Even those lawyers who are thinking about innovation seem still to believe that the innovation is confined to introducing new legal services or products and then finding novel ways to market them. Not many seem to understand that lawyers owe to their society innovations in managing of the social relations in new ways as well. If we accept that one of the basic tenets of the contemporary societies is innovation, and that it must be pervasive in all fields of social activity, one starts wondering why would legal profession be excluded from it. Innovation cannot remain monopoly of consumer or any other industry as in modern societies all social participants need to contribute by innovating. Those lawyers who miss this will really increasingly be seen as a burden to society.

I believe that a significant segment of the forces that lead experts in reexamining the role of lawyers, such as Oxfords’ prof. Richard Susskind The End of Lawyers are actually due to the process in which lawyers are seen as not contributing to social development by focusing only on the results of the mundane technical skills results however complex they might be. If we consider that the very complexity of the legal system and its inherent slowness due to it is felt as increasingly incompatible with the the lightning fast business we are developing this incompatibility becomes glaring. We cannot afford under-using so many over educated persons if we wish society to align more adequately with the new social and technological landscapes.

Above remarks are written as a reaction to the news item published following Clifford Chance’s innovation partner Bas Boris Visser.