Potentially unpopular opinion: It is an exciting time to be a young lawyer. There is so much happening in the innovation space that will shape the future of legal services. And young lawyers need to be front and center pushing this change.

Required reading for every lawyer includes the 2016 Futures Report from the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. It is the roadmap on how to reduce the 80%+ access to justice gap and demonstrates ways to modernize the delivery of legal services. If we start solving the challenges posed in the report, good things will happen.

As broader efforts are in the works, young lawyers can do their part on a day-to-day basis by making sure they are technologically proficient — per Model Rule 1.1, comment 8, and by implementing technology and modern business practices in their firm. You can download ALPS Minding Your Law Firm Tech whitepaper to get you started. Technology is evolving rapidly and barriers to adoption (such as cost and difficulty of use) have largely been reduced. In 2017, there is really no legitimate excuse for lawyers to avoid running modern, efficient practices.


This post was written by Chad Burton of CuroLegal. A former litigator, Chad developed one of the nation’s first “new model” law firms, leveraging cloud-based technology and modern business practices to develop a lean virtual law firm. Chad has an unhealthy obsession with experimenting with the latest legal and productivity technologies. If there’s a possibility it can be leveraged to better practice and serve clients, chances are he’s tested it out and annoyed the rest of the team about it.

Chad serves on ABA Law Practice Division’s Council and as Chair of the Division’s Futures Initiative, and it is on the governing board for the new ABA Center for Innovation. He regularly speaks around the country on topics related to legal technology, virtual law practice and the future of the legal profession.

Chad has been quoted and published in publications like the ABA Journal, the Atlantic, Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc. Chad was named to the Fastcase 50 list of global legal innovators in 2014 and received an award by ALM for the Most Innovative Use of Technology in 2012.

Chad has an on-demand webinar in the ALPS CLE catalog on the Future of Legal Services.

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