ENTREPRENEURIAL PRACTICE: ENTERPRISE SKILLS FOR LAWYERS SERVING EMERGING CLIENT POPULATIONS
By Nelson P. Miller, Michael J. Dunn, and John D. Crane
Law is at once increasingly broad and increasingly specialized. Law in our complex, technical, regulatory state affects more people more frequently and more deeply than ever before. More federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations cover more trades, professions, and industries, control more lands, premises, and activities, and create more liability and risk, than the nation has ever known.
At the same time, and consequently, the middle class and poor have less access to reasonable-cost, reasonably appropriate and timely law services than ever before. Vast numbers of underserved individuals are losing their jobs, homes, health, finances, families, and futures because of their inability to locate, afford, and deploy timely, appropriate, and well-fitted law services, threatening and depleting the middle class.
Lawyers will meet these new needs to preserve and promote a strong middle class, by packaging, pricing, and delivering law services in new ways, in a shift called the commoditization of law. If communities are to prosper, then lawyers must standardize law products and services to meet new needs, efficiently fit those services for individual clients, price those services transparently, and deliver them timely by accessible means.
Lawyers who learn these new law practice conventions will have more meaningful and rewarding careers that promote the order, openness, health, welfare, and economy of their communities. These lawyers will use more mobile and powerful technology in more clear, precise, and technical means to convey better-suited law products and services to better-served clients. A lot is at stake, and not only for lawyers.