International legal futurist, author and technology consultant Richard Susskind says there are several challenges facing the legal profession today. In his book The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services he describes document assembly as a disruptive technology, a term borrowed from Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School.
Richard refers to technologies that have potential to transform companies, industries and markets into drastically different entities. In the context of law firms, "Disruptive technologies, encompassing systems, techniques, and applications, could individually and collectively constitute a grave threat to conventional legal businesses," he says.
Some examples outlined in the book include online legal guidance, automated document assembly, the electronic law marketplace, e-learning and even legal open sourcing, whereby large amounts of legal information are available online for direct use by consumers.
Perhaps if you haven’t yet embraced document assembly in your firm, it’s time you did.