“As computational technology and artificial intelligence matures, more people will be able to have better access to justice.” – Monica Bay, Fellow, Stanford Law School CodeX
Jurisprudence – or legal theory – “is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence seek to explain the nature of law in its most general form and provide a deeper understanding of legal reasoning, legal systems, legal institutions, and the role of law in society.” These tranches of information convey the depth, scope, nature, and expanse of the legal industry and its underlying machinery in modern times. Indeed, the average citizen in any nation remains less than aware of the huge scope of this profession/industry, and the varied impacts the legal profession – and its practitioners – exert in different spheres of public life and private existence.
Certain aspects of the legal industry of the legal industry can be investigated – to explore/investigate the many layers, aspects, interfaces, mechanisms, exceptions, and outcomes that animate this arcane profession. Blueprints – such as flowcharts – could perform an instrumental role in shaping the quest for knowledge that underlies the conduct of such investigations.
Every profession evolves as part of its journey toward a deeper integration with society and the prevailing social order. The legal industry is no exception and observers note, “the model for delivering legal services is changing from a consultative model to a collaborative model.” We could examine such transition through flowcharts that depict the nuances of change, illustrate the concepts of lawyer, client, and law firm; examine the evolving dynamics of the lawyer-client relationship and uphold the premise that each team person remains an equal partner in such forms of professional collaboration. Hence, we could posit that flowcharts could assist the modern legal industry to gain deeper relevance; these illustrations also illuminate the minds of average citizens in terms of appreciating the finer points of the legal industry.
Legal services – a central part of the modern processes of law and the legal industry – could operate as the assurance function of a contemporary enterprise. Such services – when staffed with competent lawyers – allow businesses and enterprises to perform in competitive markets, develop and bring to market new product ideas, and enforce regulatory compliance among operators of modern enterprise. In this context, designers could sketch flowcharts to examine the multiple points of such interaction, elevate the processes that animate the operational aspects of the legal industry, and explore the many outcomes of legal services deployed in the service of commerce. Each element mentioned above could find elaboration inside flowcharts, thereby enabling service operators – and corporate legal departments – to re-engage, review, and upgrade services rendered by legal professionals.
“Lawyers struggling to stay relevant have been seeking different ways to create efficiencies. One such way is to drastically reduce a firm’s office footprint, or eliminate it altogether by practicing virtually.” This is a powerful assertion – one that bears potential to catapult the legal industry into the age of digital. Pursuant to this, the legal industry could elect to invest in new paradigms of legal process and activity – ones specifically designed to defeat the infirmities of legacy systems and reinforce new ideas through the appropriate application of digital technologies. The use of flowcharts could empower such initiatives, enable designers to outline signature techniques that utilize digital to promote collaboration among legal luminaries, and reduce the costs that attend traditional processes of legal procedure. Flowcharts also enable the legal domain to synchronize best practices across geographies.
Further to the above, New Age operators in the modern legal industry could elect to design a variety of digital processes as part of the framework created to offer professional services. Such processes could include – unbundled legal services, limited editions of service packages, service pricing mechanisms, sets of virtual assistants, digital collaboration with attorneys, and invoicing, accounting, and calendaring systems – among others. The creation of such frameworks allows the legal industry to evolve in tune with the age of digital; such versions of enterprise also empower legal professionals to co-develop new mechanisms of services, elevate the relevance of such services in the lives of average citizens, and reinforce the sanctity of the law in modern civilizational discourse. Interestingly, the flowchart remains a pivotal mechanism that can enable these forms of structured evolution.
“I have seen a national trend towards (law) firms attempting to establish themselves as brands. To have true brand awareness, it takes creativity, reach, frequency, and capital.” Operators in the legal industry could utilize flowchart-based illustrations to develop a coherent brand strategy, ideate on a competitive edge, fashion a holistic approach to their professional commitments, increase public access to specialized legal services, and expand their current capabilities. Such inputs – when sustained over time – could empower the legal industry to establish attainment of new milestones, and explore different variety of competitive brand values. These journeys bear potential to elevate the legal industry into the mainstream of contemporary economic activity, and empower attorneys to migrate to executive-based legal positions inside the modern corporation.
Some observers have noted on record that Big Data will emerge a key enabler in the legal industry. Such ideas echo in research publications that state, “a recent report indicates that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to attract customers, 6 times likelier to sustain their business, and 19 times more likely to increase profits.” Law firms and other operators in the legal industry could utilize flowcharts to design Big Data-driven strategies “to carry out tedious research, lightening the load of courts and legal firms, and speeding up the judicial process.” Such techniques – and their infinite variations – could emerge inside the expanse of flowcharts; the mechanics of such illustrations could enable legal professionals to expand the scope of their services, tap new segments of virgin markets, and develop smarter strategies to engage the modern customer.
These reflections help readers to explore the various interstices, dynamics, and levels of interaction between flowcharts and the future direction of the legal industry. Such illustrations can aid the industry in its efforts at courting re-invention; flowcharts also remain instrumental in developing strategies that could embellish crucial actions designed to expand the scope of applications of legal procedures. Veterans in the industry could utilize such diagrams to re-visit the concept of law, explore its manifold implications in the life of the modern nation state, and generate fresh momentum toward addressing issues that bedevil the legal industry.
Further, flowcharts – when deployed as part of an integrated design technique – could enable legal professionals to locate avenues of value addition to their services. Such a stance could allow lawyers to excise segments of redundancy inside legal processes and procedure, thereby creating significant scope for intelligent interventions. Such reductions could enable new forms of innovation and ideation to take root inside legal systems, thereby reinforcing the rule of law. This stance may also assist the legal profession to achieve greater resonance with the functioning of other institutions and processes that distinguish the landscapes of modern civilization.
Additionally, the troika of paralegals, lawyers, and judges could elect to participate in projects that re-format core processes in tune with the demands of those seeking help from the law. Flowcharts can help to steer such efforts into the domain of the possible. These suggestions could emerge as experimental stages that find full-fledged expression in drawing boards populated with flowcharts.