When lawyers talk about “law new,” they typically mean a new client service approach that focuses on value and process. It is a movement that is often driven by economic pressures and is about finding ways to deliver legal services more efficiently. The idea behind this law new is to help clients get the most out of their legal representation and to create long term relationships with them that result in a greater return on their investment. While the idea of new law can be difficult to define, it is important to understand it in order to harness its potential and grow your practice.
The emergence of this law new, a term that often refers to a new style of legal practice, is symptomatic of an increasingly important trend. It is a change in how attorneys think about the business of law, one that has implications for all lawyers and the legal profession as a whole. This shift has largely been driven by the changing economic landscape and the pressure on law firms to maximize profits in a competitive marketplace.
Traditionally, legal scholarship has focused on a case-situated analysis of particular judicial decisions and a translation of those decisions into legal doctrine. This approach has produced many fine works of jurisprudence and contributed greatly to our intellectual heritage. But it is not an ideal framework for addressing our modern world, and a major challenge for legal scholars is to develop a different perspective.
This new scholarship must address the realities of our administrative state. This means that it must take initiative in a way that is inconsistent with the traditional model of legal scholarship. Legislators and administrators do this on a regular basis, with their presidential programs or legislative agendas being obvious examples. The new law scholarship must also display this kind of initiative by anticipating problems and proposing statutory or administrative solutions before they become an issue.
It must also consider the structure of enforcement mechanisms and examine the impact of public participation. This work will require insights and techniques from social science disciplines such as political science, econo mists, and sociology, which are often absent from legal literature. It is an attempt to move legal scholarship beyond its reliance on analogy and toward a more empirical and broader conceptual approach.
Whether this effort will succeed remains to be seen. It is clear that to do so will require that we rethink our concept of law and, perhaps, abandon the old notions altogether. Otherwise, we will continue to face the problem of a prescriptive discipline that is stuck in the past. Until that happens, scholars will find it very difficult to speak to legislators and administrators about their concerns.