Towards the Uberisation of Legal Practice

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.1

(2019) 1 Law, Technology and Humans 46

19 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2020

Date Written: December 5, 2018


Uber and Airbnb signify new ways of working and doing business by facilitating direct access to providers through new digitalised platforms. The gig economy is also beginning to percolate into legal practice through what is colloquially known as NewLaw. Eschewing plush offices, permanent staff and the rigidity of time billing, NewLaw offers cheaper services to clients to compete more effectively with traditional law firms. For individual lawyers, autonomy, flexibility, a balanced life, well-being and even happiness are the claimed benefits. The downside appears that NewLaw favours senior and experienced lawyers while disproportionately affecting recent graduates. This article draws on interviews with lawyers in Australian and English NewLaw firms to evaluate the pros and cons of NewLaw.

Keywords: NewLaw, law, technology, flexible work, gender, age

Suggested Citation

Thornton, Margaret, Towards the Uberisation of Legal Practice (December 5, 2018). ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.1, (2019) 1 Law, Technology and Humans 46, Available at SSRN:

Margaret Thornton (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

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