The pace of business and the breadth of social change are driving many industries toward digitization. Despite the speed and magnitude of such changes, it remains difficult for most companies to achieve full digital transformation. The legal function is no exception, but its ability to quickly adapt and evolve to meet changing business needs will determine its success. The concept of “law new” is a key element of this evolution.
Law new refers to an area of the practice of law that involves innovative strategies to address specific and complex legal matters, leveraging technology, focusing on process and creating non-traditional fee structures. These types of initiatives, along with the new skills required by those working in this space, are what set law new apart from traditional legal practices.
Using this model, legal teams can offer the kind of legal help that some clients need without impacting other areas of the practice that might be the firm’s primary focus. The result is an efficient way for a law firm to generate revenue, attract new clients and provide valuable assistance to its existing ones.
In addition to its cost-efficiencies, this model is flexible enough to respond to changing market conditions and client demands, allowing it to be a strategic advantage for the company. Legal teams that utilize this model can also be more responsive to clients’ needs, a crucial factor in retaining and attracting business.
Another important component of this model is collaboration. The complexities and dynamism of modern businesses require collaboration across functions, enterprises, stakeholder groups and nations. These collaborations are critical in addressing significant global challenges that cannot be solved by any single person, function, organization or nation. The legal function can — and does — play an essential role in such collaborative processes, for example, through the work it did with pharmaceutical companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While it is not yet possible to define exactly what a law firm that operates on this model looks like, there are some defining characteristics emerging. These include a focus on technology, a flexible and adaptive approach to legal services, a flexible fee structure and collaboration.
Several startups and private companies that have used the law new model have adopted this name to distinguish themselves from more established firms, a move they believe will attract a new audience of legal consumers. However, the true test of whether this designation will have lasting value will be whether it leads to real-world changes that benefit legal consumers and society at large.