Law new is a catchall industry term that encompasses the various ways that legal services companies are using technology and innovation to change the way they provide legal services. It includes traditional law firms, alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) and other entities like venture capital-backed technology startups. But it’s also often used to refer to specific technologies and processes that are making legal services more accessible, affordable, on-demand, scalable, data-driven and client-centric.
Whether or not “law new” actually produces legal industry change, it’s a useful shorthand for the many changes in how we deliver legal services. The most important question, however, is this: Has this new law produced change that is impactful to legal consumers and society-at-large?
To answer this, it’s helpful to first look at how laws are created in the United States. A law is a set of regulations that sets out rules and guidelines for a particular area, such as environmental protection or financial regulation. It is enforceable by the government, and it can be changed by the legislature or by a court.
A law starts with an idea that a legislator wants to create, which is then introduced in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. It goes through a process of research, discussion, changes and votes, and then it must be passed in both chambers before becoming a law.
Lawmakers and regulators are creating a host of new laws, and they are also revising existing ones. The process of lawmaking is complex, and it’s not always clear what the final outcome will be. Nevertheless, there are some trends that are forming as legislators and regulators grapple with the challenges of making law more innovative, more accessible, and more affordable to legal consumers.
As law becomes more innovative, it will better serve legal consumers and society-at-large. It will no longer be focused on preserving legacy delivery models and outdated legal education, or rewarding legal industry insiders for their self-congratulatory innovations. Instead, legal innovation will be focused on customer impact and delivering high net promoter scores for clients.
The future of law is an integrated, collaborative, and digital world that will more closely resemble its corporate customers and society at large. This is a world that will demand more creative and tech-proficient, empathetic and holistic talent. It will require platforms that facilitate more transparent, affordable, accessible, and on-demand legal products and services. It will be driven by collaboration across functions and enterprises, including cross-functional teams of law professionals that are empowered to collaborate with clients and other stakeholders.