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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services

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ISBN13: 9780199541720
Published: November 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780199593613



In this much anticipated sequel to the legal bestseller, The Future of Law, Susskind lays down a challenge to all lawyers 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.

It is argued 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. This is where the legal profession will be taken, it is argued, by two forces: by a market pull towards commoditisation and by 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.

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Subjects:
General Interest
Contents:
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