Break the Martini Glass

J.B. Ruhl
Creative legal minds are coming up with technologies and business models designed to streamline delivery of legal services.

Creative legal minds are coming up with technologies and business models designed to streamline delivery of legal services.

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The Post-Normal Times is a column that follows trends in the legal industry, legal technologies, legal innovation, and access to legal services and offers insights into how new lawyers can turn them from agents of change into agents of opportunity. 

Legal spend in the United States has been compared with the profile of a martini glass. At the top is a wide but shallow bowl where lots of the good stuff gets poured. That’s the Fortune 500 and Biglaw. At the bottom is a thin base just wide enough to keep the glass from tipping over. That’s low-income and public-interest law. In between is a long, thin stem. That’s the middle class and small-business world, and they’re waiting for law to show up at a price they can afford. Technological and business model innovation offers them hope of accessing affordable legal services. The question is whether the legal industry will let that happen. The next generation of lawyers will decide.

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