♫ But I see your eyes at night
And you know what’s wrong
And you know what’s right.
Lyrics, music and recorded by The Drums.
Further to my prior post, here is Part Two of the tips and predictions from around the world for 2013!!
Richard Granat is a lawyer and a recognized expert on the delivery of legal services over the Internet. He is also the Founder of Granat Legal Services, P.C., in Washington, D.C., one of the first virtual law firms in the United States. Richard also serves as Co-Chair of the ELawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association and serves on the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services of the ABA.
In 2009, the ABA Journal recognized Richard as one of 50 Legal Rebels throughout the Unites States – individuals who are engaged in changing the legal profession. In 2010, Richard received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Bar Association in recognition of his innovations in the delivery of legal services,
Richard has been involved in developing innovative legal services delivery systems for over 30 years, first as part of the initial working group that created the National Legal Services Program, and then later as Director of the Center for Legal Studies at Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C., the nation’s first clinical law school, and later President and Dean of the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training, the nation’s first paralegal school. He is an Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.
Richard’s involvement in the emerging area of e-lawyering is indicative of where his predictions lie:
- We will see more venture capital flowing into legal start-ups and more launches of new companies in the legal industry. Watch for http://www.judicata.com , http://www.ravellaw.com; http://www.lawpal.com , and http://www.lawgives.com to launch and have an impact on various sectors of the legal industry.
- Watch for more online dispute resolution web sites.
- LegalZoom will settle their law suit against RocketLawyer.
- Watch for the emergence of branded networks of law firms such as http://www.legalforce.com and Jacoby & Meyers serving consumers.
- Watch for disruptive web sites like http://www.attorneyfee.com to offer outcome-based evaluations of individual law firms leading toward more transparency in lawyer selection.
Jean-François De Rico is a member of the board of directors of Langlois Kronstrom Desjardins, one of the largest law firms in Quebec, with nearly 100 professionals working in its offices in Montréal and Québec City. He works with the other members of Lexing, the first international network of lawyers dedicated to technology law. He is a member of the steering committee of Sedona Canada, and of the executive committee of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section of the Canadian Bar Association He frequently speaks at conferences on the legal framework of information technology, and on issues related to e-discovery, social media and their impacts on the practice of law.
Jean-François’ prédictions lie in the area of privacy and the law:
- Data breach notification obligation will be enacted (PIPEDA modification bill);
- Creative lawyers will introduce intrusion upon seclusion cases in other provinces;
- B.C. Courts will clarify what media should be accredited for tweeting in the Courtroom;
- Cybersecurity will yield even more discussions….
- And on a more personal note, I will finally decide which tablet is right for me…
- RIM’ blackberry 10 will [I really don’t know anymore]….
- And in the no kidding category : The Canadian Anti Spam act will come into force;
- There will be provincial elections for the second year in a row in Quebec;
Mitch Kowalski is an innovative thinker, writer, speaker and lawyer from Toronto, Ontario. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, ABA best-seller, Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century. He speaks regularly on legal service innovation as well as blogging on legal matters for the National Post’s blog, The Legal Post and on innovation in legal services for Slaw.ca. Mitch’s print articles have appeared in Lexpert Magazine, The National, The Advocate, The Hong Kong Law Journal, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post. He teaches innovation in law at Western University Law School and at the University of Ottawa Law School. Mitch is one of the co-founders of lawTechcamp Toronto, a co-ordinator of LawSync and was selected as one of the Fastcase Top 50 Global Legal Innovators in 2012.
2013 – Change is Hard:
Last year I made 8 predictions of which 4 came true: another large firm merger; many law societies looking at Alternative Business Structures; more aggressive GCs; and a law school (kind-of, sort-of, maybe) looking at a type of practical training element to its classes.
Unfortunately, I see 2013 as a flat year in terms of legal innovation and so I have limited my predictions to 5.
The articling crisis in Ontario will continue to worsen. Ontario’s Law Practice Program run by a third party won’t come into force until 2014, but 2013 will see a number of players step-up to offer to run the program, including at least one law school. My long term prediction is that one of these players will eventually make the LPP so much better than articling (which, quite frankly, would not be that hard to do), that articling will eventually die a natural death. And twenty years from now, lawyers will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.
This is perhaps the most obvious prediction for 2013 – another major Canadian/UK law firm merger will occur. With the recent formation of Dentons and yet another Norton Rose merger, Canadian law firms outside of the Seven Sisters will be furiously searching for a dance partner before the music stops. The key however will be integration. Merging is easy – making it all work is the hard part. And the last thing the Canadian legal industry needs is “two or three rocks tied together in an effort to make themselves float.”
Some national firm will finally wake up to the benefits of putting on-shoring services in a low cost centre within Canada; for example creating such a centre in St John or Moncton, cities well-suited for bilingual work. I understand that McCarthys has created, or is creating a Legal Process Outsourcer within its hugely expensive downtown Toronto office space – a move which, if true, demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of what on-shoring is all about.
One or two large Canadian law firms will, in an effort to appear innovative to their clients, create a Director of Innovation role, but that person will not be given the resources or top down buy-in/support necessary to effect change. Yes, I took my angry pills today.
Prediction # 5
Now for the pie-in-the-sky moment which I daily pray will come true. Saskatchewan will become the Delaware of Canada by being the first province to permit Alternative Business Structures that are controlled by non-lawyers. The rush of Canadian and international firms to take advantage of this structure will not only generate additional income for that province’s law society, but make it the envy of the country.
- My guess is within the next decade, Canadian and US law schools will require their full-time staff to have PhDs. Definitely less important for sessional staff. (Editor: Whew ! As a sessional lecturer I can continue to lecture without a PHD!)
We will continue to look to the future and see what is right in the third and final post in this series!