Yes it is possible.
And from it follows increased access to justice, as night follows day.
Re-reading Richard Susskind’s book “The End of Lawyers?” this weekend, I was struck by how straightforward it is.
Advocacy cannot be replaced by improved technology or outsourcing. It is like an element: it cannot be further reduced. Quality advocacy is the result of the proper analysis of facts, and preparation. It may be improved by experience, but the advocate must have dissected out what has to be proved, and must know the factual record cold. There are no shortcuts.
The client cannot expect to pay less for the time the advocate must spend. The advocate cannot be expected to lower his or her rate.
However the advocate’s task can be readily separated from the cost of routine legal work – document analysis and organization, interim motions, legal research, routine correspondence and scheduling. Much of that work can be done with the aid of technology and paralegals, at lower cost.
The advocate views this work as a cost centre, not a profit centre.
This is how to lower legal costs without compromising the quality of advocacy, increase access to justice and to protect and advance rights.