A few years ago, talk of e-lawyering, MDP, seizing
the future, Internet delivery of legal services, and
virtual law firms dominated the discussion of the twenty-first
century practice of law. With the dot-com implosion,
a meltdown of the move of big accounting firms into
the law, the substantial increase in minimum billable
hour requirements, and the inherent conservatism of
law firms, you might think that these topics have disappeared
from the discussion table. That is not quite the case,
but you do have to look a little harder.
The ABA’s Law Practice Management
Section, with its Law
Practice magazine, Law
Practice Today webzine, the ABA
TECHSHOW and the work of various committees, is
a primary resource for information, developments and
efforts being made to move the legal practice forward
into the future. Legal weblogs (or blawgs) also cover
this subject well. Here are some of my other favorite
Web sites on innovative and forward-thinking initiatives
in the practice of law:
The DuPont Legal Model - http://www.dupontlegalmodel.com
- DuPont’s efforts to change the way its law firms
deliver services has been carefully watched for the
last ten years. In the last few years, the results have
gotten quite interesting. One reason is that technology
is now able to deliver performance in ways that were
only imagined a few years ago. DuPont has created a
Web site that collects materials related to their efforts.
Lawyers working with corporate legal departments should
become very familiar with this site.
eLawyerblog - http://www.elawyerblog.org
- Legal Internet guru Jerry Lawson has created a multi-author
blog focused on elawyering and a variety of other new
approaches to the practice of law. Jerry has put together
a stellar group of guest authors and this is a place
Elawyering.org – http://www.elawyering.org
– The elawyering.org site is an excellent collection
of resources and materials on new, largely Internet-related
approaches to the practice of law. Among other things,
it has important articles from thought leaders and links
to some of today’s efforts.
Unbundledlaw.org – http://www.unbundledlaw.org
– An approach to law practice that has attracted
a good amount of interest is the notion of “unbundling”
services. Unbundling can mean very precise, limited
representation or even providing specific services where
a firm has expertise, such as litigation graphics. This
site is a great resource on this specific issue.
Netlawyers Discussion Group –
– This discussion group facilitates discussion
and educational programs among some of the thought leaders
in the innovative practice of law. It is a high-quality,
relatively low-volume list, with lots of good ideas.
Digital-Lawyer.com – http://www.digital-lawyer.com
– Richard Granat is one of the leading thinkers
on new approaches to the practice of law. His Web site
showcases some of his writing and efforts.
Futurelawoffice.com – http://www.futurelawoffice.com
– From the legal staffing company, The Affiliates,
comes a good resource with a very practical focus and
TomPeters.com - http://www.tompeters.com
– Tom Peters is one of the best known experts
on innovation. He writes and speaks about innovation
in the professional services industry on a regular basis.
His site, including a newsletter, gives you a way to
access his materials and current thinking.
DailyWhirl.com – http://www.dailywhirl.com
– The DailyWhirl site gives you an easy way to
find and follow most of the leading legal blogs.
DennisKennedy.com - http://www.denniskennedy.com
– My site has long collected my articles and resources
on legal technology and innovative practices. My blog
often reports on new developments. My “Fully
Connected Law Firm” article sets out 150 practical
pointers and action steps for law firms moving their
practices more fully into the Internet era.
You may not be hearing as much as you did a few years
ago, but there is still an important conversation going
on. This list will help you catch up and keep current
with this conversation.
Dennis Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is a computer lawyer and consultant based in St. Louis,
Missouri. He speaks and writes frequently on legal,
technology, and Internet topics and was named the
2001 TechnoLawyer of the Year by TechnoLawyer.com.
His highly-regarded Web site at www.denniskennedy.com
collects many of his articles and is the home of his