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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Tannebaum’

I don’t see you as a threat I see you as a proud example of a dying breed whose value as an advocate can’t be disputed. I regret the loss as much as you do.” Richard Granat to Brian Tannebaum in the May 7th Debate on Virtual Lawyering on Twitter

And Richard you may not see me as a threat, but you’ve made it clear my opinion is a threat to your attempt to make a business out of convincing lawyers to go virtual.”  One of Brian Tannebaum’s responses to Richard.

My overall impression of this debate is in the form of a question: why do the proponents of virtual or elawyering sound so defensive?

The overall tone of the VLO promoters comes from a defensive posture. Is Brian T. accurate in saying that those making these arguments are invested as entrepreneurs in the infrastructure of lawyers going virtual? Maybe. But so what? It does not change the fact that change is coming.  What I still don’ t understand is why, if the future is theirs, do they sound defensive, as if they were under attack.  I assume that attack is coming from the Brians out there and the inertia that fights for the status quo to its last breath.

Nothing, not even Brian’s brilliant arguments nor Richard’s passionate ones, have the slightest effect on change. It’s our own vanity to believe it so. The phenomena of lawyers “practicing” online, providing advice directly over the internet without meeting clients face to face, and all that will go with it is not a “breakthrough” of any kind. It is an evolutionary leap.  For many solo and small firms, it is an evolutionary leap motivated by an act of survival in a growing global market for legal services.

Change is not in our hands, nor in anyone camp’s.  Stand back for a moment and study how inexorably technology has rushed along a path of exponential growth for the last 100 years.  Not world wars nor great depressions have stopped it. We can debate all we like….which as lawyers we no doubt enjoy!  But the tide is here and rising.

What you do now is the only question worth answering.

I’m not saying that elawyering or virtual lawyering is better or worse for our profession.  I’m saying it’s inevitable that many lawyers and clients will move in this direction. If you’re motivated to move into the new world of elawyering, whatever that is for you,  please have the confidence to do so with conviction.  And allow those whose romance with inertia keeps them shouting at the ocean to retreat.  Their world is not your world anymore. Don’t make theirs any worse for them.  Have some sense of decency and kindness, and stop gloating to the point of being defensive.

Can we get back to being friends and lawyers now? 🙂

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