The edgy term “law new” has become synonymous with legal technology, legal process improvement and alternative legal services providers (ALSPs). It’s also been linked to the concept of innovation and the change-management challenge it can bring to law firms. It is an industry term that can be difficult to pin down — but it’s one worth exploring for the potential it offers to transform how law is delivered.
Unlike the past, where legal delivery was a provider-centric activity focused on cost reduction and profit preservation, the future will bring an integrated industry that more closely mirrors the businesses and societies it serves. The industry will be collaborative, tech-proficient, agile and customer-oriented. Its workforce will be diverse — cognitively, demographically and culturally. It will be a team sport where lawyers work together with other business units, departments and functions within the firm as well as across enterprises and industries.
For example, the pharmaceutical company collaboration that helped to develop the Covid-19 vaccine illustrates how the law sector can collaborate with companies from other sectors to create innovative solutions that benefit all stakeholders. Such collaboration will be the norm and, if done right, will lead to greater client satisfaction, higher net promoter scores, and improved outcomes for legal consumers and society at large.
A new law ecosystem will be built around platforms that facilitate access to accessible, affordable, on-demand, scalable, data-backed and practical legal services for business and society at the speed of the marketplace. It will also be a secure repository for data and collective experience that drives solutions and solves complex legal challenges and problems.
While the platform approach to law may be a relatively new concept, it has been widely adopted by leading business and public sector organizations. The legal industry is starting to take notice, but it must focus on how it can leverage such technology to produce greater client impact and better outcomes.
Trafalgar Law is a good example of this. Despite being introduced to fans only during the Sabaody Archipelago arc and having only been fighting Luffy for a few months, Law has already grown into an important pirate rival for Blackbeard. While he might not have the physical power to defeat the Yonko of the Sea at this point, his intellect, superior Haki abilities and unique Devil Fruit powers have made him a worthy adversary. With time, he will continue to improve and eventually get closer to matching the power of Blackbeard. This will be the result of a mix of further Haki upgrades, the use of his Devil Fruit and the development of his own unique capabilities. This will make him a true threat for Luffy and the other 11 Supernovas.