The Future of Law

The business of law has undergone significant disruption over the past few years, and we can expect still more disruption in the future. With developments in artificial intelligence and near universal access to law libraries through the internet, lawyers are no longer the sole gatekeepers of legal knowledge, and traditional law firms face increased competition from all sides. In addition to the competitive and technological challenges, changes in tax law have altered the core estate planning business for many trusts and estates lawyers. The Future of Law articles in this issue are intended to demystify the challenges facing our profession. The articles suggest strategies for real estate and trusts and estates lawyers to prosper in these changing times.

The Future of Law articles are the culmination of two years of research and exploration by members of the Future Practice and Guidance Task Force established by the RPTE Executive Committee in 2016. David Dietrich, chair of the Real Estate, Trust and Estate Law Section in 2016 and the driving force behind the Task Force, had this to say about their mission: “As a child of the 1960s, I saw the change in journalism from the Walter Cronkite anchor journalism days of the 1960s and 1970s to the ‘citizen journalism’ of the 1990s and 2000s. I know that citizen lawyering with an internet law library will also change our profession. We need to find new ways to serve clients and deliver value.”

Thank you to the Future Practice and Guidance Task Force members who contributed their insights to the Future of Law articles.


Dennis M. Horn

Mary E. Vandenack

Vice Chairs:

Nelse T. Miller

Rana H. Salti

Barron K. Henley

Laura Lattman

David E. Lieberman

Orlando Lucero

Ira Meislik

Karin C. Prangley

Stephen R. Romine

Stephanie M. Smith

Rebecca Wallenfelsz

Ryan A. Walsh

Beth A. Wood