Blade Runner

For most, the irony of the Oscar Pistorius — the double-amputee Olympic runner nicknamed “Blade Runner” — alleged murder of his girlfriend is this now infamous Nike ad:

Yeah, it’s all fun and games until the potential of domestic violence rears its ugly head.

For lawyers, the irony is of Pistorius’s arrest is that he’s a famous client of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. That’s a firm that knows a little something about a fall from grace. But in a world where sports icons seem to be competing to become the biggest disappointment, the story of Pistorius and his model/lawyer girlfriend seems to win the race to the bottom…

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I’ve got news for you: The future of practicing law will not be about cloud computing. It won’t be about tablets or offshoring or client self-help or virtual law offices. It won’t be about e-discovery, or practice management, or paperless offices. Yes, these things will certainly all happen; many are happening now, and a number of them are helping to give small firms an advantage, or at least level the playing field. But they will not be the biggest change in our industry.

I recently gave a speech on what the practice of law would look like in 2019. I chose that year for two reasons. First, it’s the year that the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner takes place, with a younger-than-Calista-Flockhart-is-now Harrison Ford playing a cop who rides in flying cars and hunts robots that look like humans.

I’ve got news for you, guys: There won’t be any flying cars eight years from now. (Which is probably just as well, as people will insist on texting while flying.)

But the other reason I chose 2019 is because it will be the hundredth anniversary of something nearly every lawyer deals with all day every day.…

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