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Jayne Reardon

Jayne Reardon is the Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism to the Illinois Supreme Court. Prior to that,...

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Daniel Linna

Daniel W. Linna Jr. has a joint appointment at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and McCormick School of Engineering...

Episode Notes

State regulations for lawyers are meant to serve two main purposes: protecting the public and increasing access to justice. But with an estimated 50-80% of Americans unable to obtain legal help when needed, many regulations are in the crosshairs for reform. Dan Linna welcomes Jayne Reardon to discuss current trends toward updating regulations for legal-services delivery. Jayne describes some of the changes proposed in California, Utah, Arizona, and other states and offers insight into the drivers behind new recommendations.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Headnote.

Transcript

Law Technology Now

Re-Regulating Lawyers: Updating Rules for Modern Law

09/09/2019

 

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Daniel Linna: Hello. This is Dan Linna. Welcome to Law Technology Now on the Legal Talk Network. My guest today is Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Jayne is a frequent writer and speaker on topics involving the changing practice of law, including proposed changes to the regulation of lawyers.

 

Jayne, welcome to the show.

 

Jayne Reardon: Thanks for having me Dan. I am glad to be here.

 

Daniel Linna: Great. Well, before we jump in, we want to thank our sponsor, Headnote. Headnote helps lawyers get paid faster with their compliant e-payments and accounts receivables automation platform. To learn how to get paid quicker and more efficiently, visit them at headnote.com, that’s headnote.com.

 

All right Jayne, let’s just jump right in and can you tell us a little bit about your role at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

 

Jayne Reardon: Sure Dan. I am the Executive Director there and have been for the last decade or so. The Commission was formed by the Illinois Supreme Court with the mission to improve the professionalism, inclusion and civility of lawyers and judges across the state. So we do that in a number of ways, primarily around education, mentoring, that sort of thing.

 

Another part of our mission, which is more germane to why we are talking today is, we are supposed to promote more efficient and effective delivery of legal and judicial systems, which is a huge mission and we do that in a number of ways, including running a FutureLaw Conference, which we just finished up our fourth iteration of. So we connect with lawyers on these issues through our social media platform, website, blog. We have over 50,000 lawyers and judges signed up to receive our weekly and monthly e-news as well.

 

Daniel Linna: Okay. That sounds like an email list that everyone would like to be on, wow, that’s quite a reach with the work that you are doing.

 

Well, before we do a little bit of a deeper dive on that, can you just tell us a little bit about your career before you ended up in your current role?

 

Jayne Reardon: Absolutely. I started out at Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon in Chicago, Illinois, a firm that no longer exists, but it gave me a great opportunity to be in the courtroom trying cases at a very early stage of my career. I went from there to the Kelley Drye & Warren Chicago office and practiced there for a number of years.

 

Once my third baby was born and I realized that the nanny was in fact raising the kids, I took a bit of a career shift and I started working for the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission and there I became steeped in the ethical rules that govern lawyers and how they can get tripped up if they don’t follow those rules.

 

When the Supreme Court established the Commission on Professionalism in 2006, I jumped at the opportunity to build a new organization from scratch that was more proactively supporting the profession.

 

Daniel Linna: So you mentioned that in this current role that a piece of this is about thinking about how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal services delivery and judicial systems. Can you just tell us a little bit — give us a little bit of context like what problem is that meant to address?

 

Jayne Reardon: Lawyers are not trained in a lot of the process project management systems that are the basis of efficiency, and in order for lawyers to connect with clients, especially in this age, which is so technology-driven, lawyers need to learn new skill sets and we try to provide some of that education through our Professional Responsibility Continuing Legal Education Program and we are also involved in various initiatives by the court.

 

(00:04:54)

 

We need in this day and age, when we are more legally complex in society, to really make the law work for people in ways that are more consistent with the ways people operate in their regular day-to-day world. We don’t order pizzas the way we did, we don’t shop the way we did way back. So people expect services from the legal sphere to be more customer-friendly and we need to meet that challenge.

