Not your grandmother’s lawyering

What does it mean to be a lawyer in 2013?  What will it mean to practice law in 2020? These are very tough questions to answer, but ones you definitely need to explore if you’re contemplating entering the field.  The future of law has become a much discussed topic on any number of blogs, in a growing set of academic articles and at professional conferences.  It’s not easy to keep up with it all, but over the coming months, I’m going to do a better job of pointing you towards important and particularly well developed speculations on the future. Remember that these are just speculations—no one actually knows for sure what the legal market you plan to enter and practice in will look like.  But it’s critical that you become aware of what the changes in the field might look like as you make your career decisions. It’s an exciting time in the legal profession—unsettling and life-changing for many, full of opportunity for many others.  It’s a good time for you to start getting to know this world better.

First up is Jordan Furlong‘s five-part series on his blog, Law21.  Furlong does a great job of outlining the immediate past, our current moment, and likely developments in law world (in particular that very large part of law world dealing with business law), as well as suggesting some opportunities for lawyers and prospective lawyers to take advantage of in the changed world.  I strongly recommend the entire series.

Stage One: The Closed Market

Stage Two: The Breached Market

Stage Three: The Fully Open Market

Stage Four: The Expanding Market

Stage Five: The Multi-Dimensional Market