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Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future

Richard Susskind is a British author, speaker, and independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments and he holds professorships at the University of Oxford, Gresham College and Strathclyde University. Wikipedia lists a lot more credentials but in short: this is a guy with a story to tell about the Legal profession in the UK (and beyond). I read the book as a preparation for an assignment with a Dutch Law firm. The book gave me more than just some idea of the specific market challenges in that sector.

Susskind gives his views on the legal profession in the broadest sense in his book Tomorrow’s Lawyers. The subtitle is ‘An introduction to Your Future’. The author chooses young legal professionals or students working to get a legal degree as his prime audience. But the book deserves a wider audience both within and beyond the legal profession.  The trends and the suggested risks and remedies hold truth in other fields as well. Not in the least is all of this applicable to Management Consultancy.

It is not just about lawyers

According to Susskind there is a lot (on the verge of) happening. This is due to a combination of three important drivers for change he summarizes as:

  • The more-for-less challenge
  • Liberalization
  • Information technology

Clients wanting more for less is certainly not unique for clients of law firms. And the extend of the ‘less’ creates a need for something else than increased efficiency and decreased margins. Susskind makes a clear case that significant changes and disruptive innovations are needed. And possible! What I like about the book is that the author also gives some clear suggestions on how to address these challenges. It is about risks but he also suggests how the different drivers are an opportunity for a way out.

The examples are mostly related to the legal profession. But we can easily adopt the lessons and suggestion to other industries. A must read for anyone in consultancy type of work!