 

Daniel Linna: And when I talk with others about this problem, the stats I generally use are that something like about 80% of the impoverished can’t get access to legal services, about half the middle class. I know you have got similar stats and stats about Illinois, can you just tell us like some of the metrics that we are looking at that signal something needs to be done here?

 

Jayne Reardon: Yeah. Well, in Illinois specifically, up to 80% of the cases filed in our state courts are litigated by a self-represented litigant and sometimes both parties are not represented by attorneys, they are representing themselves. This presents a myriad of problems, because the system was built by lawyers, for lawyers, and self-represented litigants are often confused by the cumbersome processes, judges are concerned because they are trying to deliver justice, but the self-represented litigants don’t know what the rules are, what the documents are, etc. So they are shut out of the system that’s designed to help them, that’s a real problem in terms of our justice system.

 

In terms of lawyers, we are very concerned in Illinois, we have 102 counties and over half of those counties have not admitted a new lawyer in the last five years. So we have an aging lawyer population and people can’t find lawyers in many of the rural communities in our state and I think that’s reflected across the country as well. I don’t think in any way Illinois is an outlier there.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, I know another stat that I think is an interesting one that you have mentioned before is the decline in the number of cases filed in state courts in Illinois.

 

Jayne Reardon: Yeah, that continues to drop, again, reflecting a national trend. People are not going to the courts to get their disputes resolved, whether they don’t know of the opportunity or they deem it too cumbersome or expensive, it’s unclear, because we haven’t done a good job of asking the consumers what they want in terms of legal and judicial services.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah. So there are many things here that we could talk about, but what I really want to kind of focus in on and as we discussed is, you have been doing a lot of writing and speaking about the reregulation of lawyers and that that can be part of creating the incentive structure here to solve some of those problems.

 

So before we talk about the proposed changes in some states and this concept of reregulation, which you have written about in lot of your articles and in other places, can you describe the current regulatory structure, how we regulate lawyers in the US generally?

 

Jayne Reardon: Generally speaking, lawyers are regulated by the state Supreme Courts of the state in which they are admitted. We talk about the legal profession as being self-regulated and that means that the state judiciaries are in charge, not the department of something in the executive branch.

 

So each state’s Supreme Court has in place Rules of Professional Conduct and they generally follow Model Rules that are put out by the American Bar Association, but they do defer state by state.

 

Then, if a lawyer is complained of by a customer or someone else as violating those rules, they enter into the disciplinary system and they get disciplined if they are found to have violated those Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

It’s a very reactive system. Sometimes I talk about, it’s like whack-a-mole, gotcha. It is not proactive. It’s not saying at the outset, this is what you need to do to be an effective, competent, ethical lawyer.

 

So that’s the system we have in place right now and it’s straining under a lot of current changes in our society.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah. I think also from a 50,000 foot level, I was kind of thinking about how we might define the current regulatory structure in terms of some of the changes that are being proposed as well. And so there are discussions about, right now there is Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules, which would generally prevent a person who is not a lawyer from practicing law.

 

There are rules against lawyers sharing fees with other lawyers. There are rules that prohibit lawyers from taking outside investment.

 

(00:10:06)

 

Jayne Reardon: Those rules are really in the crosshairs of change right now. So Unauthorized Practice of Law is in some way, shape or form adopted in all of the states. Means if you don’t have a license granted by that state Supreme Court, you can’t practice law there, whether you are a lawyer or not.

 

Here in the Chicago land region, I could be sitting in my Indiana office, if I am not licensed to practice in Indiana, I could be arguably subject to UPL, that’s an issue in this day and age where our society is so mobile.

 

Similarly, if you are not licensed in any state, if you are a technology company or a website deliverer of services, you could be accused as engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law and that has tripped up a lot of companies and arguably has prevented the delivery of a lot of legal services or at least information to folks. So the Unauthorized Practice of Law concept is being re-jiggered or at least thought about and analyzed in new ways.

 

Similarly, there is a rule in place in virtually every jurisdiction of our country that says, if you are a lawyer, you cannot share fees with someone who is not a lawyer, and you can’t go into business with them if they are either investing in your firm or they have managerial control.

