Drudgery and the Corporatisation of Law

In this post at Adam Smith, Esq., Bruce MacEwen—I assume it’s Bruce—riffs on a couple of articles in the U.K. periodical Law Week, this one asking “Does the global law model help or hinder the top-level adviser?” and this one asking “Do big personalities exist at law firms?”

These articles, and Bruce’s piece, consider the notion that law firms are limiting their recruitment criteria to narrower and narrower academic criteria. What are the implications, in terms of the kind of advice law firms can provide and the kind of environment they offer their recruits?

For me, here’s the nut graf in Bruce’s item:

The more that our services are outsourced, disintermediated, and mass-produced, the more we need the Big Personalities. The grey drones won’t be calling cards for us; clients (some of them, anyway, and not the ones we worry about initially, but conceivably more and more until they begin to include clients we do care about) will decide they can get the grey drones elsewhere.

I’d emphasize the flip side of the coin: The more you outsource, the fewer drones you’ll need. And outsourcing will give Big Personalities more room to flourish.

If a large part of your practice consists of drudgery, it follows that it will be performed by drudges. Hacking at contract precedent of questionable quality and relevance can be a particularly dreary form of drudgery. I like to think that down the road Koncision will play a part in improving the lot of the junior associate by eliminating much of that hacking.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.