Julie has researched and written extensively on the changing role of lawyers in the late 20th and early 21st century. Lawyers’ work is changing because their clients’ expectations are changing, especially as a consequence of vastly increased access to legal information via the Internet. Consumer culture is far more assertive and less deferential than 25 years ago as both personal and corporate clients increasingly expect lawyers to treat them as partners, and not simply passive or talked down to when decisions must be made. There is more emphasis on value-for-money, and widespread dissatisfaction with the cost of legal services which is driving some innovation in delivery models. In order to promote earlier settlement before trial, the courts have embraced dispute resolution via case conferences and mediation, and lawyers are adapting their practice (some more effectively than others) accordingly.
The original edition of The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law(2008) identified an institutional and cultural move towards settlement processes as a central challenge for the traditional adversarial image of the lawyer as warrior. Time has moved on since then and while commitment to an early and practical settlement outcome has become widely accepted – if not widely practiced – new challenges have appeared.
The New Lawyer has become a best seller across North America and is used extensively by law schools across North America, Europe & Australia. Julie has been invited to speak about the book all over the world. The new and completely updated second edition (2017) includes data on self-represented litigants and new developments in access to justice. The new edition focuses on the role that clients, both domestic and corporate, are playing in transforming legal services. The assumption that lawyers are “in charge”, critiqued in the first edition, is eroding as a Google savvy generation of consumers demands a different, more participatory, problem-solving model of service, whether the client is a primarily self-represented litigant, or a corporation.
Praise for The New Lawyer