That might be a crazy question, but it still occurred to me after the oft-quoted statement about the legal services BrandMR is allowed to provide to uninsured people: when are you a law firm? ‘lawyers?
I know that with my studies in constitutional and administrative law completed in 1994 and a career outside the legal profession, I have little chance of starting a law firm. But all those comrades who also took the training after their law studies and who are listed on the board, can nail a sign on their door today with “Law Firm X”.
It also happens often: a lawyer is completely done with the office where he has felt undervalued for years and starts for himself. Easy. You report it to the NOvA, organize a few things according to it model manual and ready is mr X .. Nothing difficult about that. Except this training, but you have already completed it.
Reflection on the law firm of the future
Why am I wondering this? Because the term “law firm” has a crucial meaning in the decision of the NOvA. If you do not working in a law firm, but with a legal expenses insurer, you are now allowed to provide legal services in exceptional cases and as part of a five-year experiment. “This first step of the NOvA creates some leeway for companies who wish to provide legal assistance by lawyers and are not a (traditional) law firm,” says the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). So between Christmas and New Years, I sat down to reflect on what the law firm of the future is.
Traditional offices only
Whether you are sworn in, have to adhere to a code of conduct, follow your training, keep secret what you need to keep secret and meet all the other requirements for good professional practice: I can only do that. to agree. As proud as I once was of the title of master, that title alone does not represent the quality that a person seeking justice deserves. But who says that only lawyers who work in traditional law firms can be lawyers?
What risk do you take
Again the question: when are you a law firm? I think it would be worthwhile to broaden that understanding in 2021 and start one. Now that there is room for entrepreneurship in the legal profession, thanks to the cautious move of NOvA, I see opportunities for the law firm of the future. And it really doesn’t have to be done with a lot of money. Who dares? What risk are you really taking?
Sky is the limit
So if you really want to do things differently in 2021, as an ambitious lawyer, you will be creating the law firm of the future with a few enterprising colleagues. You can employ lawyers without your business being a law firm.
What is a law firm? A company controlled by lawyers.
If I understand the decision of the NOvA correctly, only one of the partners of the law firm of the future must be registered with the Bar and the office manual to follow. A good entrepreneurial spirit and a sincere desire to solve (legal) problems do the rest. The sky is the limit, because you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional lawyer services. Define a target group, work efficiently, innovate and deliver constant added value and your office has a future. More future than traditional offices, hoping that the Order has stopped the time for innovation by allowing five years of experimentation.
Inspiration for innovators
In an interview I had some time ago with lawyer, writer, art historian Koos de Wilt and legal entrepreneur Marijn Rooymans, De Wilt referred to his booklet “Think Like a artist, don’t act like an artist ”. He gives a number of inspiring examples of enterprising artists.
They think like an artist, but act like entrepreneurs, says De Wilt: “They always look at what we consider to be given from a new position. As if they see it for the first time and need to find it, how are we going to fix this? So if an artist now looks at the organization of legal work, he will never come up with the current law firm form as a solution. One artist sees that such a tradition-based approach will not work in the future.
I wish you that in 2021 you will find the artist in you, who will lead to the law firm of the future.