Monday, February 9, 2009

Disruptive Innovation and the Legal Profession: Coming Soon to a Firm Near You?

Sagacious comments about the future of the legal profession are offered by IP strategist Jackie Hunter in her article, "Without Disruptive Innovation, Many IP Law Firms are Destined to Meet the Same Fate as Buggy Whip Manufacturers." Jackie argues that change is in the air, and that law firms must reconsider the business models and begin innovating, or they will face disruptive innovation themselves. As we learn from the history and theory of disruptive innovation, by the time incumbents feel the pain creative by disruptive innovators, it will often be too late to respond effectively.

A possible upside to the recent economic downturn is that many previously accepted business models are being revealed as in need of substantial reinvention or even total elimination. The billable hour/leverage law firm model for legal services is one of these increasingly maligned business models, and is now appearing to be in danger of ending up in the dustbin of history. Specifically, even those who benefit handsomely from the billable hour . . . now realize the fundamental irrationality of charging a client for time spent instead of value provided. This alone should signal that change is in the air. [Read more . . .]

Jackie is a seasoned expert in intellectual property strategy, and I'm pleased to add her outstanding blog, IP Asset Maximizer, to my blog roll.

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