1. Law firms and in-house law departments are “lawyer-centric” in managing their own workflows. They “reward the ‘exceptional, do-it-all-and-charge-for-it’ approach” that relies almost exclusively on attorneys’ skill sets.
2. As a consequence, law firms and in-house law departments “fail to determine the best skill set for most efficiently executing many jobs that are routine parts of corporate life.”
The legal profession’s expectation: The lawyer is meant to be star of the show. Anyone other than lawyers on the team is simple an “assistant to” the attorney.
Patrick Lamb — along with his law partner Nicole Auerbach — is one of a tiny group of law firm attorneys whom I view as genuine pioneers in legal innovation.
His message in a tweeted video on April 2, and a blog post on April 1, argues that the legal profession has got it wrong.
Patrick Lamb’s blog post uses examples from his own career to describe his journey from lawyer-as-autonomous-genius to lawyer-in-collaboration-with-other-disciplines.
Trial lawyer that he is, Patrick Lamb argues concisely that the legal industry needs to move from “just lawyers” to “multi-professional teams” in his tweeted video:
“[You] need to break down the work that needs to be done into a series of processes,
“And see who is best able to execute on those processes.
“The surprising answer is that, more often than not, you don’t need a lawyer to do the job.
“You need somebody who’s capable, and who is a process-focused person, to administer the process, except an occasional spot where a lawyer’s judgment is required.
“And if you break down work into those series of processes, you find that you can frequently get it done, much better, and also much cheaper.”