I was privileged enough to see Mitch Kowalski (commercial real estate lawyer, legal futurist, Financial Post Legal Post author, and now author of “Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services in the 21st Century”) give a presentation at Law Tech Camp at U of T this past Saturday. Wow, did he deliver! He completely shocked certain members of the audience who were still fixated on hourly billing and the importance of having articling students. Legal process outsourcing, fixed fees with financial incentives, and the divide between what law firms and clients want were all discussed. Mitch also presented with Omar Ha-Redeye and Garry Wise about legal ethics in a digital age (where everything seems to be quite grey and arguments could go either way).
I also picked up Mitch’s new book, “Avoiding Distinction: Reimagining Legal Services in the 21st Century”. It’s a quick and engaging read. It’s written in the format of a story about corporate counsel trying select a law firm based on specific criteria that are important to them (e.g. fixed fees, responsive, understanding of their business, green, etc.). Enter a fictional law firm of the future (which may already exist somewhere?). Conventional models of delivering legal services are challenged. New ideas are perused and advanced. And it’s all done within 150 pages. Well done Mitch!
I picked up my copy for $35.