 

And there is also a rule in place that says you can’t pay someone to get you a referral or refer your services to clients.

 

All of these rules were designed ostensibly to make sure that the legal services delivered to people were competent and ethical, but they have been turned on their head now with the rampant availability of legal services through the Internet and technology. So they are being reexamined in a lot of different spheres.

 

Daniel Linna: All right. Well, let’s talk about the product of some of that reexamination and I know that there are current reregulation efforts going on and you have written about this a bit in California, Arizona and Utah, some things happening in other states as well, but I think these are the most high profile ones, and so I would like to just go through these one state at a time. Is California the right place to start?

 

Jayne Reardon: Sure, we could start with California.

 

Daniel Linna: Okay. All right, so what’s — I mean what’s happening there? What’s been proposed?

 

Jayne Reardon: So California for the last year or so has had in place a task force considering the use of technology and some changes to the regulatory rules. What they did was really interesting, they engaged not only lawyers and judges, but members of the public and people who are experienced in technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc., to look at the ethical rules and make recommendations for changes with two purposes in mind; protecting the public, which should be the only reason we have regulations in places, how are we protecting the public, but also increasing access to justice in a recognition that we are failing as a legal profession when 50-80% of our citizens can’t have access or don’t have access to the legal services.

 

So they put out a series of tentative recommendations in July of this year and we are in a public comment period right now, so if anyone has any comments to make about those recommendations, you can go to their website and let them know what you think about them. They are really very dramatic in some ways. They are easing the rules or recommending the rules be eased regarding Unauthorized Practice of Law and this fee sharing rule that prohibits the sharing of fees between lawyers and non-lawyers. That’s called Model Rule 5.4. They have put forward two alternative rules that would be more liberal than what’s in place right now.

 

The first version of Rule 5.4 that they have put forward for public comment says, lawyers can go into business with non-lawyers if the non-lawyers assist the lawyers in delivering legal services, as long as they are not impacting the independent judgment of a lawyer.

 

(00:14:56)

 

The more broad version says, hey, lawyers can go into business with non-lawyers, they can share fees, allied professionals can join forces and deliver legal services in whatever way they want as long as the clients give informed consent. So that’s a pretty broad rule that has not yet been put forth by any state and we will see what happens there.

 

All those tentative recommendations are very, very high-level and it’s anticipated that a formal report incorporating all the comments that are going to come out in the next month or so will come out in the report and then whatever the State Bar decides to do with it, they will move to an implementation phase, which is yet another task force saying okay, how does this actually work and what rules do we need in place and what regulations beyond rules applying to lawyers should be put into place.

 

So if we are going to accept those who don’t have a JD and aren’t full-fledged lawyers in this legal space, what regulation should those folks have and what does that look like. So that’s really a very interesting set of considerations. Entity regulation is one aspect, saying we are going to regulate the firm or the entity that lawyers and allied professionals work together in the delivery of legal services.

 

Daniel Linna: And so it would go from this current committee to an implementation committee and then what would happen after that?

 

Jayne Reardon: Well, presumably once the Supreme Court and then California is a little different, because they have some legislature involvement, but once all of that’s in place, presumably the rules and regulations would become effective. I think that’s at least a year down the road, if not more.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah. Okay. So with these proposals in California, if they were adopted, what’s the rationale as far as what we would see in the marketplace as far as the way law firms and lawyers might change and the new entrants who might come into the marketplace, how would you describe that?

 

Jayne Reardon: Well, there is a whole lot of possibilities and I think many of them haven’t presented themselves yet, right? We lawyers are so used to seeing things in the silos which we have been steeped in from law school forward, but one of the many possibilities that have been talked about is think about it from the clients’ perspective or a would-be customer. If I would like a lawyer to draft my trusts and estates, wouldn’t it be great if he or she could collaborate with my tax accountant, my financial advisor and all of that could be accomplished in one series of meetings together instead of an independent series of meetings.

