The Lawyer of the Future

May 16, 2017

How law firms and in-house counsel are using contract automation software to transform their practices


Lawyer of the Future

In a recent article, published in Lexpert Magazine,  Mark Tamminga, a partner with Gowling WLG and the firm’s leader of innovation initiatives, and Mara Nickerson, chief knowledge officer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, discuss their views on how contract automation is changing their practices.

Both lawyers point to the opportunities that contract automation creates for lawyers to free up time to pursue higher-value work, lower legal spend for clients, and position lawyers to offer alternative billing models in an increasingly competitive market.

The article also cites Mitch Kowalski, author of Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, who anticipates that automation will open up new options for lawyers, beyond the traditional associate to partner career path. He looks ahead, optimistically, to the millennial lawyers of the future, applying cognitive computing to deliver new types of value-add services to the practice of what he calls “Law 3.0”.

Kowalski also notes that current billing models have placed a drag on the adoption of automation. As a result, the author notes, “it will be in-house counsel that will push contract automation and other efficiency technologies into the legal mainstream. Nickerson, however, disagrees. She says that clients don’t want to pay for inputs anymore – they care about outcomes, and that the traditional billing model is “fundamentally changing”.

It’s heartening to hear practising lawyers affirming the themes we’ve discussed in our previous posts. For more insights into the billable hour, see Is the Death of The Billable Hour a Foregone Conclusion? For more on how document automation can benefit your firm, read Top 5 Reasons to Automate Court Document Creation, and for a roundup of perspectives on how the legal market is changing, see Legal Market Disruption: Buyer v. Seller.

Michael Sauber Head Shot - smallAbout Michael Sauber
Michael Sauber leads the marketing program for Korbitec, producer of Automated Civil Litigation Software (ACL). He has worked with document production technologies and professional services for over 30 years and is a frequent blogger on these topics.