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Should Lawyers Be Innovators?

In June, we wrote about the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana University McKinney School of Law for hosting a Legal Education Conclave. See http://www.kefferbarnhart.com/Blog/2015/July/Scott-Barnhart-Attends-Legal-Conclave.aspx. A significant portion of that conclave was devoted to the discussion of the unauthorized practice of law.

It seems that this topic has struck a chord nationally and was discussed at length at the American Bar Association National Conference this month. http://www.abajournal.com (last visited August 17, 2015). One of the speakers, the founder and CEO of Avvo, Mark Britton, urged the audience and lawyers to look at the issue of unauthorized practice of law “through the lens of innovation.” While lawyers might be concerned about the unauthorized practice of law, that concern seems to push out innovators and trendsetters. In Britton’s opinion, the solution is for lawyers to partner with experts in other fields in order to better serve society. He stated, “[a]s lawyers, we contribute to society, but it’s not about us, it’s about the legal consumer,” he said. “We need to understand what they need and innovate for them.” Whether it is locally or nationally, lawyers are best served addressing trends and working to improve legal education and its impact of the legal community and the community at large.

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