Disruption in 2020

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The legal profession is ripe for disruption. All of the hassles involved with litigation and regulatory compliance make the legal landscape an attractive space for inventors.

In the coming decades, we will see scientific principles applied to the practice of law. Hypotheses, metrics, metadata and so on will all be used to create technologies that displace human lawyers.

The change will likely not come from the leaders within the legal profession. Instead, it will come from outside, from someone with a fresh perspective. Maybe some 14 year old right now is about to be the “Mark Zuckerberg” of law in 2020.

At the Legal Lean – Innovating New Models for the Future of Law conference this weekend, there seemed to be a consensus that the $800 billion global legal market is at the beginning of a tipping point. As Mitch Kowalski stated: “we are at the start of the great legal reformation. The Great Restart.”

The practice of law has remained almost the same for hundreds of years. It is quite breathtaking to see lawyers in their robes, knowing that these robes have been donned for hundreds of years.

However, it is disturbing to think about (in the words of Justice Brown) that the legal profession is “treating courts like some kind of fossilized Jurassic Park… [paving the way for the courts to]  become irrelevant museum pieces…” Consequently, the legal profession has paved the way for outside actors to reshape the practice of law.

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