“Newlaw” and the New Lawyering

The legal industry has always been unsettled. The dynamic character of technological innovation (illustrated by Moore’s Law) makes our legal system less steady but also more supple, Dan Rodriguez said.

The profession is now in a period that Rodriguez calls “newlaw,” defined by qualitative and quantitative measures of accelerating legal change. Familiar strategies and techniques used to meet client and societal demands are being reinvented. What are the disruptors? What are the chaos creators? What are the sustainable (real) changes?

To address the urgent need for innovation, Rodriguez urged the legal profession to evaluate its internal assumptions (e.g., risk-averse, zero sum games, backward-looking industry) and its innovative disruptors (e.g., computing power, big data, technology). Only then can the profession understand the new expectations for lawyers and adequately address the skill sets lacking in law school and beyond.