Added9th May 2013 by Riverview LawRiverview Law

What lawyers can learn from travel agents!

Our recent presentation at Georgetown Law’s Symposium on The Shrinking Pyramid: Implications for Law Practice and the Legal Profession was the culmination of several months’ collaboration with three other industry leaders in the United States to produce an accessible academic paper comparing the effects of disruptive innovation in the travel industry with current trends from the emerging legal services paradigm. The paper, entitled ‘Even in a data-driven world, we still need travel agents… and lawyers’ features a case study of Riverview Law and was co-authored by the head of our North America office, Andy Daws, along with Renee Knake (MSU College of Law), Silvia Hodges (TyMetrix) and James Peters (LegalZoom). The presentation was extremely well received at the symposium and it is anticipated that the accompanying paper will be published in a leading law journal later this year. Here’s an extract from the Introduction: ‘The mid-1990’s witnessed the peak for retail travel agents and brick-and-mortar law firms the likes of which are unlikely to be experienced again. Over 20,000 travel retail locations closed in the past two decades, and the legal profession shed thousands of jobs. Both of these professional service industries were disrupted by technological innovation, in particular sophisticated online access and high-level data aggregation. There are lessons to be learned from travel agents for lawyers at all levels of service, from solo practitioners to large, traditional firms … This article explores ways that the legal profession can learn from the travel industry’s path of innovation in an era where significant components of law practice have been (or soon will be) displaced by technology and do-it-yourself services. We identify and assess two of the early entrepreneurs in online retail and in-house procurement of legal services based upon data aggregation, concluding with several recommendations for the profession drawn from the travel industry’s experience’. If you’re interested in reading the Riverview Law case study and learning more about the lessons the team identified for lawyers at this pivotal time for the industry, you can read the paper here.

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