Legal forms for the price of an iTunes song?

There are many examples of how the legal profession is moving toward commoditization. The most recent commentary on the subject is Richard Granat’s blog post.

Other examples include:  Legal Zoom, currently in battle with the North Carolina Bar Association about the unauthorized practice of law; forms available in books (remember Novo?); and online (see Granat’s blog post for some).  People who believe they need legal help but can’t afford it, will do the next best thing…get a form from these resources.  This happens in estate planning, real estate transfers, even in some litigation, and in other practice areas as well.

This will result in greater segmentation (a marketing term) of the legal industry. The "bet the company" cases and large companies will still use good law firms; others with less serious matters will use lower cost lawyers or do-it-yourself forms. (Whether these forms create more legal work later is another and unimportant issue for now.) And at the lower end of the economic spectrum, you can expect to see great competition.  Even large law firms at the higher end are experiencing competition, just at a different level of sophistication.

Change is in the air.  Hold onto your hats; the legal world is moving!


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