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Five Reasons You Should Care About “NewLaw”

By Jordan Furlong

You’ve heard the buzzword “NewLaw”. You’ve seen the hashtag.

And perhaps you’ve found yourself asking, at some point, “Just what is ‘NewLaw’? More importantly, why should I be remotely interested in it?” Having recently set out to catalog dozens of entities that have been or could be described as NewLaw, I came up with a working definition:

“Any model, process, or tool that represents a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed.”

That covers law firms, lawyer agencies, managed legal service companies, online document providers, and a wide range of legal technology start-ups.

So Much for NewLaw Identification

What about the “why should I care” angle? Here are five reasons why I think you, Citizen Lawyer, ought to be interested in NewLaw.

1. It has modern market priorities.

Almost all these players base their operations around “better,” “faster” and “cheaper.” I guarantee this is what your current and future clients care about, too. And NewLaw is getting to them first.

2. It’s changing market expectations.

By offering clients legal goods faster and cheaper, NewLaw is making clients realize that such things are possible. And it’s a very short path from “this is possible” to “I expect this as a matter of course.”

3. It’s creating new markets.

Many of the entities under the NewLaw banner are focused on unserved or underserved clients, the untapped market that lawyers traditionally have not seen fit to tap. You could follow these entities through the door they’re opening.

4. It’s a potential resource for you.

By focusing on discrete, packaged, or commoditized offerings, NewLaw represents an outsourcing option for accomplishing tasks more effectively or efficiently than you could by doing them yourself. It’s a cost-saving tool.

5. It’s potential competition for you.

Countless industries attract disruptive providers that enter a market at the fringes with low-cost and lower-value offerings — and then move steadily up the quality chain. The thing they’re moving toward is you.

You might not be interested in NewLaw. But NewLaw is quite interested in you.

Categories: Future Law, Innovation, Law Firm Strategy
Originally published May 16, 2014
Last updated August 21, 2020
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Jordan Furlong Jordan Furlong

Jordan Furlong is a leading analyst of the global legal market and forecaster of its future development. A writer and consultant, he helps lawyers and law firms navigate the extraordinary changes in the legal marketplace. His book, “Evolutionary Road: A Strategic Guide to Your Law Firm’s Future” is available in the Attorney at Work bookstore. Read his blog Law21 and watch for his new book, “Law is a Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm in a Brand New Legal World.” Follow Jordon @Jordan_Law21.

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