Tomorrow’s lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future
Helene Russell of The Knowledge Business casts her eye over an important new book on the legal profession.
Susskind’s new book “Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future” has been called “a must-read”, “insightful, thought-provoking and challenging” and “required reading”. I would agree with all these epithets, especially the last.
It is a delightfully concise, pithy book with a conversational style, which makes it easily readable over a weekend.
Although primarily aimed at aspiring lawyers, Susskind encourages all lawyers who are not facing imminent retirement to read the book. I’d also recommend it to those who work in support services inside firms, those whose businesses supply the legal sector and those in legal education.
The first section of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” is an updated, simplified summary of Susskind’s previous work, explaining the key drivers of change (the challenge and opportunity of information technology, client pressure for “more-for-less” and market liberalisation) and his key themes (how and why these drivers will change practice and outlining the relevant disruptive technologies). The second section outlines Susskind’s vision of the “new legal landscape” and the final section suggests, in positive terms, all the different and exciting opportunities for lawyers of the future, especially those who equip themselves with suitable skills. Susskind’s vision is grounded in the UK legal sector, which is facing a particular period of change, but it has global reach.
Personally, I particularly enjoyed the chapters on disruptive legal technologies and new jobs and new employers for future law graduates. These chapters are truly useful: concise, but packed with practical information.
Not everyone agrees with Susskind’s vision of the future but whether you agree with him or not, all those working in the sector should read, understand and digest his analysis of the pressures and possible solutions. This book equips readers with sufficient information to enable lawyers to understand the issues, ask the right questions and to reach their own conclusions about how to address the challenges within the legal market.
This is a concise, reasonably priced, easy to read analysis of the challenges within the legal sector and is definitely worth reading.
Hélène Russell is a solicitor, now non-practising, and KM professional offering training, advice and implementation services to the professional services sectors. As the author of the Law Society’s “Knowledge Management Handbook”, she is ideally placed to help law firms improve their businesses by exploiting their combined knowledge.
Hélène will be training on LinkedIn for Lawyers on 13th June 2013. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07548 912 779.
 Susskind, R., (2013),Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future, OUP:Oxford