When it comes to making a good living by leveraging one's legal way of thinking and skills, it can be a zero-sum game or players can find new niches and effective sustained ways to market in those emerging segments.
One such niche is what is called by various names: Shared economy, collaborative consumption, asset-light economy, and peer-to-peer sharing economy. As the current edition of THE ECONOMIST points out (subscription required), recently this disruptive force has been running into speed bumps because of issues ranging from insurance to legal liability. For example, will insurance companies create policies to facilitate individual car owners' leasing out their vehicles now and then and what should middlemen services such as Airbnb be considering in leasing rooms in apartments to tourists?
All these questions are fertile ground for legal minds which have the flexibility to identify the opportunities in the sharing economy. The way lawyers can take advantage of this possibility might not be through practicing law per se. They might find they can make their living as business consultants, with a legal background, advising startups or applying for full-time positions in insurance companies which have to absorb this kind of commercial transaction.
In my own field of communications, hit hard by the disruption of digital, those of us left standing have been able to continually take inventory of our knowledge and skills, where we can leverage that, and what kind of marketing do we need to do that. Back in 2005, I assumed that legal blogging would lead to a great job in marketing for law firms. That didn't happen. Eventually I moved on to Plan B, then Plan C, and Plan D. On Monday I begin a job in lower Manhattan, which is Plan E, creating content for an ecommerce firm with several niche services in legal.