1. Technologies will enable lawyers to bill for real value.
Our findings: Many lawyers are already experimenting with digital tools to enhance their practices. But the most powerful new technologies will likely be developed by innovators outside the traditional legal industry who are incentivized to offer basic legal services for radically lower costs.
The opportunity: The automation of basic legal transactions will initially cut into firms’ bottom lines. But more nimble firms will incorporate useful tools to reduce costs no matter where they come from. Others will bring disruption in-house by hiring or acquiring talented technologists and their intellectual property. Either way, firms that accept these changes will be able to shift to premium billing as they perfect the high-value products only the most creative counselors can provide. Firms will also discover entirely new forms of practice, like computer-assisted law, that can only be pursued in this technological environment.