Future Practice Models for the Transaction Lawyer

Today, the Silicon Flatirons posted a report called Law 2.0: Intelligent Architecture for Transactional Law.  It is the work product of a half-day roundtable held at the CU law school featuring an international gathering (yes, we had someone from Canada) of lawyers, academics and technologists who are passionate about the future business models of practicing law.

The roundtable focused on the implications of the digital transition and how it is changing transactional legal services. Leaders  from the  legal, academic, and software-related fields came together for a discussion ondevelopments in  business practices due to what many refer to as technological “enablers.”  Of particular interest to the group were  the near-term consequences  of these changes for the legal profession, for clients, and for the training – both at the law school level and within the historical apprenticeship at law firms.

While technologies like the fax machine and Internet have fundamentally changed how lawyers go about their work, the question is “what’s next?”  Personally, I think the cloud computing and document automation technologies will be the next big thing that will allow lawyers and their clients to form more satisfying and efficient relationships.

The report focuses on transaction law practices which the group felt were more affected by technological changes than other practice areas.  It starts with a brief history of how technology has changed the business models of law over the years and makes some guesses into what will happen in the future.  Overlaying this is a discussion about what particular areas of law may be more affected than others and what those implications might be for law firms and practitioners.

I’d highly encourage a read of the report.