A recent polemic featured on Law.com, builds on a familiar theme - that lawyers are pricing themselves out of certain significant markets in this country, including particularly emerging growth finance, a/k/a venture capital.
The irony is that service businesses generally have made astonishing progress in enhancing efficiency and output while, coincidentally, reducing costs and prices. The question is whether the law business is keeping pace at a level which is consistent with the potential which modern technology and system design hold out.
I have to confess a bias. I have written on this subject, in a 1978 book entitled The Law Business to which the publisher added a tagline, A Tired Monopoly. I wrote this book while on a sabbatical, on the faculty at Stanford Law School, when I had a chance to sit and reflect on what I saw going on around me. My opinion has not changed in that regard. And the issue was reviewed in detail in 2000 by an English academic, Richard Suskind, in a profound monograph, Transforming The Law … a book which I find enormously instructive and influential.Article - Part 1 (PDF)