The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

The Future of Law

Book Reviews

by Frank Ramos

Photo of book cover: The Future of LawTechnology is changing the legal landscape at a rapid pace. To understand these changes, Frank Ramos explores the effects of technology in his seventh book, The Future of Law. Using his experience, Ramos examines the ways technology has changed the legal industry from when he first became a lawyer. His book offers an insightful analysis of how these ongoing changes will get faster and larger as time progresses “like a snowball rolling down a hill.”

The book begins by explaining how the internet brought major changes to practicing law. In the past, firms had to invest in law libraries where they stored a large amount of reference materials for legal research. Back then, lawyers often communicated with their clients by mailing a letter. When the internet emerged, it became the “great equalizer” because everyone had access to everything. Now, legal resources are available online, and lawyers can communicate with their clients by sending emails, text messages, and accessing secure web portals.

In the current environment, law firms are feeling the pressure to operate more efficiently. The book considers how the marketplace is evolving from brick-and-mortar locations to website interactions. Following this trend, potential clients will expect more legal services to be accessible online, and they will seek firms that offer competitive pricing.

Looking into the future, the book reveals that innovative ideas will distinguish law firms from each other. To stay competitive, firms must offer creative solutions to better serve their clients. To retain lawyers, firms must provide an inclusive work culture that values the contributions of their employees. Large firms will have the opportunity to become an epicenter for innovations in legal technology. Meanwhile, smaller firms can use legal tech to thrive as “boutique” firms that provide expertise in niche areas.

The book’s final sections explore how lawyers will continue to utilize technology to grow their practices. Currently, lawyers are establishing their brands online, such as making business connections with social media and providing free content on blogs. In the long run, law firms will enhance their services with cutting-edge software and hardware products, including artificial intelligence that performs predictive analytics and virtual reality gear that provides realistic simulations.

According to The Future of Law, change is inevitable. For all lawyers, the book provides guidance for evaluating new technologies in the constantly changing legal industry. The book is free of charge online.

Alice M. Porch practices business and data privacy law in Tampa.