BRIDGING THE EDUCATION GAP

bridge the education gap

By Lucy Bassli, Expert in Residence

Can you feel it? There’s a change coming. If you pay attention, you will notice the shift of the status quo; a subtle movement in our legal ecosystem.

We are evolving as innovation becomes just as important as experience. Seasoned attorneys take note: the legal industry is transforming and any lawyer who doesn’t adapt will certainly be left behind.

Maybe you are already feeling your confidence being chipped away as millennials flood into our profession, bringing with them new ideas, a desire for work-life balance, and a natural ease in using and embracing technology.

The 2020 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey Report revealed data that suggests a gap between market trends and the readiness of legal professionals and firms to address these trends.

For example:

– Less than one-third of lawyers feel their organization is ready to keep up with current changes.
– Just 31% of the legal professionals in the study feel they are ready to meet client expectations.
– 59% of law firms expect AI to have a significant impact on operations, yet only 22% actually understand it.

With that said, 60% of law firms say they will increase their technology investment over the next three years. While most lawyers try to stay abreast of the changes in the law, as well as the practice of law, it is challenging to stay on top of what is happening to the profession itself.

Every lawyer needs to know practical information about various buzzwords such as:

  • Legal ops
  • Legal tech
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Alternative service providers
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • and, the need to move from “legal practice” to “legal service delivery.”

These terms are thrown around, but in daily practice the concepts have always been more peripheral hype than imminent reality. Until now. It is time to invest in education to stay on top of these trends and new technologies or risk not being competitive.

Sure, we have annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses that most of us are required to take keeping us up to date on new or evolving laws, while reminding us of our ethical obligations.

But where are the practical, well-rounded CLE options to help lawyers get up to speed on the macro changes happening in the legal ecosystem?

Most CLE options are riddled with legalese, deep dives into one practice area or ultra-specific law school exam type content for the already-experts.

We are long overdue for solutions to fill this education gap with
practical information for application in a real-world setting. Today’s lawyer needs easily accessible tips and tools for modernizing their practice and pleasing their clients.

For quite some time, I have envisioned a professional development program to help bridge this education gap for attorneys willing to adapt and wanting to practice outside of their long established comfort zones, while fulfilling CLE requirements. I am confident that day will come.

In my experience, most lawyers have curious minds and given the opportunity, will welcome new information and skills designed to improve their job performance and client service, even when CLE credit is not applied.

For this reason, I am developing a series of courses for the ambitious lawyer who is ready to embrace innovation and stay competitive in our field.

Drawing on my experience and learning from my personal innovation journey, I will teach practicing lawyers how to modernize their practice and delight clients with effective solutions
and processes.

For more information and to subscribe, go to http://www.lucybassli.com

Happy Innovating!

Lucy Bassli is an attorney, author of The Simple Guide to Legal Innovation and the Founder and Principal of InnoLegal Services, PLLC.
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