The Future of the Legal Profession According to the Susskind’s

future of professionsSome radical developments are on their way for law firms – if not already happening! We have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution (see below) and all those engaged in the knowledge professions need to be aware.

Law firms might need to be reminded of the importance of peripheral vision when it comes to setting strategy. As Andrew Grove, Former CEO & Chairman, of Intel has said:

“When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that’s where it’s most exposed.”

I’ve selected these ten developments at the periphery of the knowledge professions from online videos from the father and son Susskind team.

  1. When they were introduced, more people signed up for Harvard online courses in a single year than attended Harvard in its entire 377 years
  2. Khan Academy has 10 million users of its instructional online videos each month – more than the entire UK school population [see https://www.khanacademy.org/]
  3. WebMD, which provides online health advice, has 190 million visits each month – not all of them hypochondriacs! [see http://www.webmd.com/%5D
  4. The US FDA predicts that 1.5 billion will have at least one medical app on their smartphone or tablet
  5. On its sixth birthday, Huffington Post had more hits than the 164 year old NY Times
  6. Accenture, originally a part of an auditing firm, now employs 750 nurses
  7. Deloitte, another firm that 170 years ago was just offering audits, now owns a university in Texas
  8. Even the Vatican is getting in on change. There’s an app to help you prepare for confession with tools for tracking sin and a dropdown menu with options for contrition! Trouble is, it seems to be in Latin (maybe it’s Italian!)
  9. Closer to home for lawyers, the most recognised legal brand in the US is not a traditional law firm –it is legalzoom.com [see https://www.legalzoom.com/about-us%5D
  10. Finally, if you’re not convinced that the snow is melting, there are 60 million disputes each year on eBay. They are resolved without lawyers using an e-mediation platform.

These changes provide law firms with opportunities and challenges. Is your firm ready or complacent? Is your firm good at change?

Sources:

  1. For a GoogleTalk video by the Susskind’s see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulXwTpW2oFI
  2. Details of the book The Future of the Professions is at http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Future-Professions-Technology-Transform/dp/0198713398
  3. For more on the Fourth Industrial Revolution see http://www.weforum.org/pages/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab

 

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