The end of lawyers? [electronic resource] : rethinking the nature of legal services / Richard Susskind.

Susskind, Richard E.
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2010.
1 online resource (lii, 303 p. ) ill.
Rev. ed.

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Practice of law -- Automation.
Lawyers -- Effect of technological innovations on.
Justice, Administration of -- Automation.
Technology and law.
Electronic books.
This work examines the effect of advances in IT upon legal practice, and analyses anticipated developments. It explores the extent to which the role of the traditional lawyer can be sustained in the face of the challenging trends in the legal market and new techniques and technologies for the delivery of services.
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 analyses 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.
Introduction; 1. The beginning of the end; The challenge for lawyers; Four thoughts; A journey; 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; Exponential growth; Information satisfaction; Community and collaboration; The net generation; Clicks and mortals; Disruptive technologies; 4. Disruptive legal technologies; Document assembly; Online community; e-learning; Personalised alerting; 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; Electronic disclosure; Electronic filing; Case management; Online dispute resolution; Dispute avoidance; 7. Access to law and to justice; Public information policy; Critique; Current systems; Promulgation; A law unto itself?; AFTERWORD
Previous ed.: 2008.
Formerly CIP.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Description based on publisher supplied metadata and other sources.