President's Page, 0715 ALBJ, 76 The Alabama Lawyer 216 (2015)

Author:Richard J.R. Raleigh, Jr.


Vol. 76 No. 4 Pg. 216

Alabama Bar Lawyer

July, 2015

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0 Richard J.R. Raleigh, Jr.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Profession in Transition

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0This has been an exciting year as president, one which is quickly coming to a close for me. The focus of my term as president has been helping Alabama lawyers deal with the flood of changes in the legal profession. Of course, it is no secret that the legal profession has been experiencing change, both before and after the recent recession. Some of the change is driven by the economy itself, some is technology-driven, some is client-driven and some is driven by the changing demographics in our profession.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Frederic S. Ury, who spoke to several classes of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, said, "The time is now for leaders in the legal profession to join the dialogue on-and thus be able to influence-how legal services will be delivered over the next five to 10 years, and what roles lawyers, judges and the courts will play in the delivery of those services. All signs point to a need for bold action by the bar and its members to stake a claim in the new global economy of fading borders where technology equals power."[1] As Yogi Berra said, "The future ain't what it used to be." Lawyers and the organized bar need to think about and approach the practice of law differently. I am very optimistic and excited about the opportunities for lawyers in this ever-changing landscape, but one has to seize opportunities, and complacency is deadly.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0"Today's lawyers face daunting challenges with the advent of new technologies resulting in increased access to information, standardization of services and pressure from clients to deliver routine services more cost-effectively The real competition for the solo practitioner, who survived on real estate transactions and family estate work, is now Legal Zoom and other one-stop, online, DIY services."2 Of course, there has been, and will continue to be, disruption in our profession, but change is opportunity.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0In the legal marketplace, managing transition means helping lawyers make that difficult process less painful and disruptive. Research indicates that organizations that prize interdependence and mutual responsibility among the generations are better prepared to...

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