The Bureau of Atomic Scientists moved the "Doomsday clock" 20 seconds closer to midnight — "closer to apocalypse than ever" — because of a "new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term.
It may seem rather crass to draw parallels between something that tries to meter the end of our civilization as we know it and the oft-feared demise of the legal profession. However, I'll take the chance that my colleagues in the industry understand my pure intent and will cut me some slack.
Based on my observations over the past three decades, I feel that our legal leaders in law firms, corporations, service providers and the public sector are in fact more willing than ever to explore new pathways to preserve (in a good way) the legal profession.
This starts with a continued recognition that things (and people) need to change, as does the practice of law. The truly bespoke is lessening in frequency and there is an openness to technology, alternate process, and people approaches to execute the truly repeatable elements of law practice.
We are learning more from each other. Conferences are not divided into "vendors" and "customers" any longer. Good ideas are not the singular purview of those in law firms and corporate legal departments. Thought leadership can germinate from service providers and software companies and is embraced more and more in a credible way by practitioners.
There is less glad-handing at industry events and a true focus on learning–at a practical level. "Nice PowerPoint, but what are the 3 takeaways I can put into practice right when I get home?"
In any case, after reading about the Doomsday clock I needed to feel positive about... something. Trite as it may seem, the state of our industry is what I chose as my target.
The metaphorical Legal Doomsday clock (I hope there really isn't one) can be turned back a few minutes.
Thoughtful Thursday. Keep the faith.
The Doomsday Clock, a visual depiction of perceived threats facing Earth and mankind, moved this year from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight — the closest it's been to midnight since the Cold War.