If we preface Susskind’s central argument that the prominence and demand for lawyers will be greatly affected by “A market pull towards commoditization and by a pervasive development and uptake of information technology” with the word “po” then the debate does not become a threat. Instead it becomes nothing more threatening than a fancy, or a hypothesis, a story perhaps to expand and improvise.
Accordingly we do not need to respond defensively or dismissively from our established world views. We can step into a more creative realm of thinking and discussion.
As Godin writes, we can look ahead to where the profession might be in 6 months time, or to Susskind’s brave new world and be afraid, because if those forecasts are right then the ramifications are terrifying. Or we can turn to creativity, which in itself will bring in change and the possibility of very different outcomes.
To conclude, the greatest irony lies within “The End of Lawyers?” itself. If we do engage with the book then we discover that Susskind is not waiting to dance, gleefully, on the graves of our profession. Instead, he comes across as a concerned and generous colleague, warning of the chicanes ahead.
He offers an incessant stream of ideas, provocations, business development starting points, new business models, new shaped services and platforms. There is a treasure trove of creative thinking starting points.
The book quickly swings from being a threat to a smorgasbord of ideas and professional services. Which ones we choose to graze upon, which ones we leave behind, and the ones that we use as a platform to go on and develop whole new feasts is down to us alone. But whatever you do, don’t choose to turn down the invitation to join in.