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Bar News - January 20, 2016


President’s Perspective: Be Ready: Midyear Meeting Addresses New Challenges

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This past weekend I was logging my hockey-mom time at the ice rink. I happened to be watching the little ones in the learn-to-play program, and remembering all too well the laughs and pains when my boys were just getting started with the game. It was not so long ago that my husband could be heard “gently” coaching our boys – “Be Ready! Anticipate the play!”

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky is noted for quipping that “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” The same is true for lawyers in the 21st Century. Professor Richard Susskind, known for his writing about the law and technology, used Gretzky’s famous quote to illustrate the ever-increasing and fast-paced changes in the legal profession. He opines that traditional models of lawyering are well-developed concepts for the 20th century; but, the 21st Century lawyer has new challenges, competitive forces, technological advancements and opportunities.

On March 4, 2016, we will hold our Association’s Midyear meeting to help members find out where the puck is going. This meeting, the largest annual gathering of our membership, promises to be a not-to-be missed event focusing on new trends and innovations in the legal profession, and how our members can best anticipate the play. Your Bar Association is working to deliver a day of dynamic and interactive CLE programming focused on 21st Century practice, new innovations we need to know about, and what those developments mean for our profession.

We have an all-star team of presenters for two exciting CLE panels. Our panels include Chief Justice Linda Dalianis from the NH Supreme Court and Chief Judge Joseph Laplante from our Federal District Court.

The panels also include Andrew Perlman, dean of Suffolk University Law School and vice chair of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. He will address the major changes in the profession, recent guidance from the American Bar Association, and new modes of legal services, such as alternative business structures and the rise of the Limited Licensed Legal Technician.

Perlman will be joined by ABA immediate past-president William Hubbard, who will share his vision in establishing the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, his work as part of the ABA National Summit on Innovation held at Stanford Law School, and how lawyers can drive the play of the future.

John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom, will join us from California to explain his vision of the technology-enabled lawyer. LegalZoom, one of the most recognized legal brands, is on a mission to “democratize” the law. Their business plan is to service customers and expand access to justice using innovations in technology. Suh will be joined by Colin Rule, from MODRIA, an online dispute resolution service. Rule will discuss online dispute resolution and how this new technology intersects with our civil legal system.

Nik Reed from Ravel Law, a legal search and analytics company, will also join the panel. Reed will address the new opportunities for lawyers using data-driven technologies and discuss Ravel’s work with Harvard Law School and the Harvard Library Innovation Lab to “Free the Law.” Come and learn what these presenters have to say, and what it means for access to justice, the law and for practice in New Hampshire.

This day is highly relevant to our members, who will be grappling with innovation and change in the profession head-on in the coming years. We plan to have a statewide conversation about new demands and new opportunities for lawyers in the 21st Century. The participation of our members in this conversation is vital. I encourage you to take an active role and attend our association meeting.

The pace of the play for lawyers is getting faster with each new innovation. It is inevitable that more innovation, and more change, is coming to our profession. As an association, we have an important role to ensure that innovation is for the good of the clients we serve, the rule of law, and our system of justice. Come and be part of the conversation, learn what is happening, ask your questions, and help shape the solutions.

Our meeting is a uniquely New Hampshire opportunity to interact with your colleagues in a thought-provoking conversation about our future, and to do so in a relaxed social setting. Be part of the leading-edge issues in our profession, and join in some “big thinking” about the future for lawyers and what new possibilities are ahead of us.

Together, we can explore these issues and anticipate the play. I hope you will register today, and I look forward to seeing you at our meeting. Let’s play where the puck is going to be.

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