Author, professor, and futurist Richard Susskind visited William Mitchell on Wednesday, Nov. 20, to share his vision for the future of the legal profession.
An overflow crowd of lawyers, business professionals, professors, and students listened as Susskind discussed the major drivers of change in the legal profession, recent trends, and what the future looks like for lawyers.
Clients, Susskind said, increasingly expect more from lawyers—and they want it for less money. Technology, he said, can help lawyers meet their clients demands, and it is likely to spawn new career paths for attorneys.
“It’s not just about going into law firms. The future of legal services does not lie simply with the traditional providers,” Susskind said. “There will be new providers providing interesting, new, valuable legal services.”
The legal profession, Susskind said, will soon be dominated by legal knowledge engineers, online dispute resolution specialists, legal technologists.
“The future of the profession is not John Grisham. It’s not ‘Rumpole of the Bailey.’ It’s not about suits,” he said. “It’s not 20th Century lawyering—it’s something wildly different.”
He went on to say that law schools need to start thinking about how they are training young lawyers to meet the needs of tomorrow’s clients. “I know this law school [William Mitchell] is thinking differently, and that’s very encouraging.”
Susskind’s lecture was made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Shepherd Data Services and Beacon Hill Staffing Group.