Law new is a catchall industry term linked to “legal tech,” “legal ops,” and “ALSP’s.” It has become a tag that legal stakeholders use to describe changes to the legal industry. But it is important to understand that these are not innovations. Instead, they are fresh icing on an industry cake that has not yet undergone a fundamental shift in paradigm from provider to customer-centricity. When it does, the legal industry will resemble its corporate customers and society at large: a fluid, collaborative, on-demand, accessible, affordable, scalable, legal products/services-driven and data-backed industry that produces customer impact and solutions at the speed of business and life.
Laws new are being shaped by two principal sources: (1) large-scale legal buyer activism and (2) corporate Goliaths with the brand, capital, know-how, customer-centricity, technology platforms, agile, multidisciplinary teams, and footprint in/familiarity with the legal industry. The legal industry must adapt to the realities of these forces if it wishes to remain relevant to its customers.
The law-making process in Congress consists of two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. A bill is introduced in one chamber and then assigned to a committee, where members research, discuss, and make changes to the bill. Once a bill passes through the committee, it is put before that chamber to be voted on.
How much does that job pay? In California, the answer may be coming a bit sooner thanks to a newly-passed law. The measure will require employers to disclose salaries for positions with 15 or more employees in job postings, a move that some say should reduce gender and race-based pay disparities.
A recent change to the SHIELD Act would require City agencies to promptly notify persons whose private information is affected by a cybersecurity breach. The law also expands the requirements that such agencies must include in their privacy policies regarding how such breaches are addressed and notified to individuals.
It is impossible to render a complete portrait of what law new will look like as it evolves because change in the industry comes at the speed of business and life at large. However, some of the defining characteristics are beginning to take shape: a customer-centric legal function; integrated, team-oriented delivery; a diversity of backgrounds and experience that is holistically diverse (cognitively, demographically, culturally, and experientially); a workforce that is creative, tech-proficient, and empathetic; and the development of technology platforms that enable collaboration and drive solution-based outcomes at the pace of business and society. Legal practitioners and allied legal professionals must embrace these trends if they want to remain relevant in their current or future roles. And they must do so without sacrificing their integrity and commitment to the rule of law and the interests of their clients. This is a tall order, but it is possible with the right leadership and support. For this reason, the most important element of law new is the leadership that supports and drives change to meet these demands.