Daniel Susskind warns that the future of the legal profession is in jeopardy. While speaking to a group of [mostly legal] professionals about his new book, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts (which he co-authored with his father, Richard Susskind), Susskind suggested that lawyers’ roles as the traditional gatekeepers to the legal profession may be coming to an end. As support for his thesis, Susskind cites eBay’s online dispute resolution model that resolves around 60 million disputes each year without the involvement of traditional lawyers.
With respect, we disagree. We recognize that new technology means there will be change. We have watched as machines have become increasingly capable of performing certain tasks, but at the same time, we as lawyers, have learned how to use the technology to support the legal profession. Just as society has evolved throughout the centuries, so too will our profession. Technology represents change, but it also presents challenges that only humans can overcome.