Nance is a bit of a futurist and idealist. she recently had the opportunity to share her predictions about the future of law with Disruptor Daily’s Sam Mire:
What’s the future of the legal industry?
The future of the legal industry (at least in the United States) is diversity, not just in the genders, races, religions, gender identities, and abilities of the industry’s workforce, but in the dispute resolution processes available to parties. We have relied heavily on litigation in courts and administrative forums for too long. We must reduce backlogs and increase access to justice for parties regardless of socioeconomic status. We must incorporate other options inside and outside the courts. Arbitration will continue to be an option, although an expensive one that too closely mirrors court processes for some parties. Court-mandated mediation will also continue, but parties will also increasingly choose private mediation, online dispute resolution, ombuds services, coaching, and training to take advantage of the full range of services available. Attorneys will need to become more familiar with these services, as they will become either competition or opportunities.
What trends are shaping the legal sector in 2019?
Awareness of inequities in the development and leadership of our institutions will continue to pressure leaders to address racism, sexism, classism, and sexual harassment. Distrustful of the justice system, many parties will turn to private conflict resolution services, such as mediation, online dispute resolution, and restorative justice.
What technology will have the biggest impact on the legal industry?
Internet video will have the biggest impact on the legal industry before artificial intelligence. AI will become more important as the datasets become larger, but most experts admit these datasets will not be available to most smaller firms for quite some time. In the meantime, videoconferencing will be increasingly used for client meetings, hearings, court appearances, and online dispute resolution.
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Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills. As a survivor of abuse and crime, who also grew up poor in Kentucky, she went to law school to deliver on the liberty and justice for all that was promised. In addition to her law license, she was trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been featured in a number of global publications.