To design the law firm of the future, we should adopt a "veil of ignorance" - or so argues Dr Heather Anson.
Anson, speaking at the London Law Expo (an annual event with exhibitors and speakers from across the legal tech world), suggests that too often law firms think about the future service they might provide by reference to the things that legal tech companies offer for sale. Instead, law firms should follow philosopher John Rawls, who argued that in order to create fair and just laws we should imagine that we know nothing about the kind of person we will be (or the position that we will hold) in the society that we are designing. We should design the society from behind a veil of ignorance. Since we won't know our status in the society, the thought experiment encourages us to create laws that will not penalise particular people or groups of people.
Applied to law firm strategy, Anson suggests we seek to throw off our preconceptions about how law firms deliver services. In legal tech, one way we might do this is to try not be directed by the services that are being offered, but by the problems we want to solve. For me, this resonates with the kind of relationships that I hope our team can build with legal tech companies: we have lots of ideas about what we might do with technology and having sensible, informed partners we can talk to is as important as the delivery of a particular service.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to carrying on all the interesting conversations I had with exhibitors!