Future Of Law — Your Crystal Ball
Lawyers, are you anxious about the future of law and the legal industry?
Do you fear your job and career will be harmed by changes in the industry?
Would you like to anticipate and judge how developments in the legal industry will affect your future?
Are you curious and intrigued by the evolution of the legal industry?
Do you get excited about the opportunities created by disruptions in the industry?
Would you like to be “in the know” and prepared to revise your career path as necessary to be at the top of your chosen field?
Either way, I have a simple solution for you. It will require a little work to predict the future of law. But, I will show you how to minimize the time and effort you need to spend on the solution to the difficulty of staying abreast of where the legal industry is headed.
Before I reveal the little secret, let me respond to some of your concerns.
Lawyers’ first response to most things requiring a little work is that they don’t have time. That’s fine, understood. But if you don’t make time now to consider the future of law, the future of your career might allow you plenty of time later.
Yep, your future and the future of law is unpredictable. You’re right. Oh well, let’s just get back to drafting confidentiality agreements or motions to dismiss. No use wasting billable time trying to see into the future.
Well, be ready for the future to smack your career into oblivion.
The future is unpredictable, but you can make educated predictions based on current information. Isn’t that what lawyers do for a living? Is that deal going to close, or that case going to settle?
To prepare for a successful career as a lawyer, either in or out of the law, you must know what is happening now, anticipate the future of law and judge how that might affect your future. Listen to knowledgeable commentators on the future of law, and then make your own judgments about how to manage your career.
Identify good sources of information and commentary on the future of law and the legal industry. Most information is on the internet in one form or another. Even the good stuff behind paywalls or in proprietary databases can usually be accessed in summary form by reading posts, articles and reports by bloggers, journalists and organizations. When you read something online that is useful, knowledgeable and trustworthy make a note of the author and source. That’s work for you, but do it over time as you take your usual break-time excursions into the land of Google and social media.
Many websites and blogs allow you to subscribe to feeds of blog posts or other regularly updated information, and they will be sent to an RSS reader when published. You will need an RSS reader to access your subscriptions. I find Feedly to be the best of the readers, but other good ones are available. Feedly is free and easy to set up.
When you find a site that is a good source of information, click on the RSS symbol on the right side of the address bar of the site you want to subscribe to and add it to Feedly. The RSS link is also sometimes placed near the social media buttons on the page. As an extra-special bonus to those reading this far, you can view my curated collections of Feedly subscriptions here and subscribe to those that interest you.
Couldn’t you just subscribe to a site’s newsletter or other email notification system? Sure, if your inbox is not already full go right ahead.
The more efficient tactic is to look at the all the newsletters and other recurring emails in your inbox and check if there are RSS feeds. If so, subscribe to those feeds and direct them to your Feedly account. I’ve just helped you with one of life’s annoyances, an overflowing inbox. That’s another extra bonus here, no thanks needed. I’m all about sharing information to make your career and life more enjoyable.
Now, set up a Pocket account.
Pocket allows you to read specific posts or articles from your RSS feed later. If you see something interesting when scrolling through your RSS subscriptions on Feedly, or find anything else interesting on the internet, send it to Pocket so you can read it later at your convenience.
Pocket is free to use although there is a paid option with more features. The free version is fine for most lawyers, especially those just getting started with this productivity system. You can add tags to organize the posts and articles for later reference. Pocket also has apps so you can read saved items on your cell phone or tablet. Pocket has a search function, and you can archive items after they have been read.
Your “Future of Law” crystal ball system in a nutshell. Identify websites and blogs with good, trustworthy sources of recurring information about the future of law. Subscribe to the RSS feeds by sending them to Feedly. Look at the posts in Feedly when you have a few minutes. Send the items you want to read later to Pocket. Read the items in Pocket at your leisure. That’s it. You will soon develop a better idea about the future of law and how it will affect your career than 95% of all lawyers. A good payoff for a little work to set up your customized crystal ball system.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I started a career consulting practice serving lawyers and other professionals after a successful career as a practicing attorney.
Before starting my professional career consulting business, I was a:
• Equity partner at two of the largest law firms in the country
• Rainmaker who developed an annual book of business of over $3.5 million
• Winner of the Turnaround Management Association Turnaround of the Year — Large Company 2011
• Lawyer in a small boutique firm
• In-house counsel for a publicly-traded investment firm, and
• Manager at a Fortune 500 company and several small businesses
I Now Work With Lawyers and Other Professionals to Help Them Revitalize Their Careers And Achieve Success, Prosperity, and Personal Fulfillment.
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Originally published at gregyatesconsulting.com on August 19, 2015.