6. Resolving and dissolving disputes
Litigation support revisited
Online dispute resolution
7. Access to law and to justice
Public information policy
A law unto itself?