Mass Collaboration in the legal industry…

Michael CarabashMass collaboration is an amazing phenomenon we’re currently experiencing: people are joining together on the Internet (and other mediums) to share information and costs for the greater good. We’ve already seen this in simple forms through Wikipedia (which has replaced the encyclopedia) and forums, where almost anyone can contribute information freely. We’ll also see it through guides that are made readily available to everyone (not just to clients of service providers). Dynamic Legal Forms, for example, will soon start to feature free legal ease guides (i.e. short guides written in everyday language by local lawyers on various legal topics).

One-to-one advisory services will be replaced by one-to-many (as per Richard Susskind). This means that, for the legal industry, the specific knowledge being housed in a law firm or in a particular lawyer will be under pressure to be released to the world. This will no doubt spell the doom of those who are not prepared to share such information – particularly when it becomes available to the masses for free through some other medium. The big winners will be those who facilitate the free flow of information. For their part, sophisticated clients will seek out answers to their questions on the Internet – answers which they know should be available because service providers have no doubt already answered many of them in the past. Clients won’t want to pay an arm and a leg to have a service provider “re-invent the wheel” so-to-speak; the client will want more empowerment and responsibility over the services they’re purchasing and manage project scope, costs, and timeline in the process.

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