 

Similarly, you could have lawyers collaborating with social workers and others in terms of family law practitioners, counselors, a lot of legal problems intersect with people problems, and it’s very difficult to keep the legal separate from the non-legal, and it’s clear to us who are studying this issue that customers and clients don’t think of their problems that way, it’s just legal, they just have problems, they need help, and it would be great to very collaboratively address those problems.

 

Daniel Linna: So let’s talk about just for a second briefly here, before we take a quick break and then do a little bit of a deeper dive on analyzing where we think that these regulations could take us, so Arizona, we are seeing some changes presented there as well?

 

Jayne Reardon: Arizona has also had a task force or a working group put in place by its State Supreme Court; it’s a little behind time-wise in terms of California, but preliminarily they are also looking at getting rid of the rules prohibiting fee sharing between lawyers and those who are not lawyers.

 

They are looking at completely getting rid of the rule that says you can’t pay for referrals and shoring up some of the other rules that say let’s protect client confidences. There are obviously very important, valid ethical rules, but Arizona is expected to wrap — oh, and one more thing about Arizona I just learned, they are also looking at entity regulation for both lawyers and whatever we call the lawyers and non-lawyers working together type of firms. So we are looking at them making some recommendations to a judicial counsel and then going to public comment period probably later this year.

 

(00:20:05)

 

Daniel Linna: Okay, and then Utah, where are they at in this process?

 

Jayne Reardon: So, Utah actually might be the first one out of the gate to stand something up, their State Supreme Court put a working group together to address these rules and they are expected to issue a final report very soon any day now; hopefully, before the end of autumn, and one of the things they are considering is changing the rule that says you can’t share fees to more proactively State.

 

You can share fees with anyone, Mr. or Ms. Lawyer, as long as you maintain your client confidences, your client loyalty and nobody impacts your independent professional judgment. I thought what a great way to do it instead of proscribing certain activities you shall not do this, you shall not do that, let’s incorporate the real principle behind why we have that rule in place.

 

So, Utah is expected to come forward with this report, part of which will be creating a new regulatory body to regulate some of the — not only the lawyers, but some of the non-lawyers in this space and they’re talking about doing it in a regulatory sandbox type setting. So if you are an entity with a new idea for an app or some sort of legal services system, you collaborate with the regulatory body on parameters for data collection goals how long it’s going to be in place, what are the protections for the clients and customers.

 

So it may be that there’s a different set of regulations for many different types of providers. In that way, innovation can be fostered without us trying to figure out at the outset and a rapidly changing environment, what are all the possibilities so we can put forth another set of prescriptions. So I think that’s a really exciting and creative way to approach regulation in this dynamic environment.

 

Daniel Linna: Jayne, you mentioned that California is in the public comment period and I want to hear how the public and lawyers are reacting to that, but before we continue with Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, we’re going to take a quick break to hear a message from our sponsor.

 

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Daniel Linna: And we’re back thank you for joining us. We’re with Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Jayne, right before the break, we are talking about the change that’s underway and in California, Utah and Arizona or has been proposed at least.

 

And in California, they are in the public comment period, can you tell us just a little bit about how our lawyers and the public reacting to some of these proposals. What are you seeing?

 

Jayne Reardon: The first public comments to come in have been largely from lawyers and a lot of it is a very reactive, frankly, emotional comment that this would be terrible for the profession, that’s been a lot of what was first received in California. I was out there and did observe some of the public hearing that the California Task Force held in early August, the comments were largely more measured there and many if not most of them were actually in favor of the recommendation of the task force.

 

The issue is this. The public needs to be apprised of this situation. In talking to members of the public in my world, most of them have no idea that lawyers are prohibited from going into business or sharing fees with non-lawyers, and then when I explain the rules to them they say, why is that? That makes no sense to me. I would expect my lawyer to still be ethical whether he or she is working with someone else or not.

 

So I think what’s going to be important for all of these states to do is to educate members of the public consumer groups, better business bureaus, financial planners, et cetera.

