Whither Business Lawyers?

Posted: April 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Reflections on Law Practice | No Comments »

For a long time I’ve felt that the way I have been practicing business law has become outdated, but I’ve always been too busy to do anything about it or too obtuse to understand the rapidly-evolving dynamics underlying my discomfort. This economic downturn has finally forced me to reevaluate the business law services I provide, and to question how relevant they still are. Twenty-something years ago, I was trained to prepare lengthy agreements to cover every eventuality, and billed by the hour. Now my clients are often half my age, have a far keener understanding of the social paradigms that drive modern businesses and have little inclination to engage a forty-something attorney to charge them an arm and a leg for advice they can research for free on Google or a document they can buy online for next to nothing. My challenge is to figure out a way to stay relevant and offer value. I have some ideas about how I believe the future might look, but at the moment, I’m trying to stay focused on listening to what clients and consumers are saying they want. And I must say, I’m pretty excited about the results so far.

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