Yesterday in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jennifer Smith reported that clients, not law firms, are changing the status quo on this professional service (available by subscription). Yet, since the 2007 Crash in the legal sector, it has been obvious that the model of the legal sector as a business lags behind the realities of a buyer's market, possibilities offered by technology, and re-engineering work processes.
There have been many theories offered why so much of the legal sector has delayed The Revolution. One that occurred to me is that lawyers may simply be victims of excessive time spent in formal education. That system is based on avoiding getting a bad grade, therefore rewarding thinking and acting within the box. Also in order to do well on the LSAT, one has to think the way the LSAT demands. Those are the rules of the game.
Author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" Robert T. Kiyosaki writes often how the U.S. educational system hampers intelligent risk-taking. He hammers that the "price" of accumulating those degrees is inexperience with failure. Schools, Kiyosaki posits in his new book "Rich Dad's Guide To Becoming Rich," embed the mindset "Play it safe. Don't make mistakes. Mistakes are bad. People who make too many mistakes are failures." Therefore, their values are built on maintaining what has been, not what could be.
This ethos also seeps into career transition. Most displaced lawyers have a difficult time reinventing themselves for another professional direction. Here is the talk I delivered at the New York State Bar Association on career change, which has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY Download NYSBAtalkinVITALSPEECHESOFDAY