 

(00:25:05)

 

Some of these allied professionals about what possible changes are underfoot and I think there would be a much more positive reception than a traditional lawyer who frankly I don’t think is looking very objectively at the facts if they’re opposed to even considering rule changes.

 

Daniel Linna: One thing I kind of frequently hear is though focus on protecting the public, and of course, I think all the stats show that we’re not serving the public the way we ought to because of the lack of access. Some of the examples I’ll give and people like to pick on LegalZoom, they’ll say, oh well, LegalZoom, I see people come in, they have this problem.

 

I also point to people like I practice law, I also had said problems where other lawyers messed up things, I mean, this isn’t fortunate — of course, there are times when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to go, I mean, how do you address that and how do we do a better job of in this whole space of kind of measuring the quality and effectiveness of legal service delivery across the board because I have people ask me about these technology tools but the truth is I don’t know that we have great data on the effectiveness and safety of the services that lawyers provide.

 

Jayne Reardon: I agree with you wholeheartedly. In fact, we have virtually no data about the effectiveness of lawyers’ services. We have no data that underpins the current ethical rules that are in place so it is time now that we are in a data-rich environment to really look at some empirically based risk assessments and underpin regulation to that because comparing high quality services from a big law lawyer to no services is what where we are now.

 

A few people in our society are getting high quality, can afford high quality legal services but the vast majority of people get no legal services at all and that’s just an untenable and unacceptable situation. So I think we do need to bring in data and we do need to understand what we’re trying to accomplish through regulation and it should simply be protecting the public, not protecting the lawyers’ guild from technology companies or others who might be able to deliver some legal services from entering our space.

 

Daniel Linna: What about, I mean, we tend to sometimes talk about lawyers and monolithic terms, but of course, there’s different types of lawyers and just even taking one cut at kind like what Bill Henderson calls people law and thinking about small many solo practitioner or small firm lawyers versus large law firm lawyers.

 

I mean, have you seen a difference in the receptiveness to this and those groups and do you think the re-regulation that’s being proposed will affect those groups in different ways?

 

Jayne Reardon: I haven’t been able to assess a difference between solo and small firm practitioners versus big law lawyers. I honestly am not sure that people are paying enough attention to these developments which have come about really only in the last year or so, but I do think the effect will be different.

 

Right now, solos are as they say to me when I’m traveling the State of Illinois is dying on the vine. They’re trying to have clients come to their brick-and-mortar office and their income is going down because clients are not seeking them out that way. I think what re-regulation would offer is an opportunity for them to scale their business using platforms and other opportunities to connect them with would-be customers.

 

So I think actually the promise for solo and small firm practitioners is great. I also think the promise for big law firms is high as well particularly with the ability to get capital infusion. Right now, of course if they can only take out loans from banks, and that’s a very difficult way to compete against a LegalZoomer company that has access to venture capital, et cetera. So I think there’s great opportunity there. I do think it will affect the market in different ways.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, so the U.S. regulates lawyers in this fashion and in fact most jurisdictions around the world regulate lawyers in a similar way to this, but there are a couple of exceptions, so for example, the United Kingdom and Australia and Singapore, they allow what they call alternative business structure, so some of these things about allowing other professionals to work together and build a business as you were talking about before. What can we learn from those jurisdictions as we go through this re-regulation process?

 

Jayne Reardon: So, we can learn a lot of lessons from them. In Australia they had started this re-regulation process back in the 90s and in England and Wales at about 2007.

 

(00:30:05)

 

What we can learn is, number one, we can protect the clients and would-be customers in a way that is commensurate with the risks and not be draconian in dictating how lawyers can spend their money or who they can go into business with. That’s clear.

 

We can also learn from them that the sky doesn’t fall, and there is not a rise, there has not been a rise in ethical complaints against lawyers who practice law in these multi-disciplinary fashions with other professionals. Those are very important lessons to learn from those jurisdictions.

 

Unfortunately, moving the needle on the access to justice issue has not been that dramatic yet. People say, well, there is no proof that going into business or the ABS’s multi-jurisdictional or disciplinary practices is making the access to justice gap go away.

