What We Know and Need to Know About Disruptive Innovation

21 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016

Date Written: May 10, 2016


Technology is changing the practice of law, at times dramatically. It is safe to say that the legal profession is at the cusp of a disruption: a transformative shift that will likely change the practice of law in the United States for the foreseeable future, if not forever. This shift has profound impacts on not just the legal profession, but also on clients as well as the broader society. This Paper explores the nature of this transformative shift and its implications for the legal community and the clients that are presently served by it, as well as those who might be served in the future. It argues that what this transformative shift may do, more than anything else, is improve access to justice in communities not traditionally served by lawyers and the law. In addition, it argues that the central disruption that appears to be taking place in the legal profession is not technology itself, but what technology provides: namely, a means for those providing legal services to streamline the delivery of those services in a fashion that is far less expensive than the manner in which such services have been provided to date. Thus, what I identify here is where innovation appears to be occurring in the delivery of legal services: that is, innovations in the “supply chain” of legal services, and these are the innovations that may embody the coming disruption.

Keywords: Disruptive Innovation, Innovators Dilemma, Access to Justice, Law and Technology, Innovation, Law Schools, Legal Profession

JEL Classification: K1, K10, 031, 032, D63

Suggested Citation

Brescia, Raymond H., What We Know and Need to Know About Disruptive Innovation (May 10, 2016). South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 67, 2016; Albany Law School Working Papers Series No. 26 for 2015-2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778129

Raymond H. Brescia (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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