Fast Law vs. Deep Law: The legal profession's imminent collision (Edge Int'l)


Remember when your high school science teacher asked what would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object? Well, the legal profession is about to find out.

Two trains are already in the tunnel, charging toward an inevitable collision. Let's call the first train the Nuanced Train of Thought (although Millennials just call it "the Old Train"). This is the "deep train" that carries the accumulated legal thought and wisdom of centuries. It controlled the rails right up until the technology explosion and the Great Financial Crisis. This train carries the lawyers schooled in and accustomed to the full immersion analysis, to considering all the angles, to exploring all risks, to exploring the subtleties and nuances, to elaborating all the options (and, of course, to billing all the hours).

Our second train is shiny, new, technologically beguiling and, above all, it's fast. This train represents our rapidly-evolving modes of legal communication, learning, decision-making, and rendering counsel to our clients. Perhaps it's unfair to call it McTrain or McLaw, because that suggests lack of substance, ingredients rushed together under intense time pressures, or hip-shot recipes proffered without careful and methodical reflection. In any event, the "fast train," supercharged with the latest technology, isn't going to slow down, and it isn't going to turn back.

So that's the collision we must anticipate: fast law vs. deep law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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