I spent the day at my law school alma mater yesterday speaking to students about, well, about a lot of things. They asked questions, I asked questions, They talked about their future, and I spoke of my past.
I've also been sitting back, watching the failed lawyers try and convince the greater legal community via blogs, articles and quotes at happy conferences that the future of law is what they deem it to be. The drum beats louder every day. It's no longer that e-lawyering is part of the future, we are now being told if we are not part of the sit-at-home-and-sell-legal-services- world, we will not be a part of this perceived future. Google + is a total complete failure, but to those who have nothing to talk about, it's the future. Lawyers are shutting down their practice because they have determined they have the secrets to running law firms, and rather than practice law, they are going to sell you their secrets to success.
There is no "future of law."
Not a single student asked about building a practice by keyboard and monitor from mommy's basement. Not a single student spoke about twitter, dropbox, or anything with .com at the end.
They spoke about offices, firms, clients, courtrooms, "meaningful" practices," and passion.
They don't know you "future of law" people are full of crap yet, because they haven't met you, you and your self-fulfilling prophecies that because you are un-interested in going to an office and having face to face communication with clients, everyone else one day will be as well.
It's OK if you have decided that your future of law is going to be in pajamas, or going from Starbucks to Starbucks, or trying to tell successful lawyers that (for a fee) you have all the answers. Most of us know better. Most of us know that it's merely your reality, your inability to practice law like lawyers - in the presence of clients, in a suit, in a courtroom or conference room. You are merely tired, or broke, or getting to the point of being broke, and trying to convince the world that lawyers who practice "normal" law are going to die off soon.
Your future of law is law by tech and teaching "secrets" that are about as secret as your failure. That's great, for you.
But it's not the future.
Because as I know, and as I heard yesterday, your future is just that.
Non-anonymous comments welcome. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.