51 RI Bar J., No. 2, Pg. 13 (September, 2002). Oh say, can you C? - Preparing for a New Era of Legal Practice.


Rhode Island Bar Journal

Volume 51.

51 RI Bar J., No. 2, Pg. 13 (September, 2002).

Oh say, can you C? - Preparing for a New Era of Legal Practice

Oh say, can you C? - Preparing for a New Era of Legal PracticeMARC LAURITSEN, ESQ.Marc Lauritsen, a Massachusetts lawyer and educator, is President of Capstone Practice Systems, which helps law firms and other organizations build knowledge systems.If you expect to be practicing law for at least a while longer, here are some ideas and suggested readings in the spirit of continuing education. I'd like to draw your attention to some "C" words that will likely be central to many of our careers. The adage that C students are often the most successful might even take on new meaning.

CHANGE: EMBRACE THE NEWOne need look no further than recent issues of any legal publication for reminders of the dramatic changes facing lawyers and the profession. Multidisciplinary and multijurisdictional practices. Virtual law firms. Application service providers. Intelligent do-it-yourself legal software. We're being buffeted simultaneously by record-size waves of technological and economic transformation. The competitive context is mutating. You might say we're in the midst of a serious C change.

The past two years have seen a Cambrian explosion of new organizational life forms determined to play a role in the delivery of legal services. (For those of you who haven't read Stephen Jay Gould's "Wonderful Life," which recounts the original Cambrian explosion in biology, I highly recommend it (you can read an excerpt by clicking on this link: - (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/039330700X/thetechnolawyer).)

Hundreds of Web-based startups (upstarts?) have sought to execute novel business models aimed at what lawyers and law firms have traditionally done. Online dispute resolution services like CyberSettle, SquareTrade, and WebMediate. Reverse auctions like SharkTank and eLawForum. Self-help sites like MyLawyer and Nolo.com. Referral companies like i-path. Flat fee service providers like AmeriCounsel, LegalZoom, and MyCounsel. Exchanges like LawCommerce. Litigation funding companies like the LawFinance Group and ExpertFunding. (Other than an inordinate fondness for intermediate capital letters, these companies exhibit a diversity as broad as many animal phyla. And it's not just little newcomers - goliaths like LexisNexis and West Group are...

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