Voices of Change: Canadian Social Media and Other Writings on the Future of Legal Practice

Is that a threat in your smartphone holster, or an opportunity? The stunning advances in technology represented by these ubiquitous devices could turn the legal profession’s whole value proposition on its head.

But there are a few caveats. First, the profession has to see the need for a new value proposition. Secondly, it has to learn to play well with others, and share some of its traditional ground with competitors – computers, as well as non-legal and paralegal professionals.

Simon Fodden’s study of what Canadians are saying in social media about the future of legal practice identifies four vectors of change: globalization, the economy, technology and conservatism. Three of these – globalization, the economy and technology – are external pressures on the profession, while the fourth, conservatism, is a pressure from within to resist the course the other three seem to be demanding.