Law new is a euphemism for new ways to deliver legal services. This entails using technology, focusing on process, leveraging multidisciplinary teams, and creating value for clients by addressing their most important legal challenges. Unlike “legal tech,” which has become an end unto itself for many “legal technologists,” the defining characteristics of law new include an emphasis on client impact and a focus on client value-driving processes.
The speed of business and the breadth of social change require a fluid approach to legal delivery. This is evident in the legal industry itself, where a number of law firms are experimenting with a new mode of service known as law new. It is not a strategy, but rather a tactical move to respond to the most significant issues facing legal consumers and businesses.
While the concept of law new is still evolving, it generally involves a team of lawyers and non-lawyers who collaborate to create innovative, cost-effective solutions that address legal needs. The teams may be composed of a mix of legal practitioners, allied professionals on the business of law side (e.g., project managers, process designers, data analysts), and people from outside the legal industry who possess relevant expertise. The goal is to design and implement fit-for-purpose legal technology that addresses a specific business challenge and improves customer/end-user experience and outcomes.
This approach to legal delivery is the natural evolution of the legal industry, which is increasingly shaped by the same factors that impact all industries. These include an accelerated rate of change, complex global challenges that cannot be mastered by a single person, function, enterprise, or stakeholder group, and a shift from traditional input-based economic models to value-driven ones driven by output and net promoter score.
To meet the demands of the new economy, law must be accessible, affordable, scalable, efficient, agile, transparent, and data-backed. In addition, it must be a platform from which collaborative, fluid resources with verifiable, material expertise and experience are on-demand, as needed, and can be delivered to meet demanding client goals. These are the ingredients for a broader, integrated legal industry that more closely resembles its corporate customers and society at large. It requires a diverse, holistically talented workforce that is cognitively and demographically diverse, customer-centric, tech-proficient, and empathetic. It must operate with a mindset of continuous improvement. This is the future of law.