The term law new is a bit of an enigma. It’s used to describe alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), tech companies, startup legal firms, law firm subsidiaries and other businesses that are transforming the industry. It’s also been used to describe the overall trend of disruption in the legal sector. The concept of law new varies from one business model to the next, and the specific approach taken is often dependent on market conditions. The best way to make sense of it is to look at law new as a means of creating value for clients without negatively impacting other areas of legal practice that might be a firm’s primary focus.
Historically, law has been viewed as an instrument for achieving socially desirable outcomes through coercive pressures imposed by a sovereign. However, this view is outdated and relegates the legal industry to a role that’s no longer relevant in modern society. Fortunately, an alternate path is emerging that promises to improve the lives of legal consumers and society-at-large. This path is being forged by legal industry innovators and entrepreneurs who are embracing the concepts of collaboration, fluidity and customer impact.
Law is inherently complex and diverse. For example, Bentham’s utilitarian theories of law define it as “commands, backed by threat of sanctions, from a sovereign, to whom people have a habit of obedience.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other natural lawyers, on the other hand, argue that laws reflect a moral order inherent in the universe. These competing definitions underscore the need for an adaptive, evolving process to produce change that’s beneficial for all.
In a world that moves at the speed of business and the pace of social change, legal innovation and evolution must be fast and focused on delivering impact to legal consumers and society-at-large. To achieve this, the industry must transform from a legacy delivery model that’s focused on self-congratulatory awards and profit preservation to a fluid model that integrates the legal function with its business and society partners.
How law is made in the United States federal government: Congress is the legislative branch of the American government. Bills to create laws are introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where they go through a process of research, discussion and changes. A law is passed when both chambers agree to it. Once a law is passed, it is published in the Statutes at Large and becomes public law. To see the full text of a law, click on its PL number. If you don’t know its PL number, search for it using the Congressional Documents Search. The Congressional Documents Search is also available on the Library of Congress’ website. For more information about the legislative process, visit How a Bill Becomes a Law in the United States.