Law new means many things, from a different approach to serving clients to a business model that looks at legal services as just another service. It can also mean using technology to boost efficiency, hiring staff outside the traditional partner track and a focus on process over the final result of legal work. It can even refer to the name of a new practice area or firm launched by a large law firm. However, there is one thing that all of these changes have in common: they are aimed at benefitting the client.
A New York law firm that has adopted a strategic approach to legal work is doing just that, says Justin Lee ’23. “As part of the strategy, we are focusing on areas that can provide the most value to our clients,” Lee says. “This includes the ‘law new’ practice.”
The law new trend is being driven by the increasing complexity of legal issues facing businesses, consumers and other entities in the marketplace, he says. For example, laws are being changed to deal with issues such as data privacy, consumer protection and cybersecurity.
As a result, more companies and law firms are trying to find ways to do legal work more efficiently, which has led to a shift in the types of legal assistance available. Many law firms are pursuing strategies that involve hiring more staff outside of the partner track, leveraging technology and offering a range of legal services, from transactional to labor-intensive. This type of work can be done by either full-time or contract staff and often is handled in a team structure.
Similarly, consumers are increasingly demanding more efficient service and a variety of legal options, which is fueling the growth of alternative legal services providers (ALSPs). This term typically refers to startup companies and law firm subsidiaries that offer a broader array of legal assistance than is traditionally offered by traditional firms, such as online document review and flat-fee pricing.
The Law School offers an extensive array of academic and practical legal skills courses taught by top faculty members and renowned scholars. Its students are making their mark on the world in fields as diverse as intellectual property, criminal justice and environmental policy.