 

There has been change and there is evidence especially coming out of the UK, England and Wales that there is greater innovation with ABSs and there’s greater client satisfaction with the services that they receive. Those are very positive signs.

 

I’d also posit we’re only about five years into this change in England and Wales and I think it’s too soon to say that there has been no change on the access to justice issue. I would argue if we think the ethical rules are standing in the way of people receiving services, we have an obligation to change them and then monitor and see what the effects are.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, well — so what other US states, we talked about California, Arizona, Utah, I know in the State of Washington, for example, they have limited licensed legal technicians and I understand Utah now has a version of that, limited —

 

Jayne Reardon: Legal practitioners, I think.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, paralegals, I think is in the term, but yeah — so a version of that, what other states are kind of — at the forefront of looking at some of these issues and exploring change in a serious way?

 

Jayne Reardon: Well, our home State of Illinois has been looking at a modification to the rules on the client-lawyer matching situation. Right now it’s okay if lawyers pay a non-profit like a Bar Association for being on their platform for matching with would-be customers and a recommendation that’s out for public comment rather in Illinois, is we ought to have the same system in place for profit as well. What is that distinction about?

 

And so, I think there’s some possibility that Illinois is going to move on that. I’m very proud of the fact that Illinois was the first State to adopt proactive management-based regulation, meaning, let’s support lawyers on the front end, tell them what they need to do to have an ethical infrastructure, other states are doing that as well. New Mexico is one that is studying these issues, Colorado as well.

 

Daniel Linna: Well, one of the things I’ve heard and is that the State Supreme Court justices are starting to really get behind this in quite a few other states. So whereas the lawyers or maybe the Bar Association has traditionally been moving a little bit more slowly that this has caught the attention of State Supreme Court justices?

 

Jayne Reardon: Yes, it certainly has. I know the Conference of Chief Justices has had several sessions on this. I’m involved with the Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers, which has a Future of Lawyering Committee looking at these same issues with the idea of let’s make a comprehensive set of recommendations and we have a liaison with the Conference of Chief Justices keeping them apprised as well.

 

This is ultimately the responsibility of the State Supreme Court justices and it’s wonderful that they’re getting involved in exercising leadership on this issue.

 

Daniel Linna: I’ve heard people speculate that if California were to make this change, for example, then they’re going to be a lot of fast followers, and maybe Utah and Arizona, but California, that’s a big jurisdiction, that maybe even New York would have to be a fast follower. What are your thoughts or kind of what are you hearing on that?

 

Jayne Reardon: I’ve heard the same thing and I kind of agree with the wisdom there. We tend to regulate state by state by state, but that’s not how the world works.

 

(00:34:53)

 

And if we get a handful of states or even one or two, the other states are going to start looking very seriously at this issue, because it’s going to affect not only their lawyer and judicial systems, but also the people of their State. And I think there’s obviously people want to be in the first adopters here because there are some competitive advantages to be had.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, so — and you have mentioned before that your kind of view is that lawyers aren’t paying enough attention to this, what do you think maybe lawyers ought to be doing and let’s start with in big law like how — if you were inside of a large law firm kind of like thinking as a lawyer or in management, what kind of things do you think you ought to be preparing for as the world continues to evolve on these topics?

 

Jayne Reardon: Well, internally of course, the organizations have to embrace technology, new ways of communicating with their collaborators, their clients, trying to more efficiently and effectively deliver the legal services.

 

But on this issue, managing partners of firms of all sizes really should be paying attention, because I think this regulation issue has the ability to change the markets in a profound way very quickly. And we do need lawyers to be the architects here, because we don’t want to be knee-jerk obviously here, we want to be very deliberate and thoughtful about it, but also recognize that we have an obligation to serve the public in the best way possible and it would be unconscionable for lawyers to sit on the sidelines and watch these changes being made by tech companies.

 

So I think they need to get involved with this issue whether it’s through their Bar Associations with the State Supreme Courts, most State Supreme Courts have committees and organizations designed to look at the rules even if they haven’t yet started a task force to look at the rules. There are vehicles to have your voice be heard.

