The current economic woes have hit many sectors including lawyers. Many recent observers have suggested that the declining fortunes of lawyers is structural and that demand for traditional legal services will continue to decline fueled by technological changes and out-sourcing. I don’t particularly agree with that, although I do think the market will change and the nature, type and cost of legal services will change.
Here is a link to an article in the always interesting blog, ADR Prof Blog about an essay by Paul F. Kirgis, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law titled “The Knowledge Guild: The Legal Profession in an Age of Technological Change.” In the essay, Professor Kirgis disagrees with those who are predicting the end of lawyers. Interesting stuff. I tend to agree with Professor Kirgis, but I do think the nature of the practice will change. Clients have come to recognize that mediation and other settlement alternatives often make sense. I will post another blog about where I think that change will lead.