New law is a catch-all industry term used to describe an approach that combines legal technology, process improvement and collaboration to provide legal services in new ways. Law firms and alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are using the term to differentiate themselves from their traditional competitors, but the idea of law new is actually a much broader concept. The new law paradigm shifts from provider to customer centricity and requires lawyers to adopt a new mindset about how they deliver legal services.
The new focus of law firms is about helping their clients to meet business challenges that require legal expertise and support. This includes working with underserved communities, coming up with new strategies to tackle problems and creating a more efficient way of providing the kind of support that many businesses need. The new law model also focuses on pricing in ways that are different from the old approach to pricing which focused on cutting costs and reducing the use of full time staff.
A key element of the new law is data agility, which enables lawyers to harness data and share it across the enterprise and with external stakeholders in real-time. This allows legal teams to identify potential legal risks, avoid the significant cost and lost opportunity of protracted disputes and make more informed business decisions. It also frees up the management team to focus on core strategy and goals.
The new law paradigm is still emerging, and the legal industry will take a while to fully embrace it. In the meantime, there are some important things to keep in mind when considering a change to your own practice.
Fordham Law professor and employment and labor law expert Jennifer Gordon explains the recent Supreme Court decision to allow employers to ask job applicants about their social media accounts as part of a background check. The ruling has been criticized for its potential to lead to discrimination, but the law firm that filed the challenge disagrees and argues that the law is constitutional.
Despite being one of the oldest and most famous institutions in the country, the Patent and Trademark Office has been criticized for its lack of transparency and efficiency. In an attempt to improve these metrics, the PTO has announced a series of reforms that will be implemented over the next two years. These changes will include an improved search system, the ability to request records from outside agencies, and a new program that provides information about patenting and licensing to small businesses.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation that will protect the privacy of New Yorkers personal accounts by prohibiting employers from requesting employees and applicants’ personal account information as a condition of employment or disciplinary action. The new law also prohibits employers from using this information for marketing purposes.
New laws and rules take effect on September 4, 2022. To learn more, visit the Laws of New York organized by subject matter or the NYC Laws page.