My last posting was about whether the legal profession is heading for extinction. I believe it is not. But it will change, perhaps dramatically, over the next decade. A book by Julie Macfarlane, The New Lawyer, says it all. I agree with Macfarlane’s premise that the practice of law is moving from the simple lawyer as warrior and zealous advocate to a much more subtle and complex role of counselor, negotiator, mediator and meta-expert.
This review of Macfarlane’s book by Andrew Pirie, a Professor of Law at the University of Victoria and founding director of the university's Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pirie describes Macfarlane’s thesis and a recent British Columbia case regarding native land claims that he suggests illustrate the role of the new lawyer. The book, the review and the case are all Canadian. But they illuminate changes that will occur in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.