The legal industry is undergoing a profound shift that’s changing everything, from the ways lawyers deliver services to how they approach their work. It’s called “law new.” Law new is not always easy to define, but it typically means using new approaches to better serve clients, embracing technology, and collaborating more with other people and organizations in the delivery process.
It is a fluid, collaborative approach to legal work, similar to the way businesses operate in the digital economy. It involves collaboration between and within firms, among in-house legal departments and external providers, and with non-legal allied professionals. It includes the creation of joint ventures and other forms of alliances. It requires the integration of the legal supply chain, erasing artificial, lawyer-created distinctions between provider sources. It also includes collaboration between the legal industry and other professions and industries, including business, healthcare, insurance, finance, and academia.
For example, large legal departments are exploring vertical and horizontal integration through joint ventures, managed services contracts, and other collaborative mechanisms. This consolidation leverages infrastructure, pools expertise and data, reduces risk, improves efficiency, drives cost takeout, and facilitates access to broader market opportunities. It is one way that law is getting new, a trend that will continue to accelerate.
As part of this, legal teams are shifting their thinking to strategy. The goal is to unleash the full potential of their teams by finding ways to do more than they could before. This means embracing the concept of law new by creating strategies that address real-world problems and create impact. It also means focusing on the client’s perspective and understanding what will make a difference to them, not just what’s efficient or effective.
This is a significant shift from the traditional view of law, which has been more concerned with preserving and protecting law itself than with serving its clients. As the world moves faster, this is no longer a sustainable approach. In the future, lawyers will be judged by their ability to help their clients achieve their goals in a timely, cost-effective, and accessible manner.
New York Law School has been at the forefront of these changes with a deeply impactful faculty, highly influential alumnae leading the way in their professions and fields, and a student body that is 62 percent women. The School continues to set the bar high in educating the next generation of leaders and innovators. It is an exciting time to be a student here, and I’m thrilled to see what our graduates will bring to the world. To learn more about what makes New York Law School a leader in law and leadership, visit our website.