Speaking to Lawyers Weekly following the recent Janders Dean #JDHorizons event, Monash University finance and law student Aron Mazur highlighted that expansion of the NewLaw movement stems from the demand for innovative change, and is consequently appealing to younger lawyers.
Mr Mazur explained that the NewLaw model enables practitioners to disengage with the conventional approach to legal service delivery.
“The anachronisms of the legal industry don’t appeal to young lawyers. It is, therefore, the distinguishing features of the NewLaw movement, such as the divergence from the ‘partner-associate service model’, the flexibility of working arrangements and the opportunity to work with revolutionary technologies that appeals to the new generation of tech-proficient lawyers,” he said.
Herbert Smith Freehills solicitor Tessa Ramanlal said new lawyers have the benefit of “fresh and untamed” minds, which are not ingrained with the knowledge of traditional processes.
“As digital natives, we enter the profession with an expectation of tech-savvy streamlined processes,” she explained.
“When something falls short of that, the fire is ignited, and we’re immediately searching for a better way.”
Employers are also increasingly expecting new lawyers to hit the ground running, White & Mason solicitor Perveen Maan added, and so the ability to quickly adapt to the technology used by a firm is extremely beneficial.
“There has been a shift in clients’ attitudes in that they now look to lawyers for holistic legal advice that takes into consideration both the specific client’s business and the landscape it sits in,” she posited.
“Therefore, new lawyers with commercial awareness are well-placed to succeed in the modern legal world.”
The new generation of lawyers has the opportunity to change the cliché of clients disliking their counsel, Mr Mazur argued, as those coming through the ranks can help upend mainstream service delivery methods moving forward.
“Transparency, trust and empathy will play a big role in redefining the ways clients interact with their lawyers,” he said.
“Moving forward, service delivery will become more efficient. By designing and adopting value-adding solutions, the new generation of lawyers will reshape the entire lawyer-client experience.”
It won’t be without its challenges, however, Ms Maan pointed out.
“The legal industry is steeped in tradition [and] we need all hands on-deck to reshape the game,” she mused.
“Difficulties [exist] as some leaders do not see the value of NewLaw. There’s only so much change we can do from the bottom if we are met with resistance from the top.”
“This is why aligning yourself with supportive firms and partners is so important,” she advised.
Ultimately, Ms Ramanlal said, the legal industry is on the cusp of significant disruption, and as a profession we are seeing the role of lawyers evolve in new and exciting ways.
“Never has there been a better opportunity for new lawyers to become the experts in emerging areas such as design thinking, coding, AI and blockchain,” she argued.
“We truly have the world at our fingertips. Let’s band together, skill each other up, and dive into the future of law!”