CBA Futures Chat: Spotlight on Innovation

Author: Fred Headon Guest Blogger

Next week, the CBA will release Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, our report on the future of legal practice in Canada. Over the past two years we have heard from the legal community in Canada –and abroad – and the clients we serve. Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada sets out our vision for how we might educate and regulate the profession differently. Our objective: to ensure that Canadians benefit from a vibrant and relevant legal profession. Our recommendation: innovation.

The report calls for some significant change. We hope that the CBA will endorse that change and lead the profession to new ways of delivering legal services.

Something that stood out in our work, however, was the creativity of a number of lawyers and entrepreneurs who have already found innovative ways to provide legal services. Even without any change to the education and regulation of lawyers, some of our colleagues are already exploring how far the current structures will let us go. You might be surprised by the results.

Some lawyers have already found their own ways to better meet the new expectations of clients. They have already found that the traditional ways of serving clients left something lacking. They have picked up on themes we have explored throughout our work, including in these blogs: predictable pricing, business processes, online delivery. And they do it with a fair degree of savvy when it comes to branding, technology, the workplace, etc.

We have also been encouraged by the interest these innovators have generated outside the legal community. BMO reported on the interest in investing in professional services, including legal services, just this week. One of our American speakers at last year’s Canadian Legal Conference just raised $1.6M US for her web-based service, Wevorce. Clio also raised significant capital this year. Deloitte bought LPO ATD Legal Services Professional Corporation at the start of 2014.

Have you run across any innovators yet in your day-to-day? Have you wanted to know what others think about your idea to do law differently? Have you already had some success bringing it to life? Or can you help us point what got in the way?

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On August 7 (2pm ET) let’s see who we can help showcase as innovators in the legal community. Let’s see what else we might be able to create to build some momentum that might just help our recommendations to become reality. Follow @CBAFutures and search for the hashtag #cbafutureschat.

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