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Never predict the future of the law, Marie Kondo is ashamed of me and "what exactly does it do?"
- AuthorRichard Carter
Two weeks ago we looked like we had a network problem and no-one could log in as well as the phone system being down. It was not the dreaded cyberattack but it might be a while before everything was back up so I set about a rare but satisfying task – decluttering my office.
This time it was the “library section”- magazines or articles that I meant to read but I was too busy when they arrived. They were filed neatly away for that rainy day when I was at a loose end and I could become more enlightened. That day clearly never came. In a mass clear out I smiled at all the law magazine articles telling you how to run a law firm and inevitable huge change was coming. The favourite type of article run was something like “what law firms will look like in 2025?” written in say 2012. I’d be arriving in my self-drive car at the office around 10 am to work some of my 25 hour week, for calls with my 5 recently set up international branches, doing either global work or niche work depending on the article, and speaking by video conference to my support workers in Vietnam who would do all the legal work brilliantly for 20p an hour, in treble quick time. Hmmm no mentions of home working, AML rules, land registry delays, or other stuff that effects our current working lives every day. Of the people writing the articles 3 of the 5 “progressive” law firms concerned no longer exist having gone bust or been taken over. The recycling bin has never been so full of predictions from “industry leaders” that were printed often to compliment the ad on the next page plugging some “must have” service. And true to form IT had the network back up and running after just 15 minutes- just enough time for me to pull out loads of stuff to sort and make my office a complete mess, but now the phone was ringing again so the big sort has been put on hold. But the articles told me that in the future no-one would be ringing by phone because blockchain would make it unnecessary?! My office is not decluttered and the Marie Kondo book on decluttering just stares at me angrily.
I have had an email from a legal supplier asking me to book an appointment for a demo of their product. This lot sponsor a lot of events so I won’t name them. I knew the name but not what they do so I read it through. I know I’m just a Medway lad and compared to some lawyers a bit uneducated but after 2 readings of it I still had no clue as to what they do. The email explained they would collaborate with me, enable communication, they had cutting edge tech, it was strategic, this was an opportunity, it would ensure we would maximise our resources, it would deliver value, streamline our processes and undoubtedly make our business stronger. It was like a game of sales buzzword bingo. I still have no clue what they actually do and if I might use it. The question now is do I contact them to satisfy my curiosity (perhaps that’s their cunning marketing plan!) or just file in the delete email bin with no further thought? Answers on a digitised, strategic, AI-engineered postcard please.