 

Daniel Linna: What about if you’re a smaller firm practitioner or you really serving the people law market? You talked a little bit about some of the opportunities about how could you say start preparing for these changes that are coming?

 

Jayne Reardon: I think it’s even more important for the small firm practitioners to learn about the way they can leverage their impact through technology. I think that in the delivery of legal services they can have such a greater impact if they stop, put in place processes, procedures and technologies to help them.

 

But I also think there are solo and small firm Bar Associations and sections where their voices could be heard by the State Supreme Court Justices who ultimately are the decision-makers on this regulation issue. So, hopefully, they are involved with Bar Associations and other legal organizations looking to make a difference in this area.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah. Well, one of the things I often hear too from smaller firm practitioners and solos is that, well, it’s easy to talk about technology, but the big law firms they can afford it, we can’t afford it, and now I think that — I mean some of those barriers are breaking down that there are tools available and you talked about the numbers just showing the tremendous demand that is not being served and then there’s a lot of work being done in the latent demand for legal services where we don’t — we could perhaps do a better job of making the public aware the way in which we can help solve problems and add value.

 

Jayne Reardon: Absolutely. The opportunities are really incredible here. I see them opening up day after day after day, and I think if lawyers really think creatively about this and research what opportunities there are out there and educate themselves about these opportunities, they will have a more rewarding career financially as well as in terms of providing the meaning and purpose, which is I think why we all became lawyers to make a real difference, and we are going to be serving so many more people making the law work for them.

 

Daniel Linna: Well, running close to the end of our time, Jayne, but one last thing I did want to ask is, is what about students who are very — students, law students and then lawyers who are very early in their career, what kind of advice would you give to them on really how to prepare for the emerging future of legal services delivery?

 

Jayne Reardon: So, I’m hoping law schools get on board with an understanding that the delivery of legal services really ought to be taught in law schools. I know you and I are both involved with the Institute for the Future of Law Practice and we’re focused on training up the newest lawyers to have the skills to really look at operations as well as the substantive law.

 

(00:39:55)

 

I think for lawyers in their early career they have to branch past the substantive legal expertise, that’s just a minimum requirement in this day and age and when people can Google the substantive law, what comes into play more importantly than ever is facility with allied types of skill-sets. You need to understand some basic finance, some technology, have to have emotional intelligence. These other things should be sought out by the newest lawyers because they will be increasingly important.

 

Unfortunately, I think many of the lawyers in the baby boomer generation think I’m just going to ride this out, I’m just going to retire soon, but we need lawyers, we need them to be trained up and really effective and efficient so they need to seek out these skills and I think law schools and other organizations will start to address that education gap.

 

Daniel Linna: Well, Jayne, this has been really helpful, really informative. If our listeners want to get in touch, I mean, I know you’re on Twitter, your blog, can you just tell them how they could reach out to you?

 

Jayne Reardon: Oh absolutely. I’m blogging and we have a great website. You can contact me through the website if you wish or by email [email protected]. I tweet under @JayneRReardon and I love to hear from people and I’m very excited to be involved in this issue, and I thank so much for having me, Dan.

 

Daniel Linna: Yeah, thank you for joining us today, Jayne.

 

Well, this has been another edition of Law Technology Now on the Legal Talk Network. Please take a minute to subscribe and rate us on Apple podcasts and Google podcasts. You can find me on Twitter @DanLinna, please follow me, re-tweet links of this episode and join the Legal Innovation and Technology Discussion online, and join us next time for another edition of Law Technology Now.

 

I’m Dan Linna, signing off.

 

[Music]

 

Outro: If you would like more information about what you have heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com, subscribe via iTunes and RSS, find us on Twitter and Facebook or download our free Legal Talk Network app in Google Play and iTunes.

 

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: September 9, 2019
Podcast: Law Technology Now
Category: Best Legal Practices
Podcast
Law Technology Now
Law Technology Now

Law Technology Now features key players, in the legal technology community, discussing the top trends and developments in the legal technology world.

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