What Technology Will Do to Law Practice (And It’s Not What You Think)

  • February 04, 2019
  • Pulat Yunusov

The conventional wisdom is that technology will make law practice more efficient. It will commoditize some lawyers and give super powers to others. In either case, it will improve “access to justice.” This view is based on one universal bias in the legal and near-legal community: that law and justice have inherent value and are necessary for all aspects of the society to function properly.

This belief has spread to the near-legal community such as law practice technology vendors. All of their products are designed to increase the efficiency of lawyers or of the legal process or to serve lawyers or other participants of the legal system in some way.

That’s why when a new technology paradigm comes along, every legal industry player: law firms, lawyers, clients, vendors, courts, government and so on, tries to understand this paradigm through ways in which it will improve the legal process or access to justice.

The law and justice bias makes them think how this new tech will get more clients, make more in fees, get cases heard faster, lower overhead, make enforcement more effective and so on.

But what if a new tech paradigm comes along that by design ignores law and justice, lawyers and judges but is still so powerful that a great deal of commerce and other affairs is irresistibly tempted to exit the conventional space and move into this Matrix based on entirely new principles?

Sounds preposterous and without precedent? Remember that before the Internet, we used to have travel agents, send letters through postal service, get news from journalists, and borrow videotapes or DVDs from Blockbuster.