A new year brings a fresh start. It also brings the opportunity to take a hard look at what is working and what isn’t. For the legal industry, that means embracing new ideas at every turn. This can be daunting because the pace of change is fast and what may have worked one quarter can change dramatically the next. But it’s important to be open to these changes and to harness the opportunities they present.
Law new refers to legal services that are innovative, creative or unique. It is a broad term that could include new ways to approach client matters, a collaborative process or using technology for innovative purposes. It could even mean a new practice area that has not existed in the past, such as a social justice initiative or assisting with corporate innovation.
Some of these innovations may not be immediately apparent or have a noticeable impact on the public. But some will. One example is the new California law that will stop gender bias in prices for some products. Specifically, the law will prohibit stores from charging different prices for products that are marketed to men and women. This law is another step in the effort to close the gap between male and female pay in California.
Other examples of law new include collaboration on legal matters with clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. This can be done on a global basis, between law firms and in-house legal departments, or within the same firm. Collaboration can address business challenges that cannot be mastered by the legal function alone, as well as global issues that are too large or too complex to be addressed in one jurisdiction or by any single enterprise or stakeholder group.
The next generation of law new will be more integrated with the businesses and societies it serves. It will be customer-centric with a focus on value creation, not preserving outdated delivery models that rely on self-congratulatory awards and profit preservation. It will have an integrated platform-based delivery structure from which agile, fluid, on-demand resources with verifiable experience can be sourced. It will be data-driven, with the legal function and cross-functional enterprise colleagues leveraging the power of data to identify, eradicate and mitigate risk, freeing up management time for core business objectives. It will drive significant value to the business, eliminate costly dispute resolution, and produce higher net promoter scores than ever before.
In the legal industry, the term “law new” has been used to describe all of these innovations and more. However, it’s important to remember that these are simply building blocks for a paradigm shift toward customer impact and enhanced experience. The key to this transformation is human adaptation through a process of change management and innovative strategy. That’s what will make the difference between success and failure. Law new will succeed when it produces that transformation. It’s not about a catchy phrase or industry buzzword — it’s about real change.