March 10, 2010
CPR's Interview of Richard Susskind: "The End of Lawyers?"
If you haven't read him yet, you've probably at least heard of Richard Susskind, Susskind's latest book--or at least the idea that looms in its title that might even keep you from buying and reading it. Last month, in-house lawyer Mike McIlwrath, in a two-part discussion on February 19th and February 26, interviewed Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers? - Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services. Rather than angst, what emerged was a fountain of ideas and opportunities for lawyers who serve higher-end clients.
And technology--if in the hands of seasoned corporate lawyers--will be a major facilitator.
As clients and the profession continue to change before our eyes, only a few have made it a full-time job to think through the fallout and discuss solutions. Susskind is a expert on legal technology who, in the mid-1980s, studied and took a post-graduate degree in computers and law. In the next 25 years, he wrote, lectured, and authored two other books, as well as countless columns on law for The Times of London.
Much of his work concerns the effects technology is having on corporate law practice globally. A popular speaker these days, Susskind teaches in Glasgow and London and, since 1998, has been IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England.
"More for less" as the new regime. Susskind has long predicted IT-driven changes in the relationships between in-house departments and firms. How work will get done, and paid for, Susskind has argued, is about to change, radically and in the long term. Moreover, those changes, while threatening at first, are likely to make lawyering more enjoyable--or at least more fun for the handful of us drones who actually like it anyway.
McIlwrath, who interviews Susskind, is host of the International Dispute Negotiation series sponsored by the CPR Institute--short for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. He is Senior Counsel, Litigation for GE Infrastructure-Oil & Gas, and works out of Florence, Italy. In 2008, the IDN series earned both McIlwrath (pictured above) and New York-based CPR Institute an award for ADR excellence from CEDR, a dispute resolution group in London.
Don't miss hearing these--divided into Efficiency Strategy (IDN No. 85) and Collaboration Strategy (IDN No. 86). A main theme of this blog--how legal services can be delivered, and not just how they are paid for--runs throughout the two Susskind-McIlwrath discussions.
Posted by JD Hull at March 10, 2010 08:12 PM