Book review of “tomorrow’s naked lawyer”
Book review of “Tomorrow’s naked lawyer – NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw – How to be successful, 2015 to 2045” by Chrissie Lightfoot
Chrissie Lightfoot, the author of this second book in the ‘naked lawyer’ series, adopts the ‘Brand You’ concept coined by Tom Peters in his article for Fast Company magazine in the 1990s. She is the embodiment of the personal branding segment of the marketing world which has developed the ‘Brand Me’ concept. You are only as good as the quality of your network and clearly Chrissie is a very good networker.
She has created a six figure turnover, global consulting business by harnessing the power of ‘Brand Me’ and being accessible to her virtual customers 24/7. Many of her clients and contacts endorse her work including Professor Stephen Mayson who writes the foreword.
The purpose of this book is to cover the evolution of the ROAR (Reach Out And Relate) model, enunciated in the first book in the ‘Naked Lawyer’ series, in the Digital, Technological and Robotic Age with the aim of helping the ‘individual lawyer and their business to grow toward, and be prepared for, the future.’
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In the preface Ms Lightfoot says
“I build on the current thinking of a variety of subjects and explore, debate and challenge conventional thinking and wisdom, particularly with regard to marketing, branding, technology, and the future of law for the period 2015 to 2045.”
Warning – you need to be prepared to approach the book with an open mind and be prepared to be challenged both by the content and the language which at times is saucy – as the author says “those of you who wish to create your future and embrace it with a sense of humour and with an appreciation for sex will truly enjoy it.”
Each chapter is designed to provoke further research, reflection and importantly action to help you to create Brand Me; Brand Firm and Brand Product.
Structure & Layout
Over seven chapters and an introduction Ms Lightfoot manages to squeeze in commentary on 164 footnotes over 143 pages.
Chapter 1 sets the scene by providing a personal outlook on the world we live in and the past, present and future legal landscape (or ‘law, law land’ as she calls it); comparing and contrasting how we operate and the problems and opportunities of each.
Chapter 2 shares research from prominent and credible individuals and companies as to what the future holds and provides some tips for positioning you and your firm in this client focused world.
In Chapter 3 the author predicts that artificial intelligence, machines and quite possibly robots will come to dominate the legal world in the not too distant future. By 2020 she reckons. This is certainly happening as The Law Society Gazette demonstrated in August 2015 by describing the work of IBM with their IBM Watson product in association with a company in the US enabling a robot to provide advice on Bankruptcy law. In this chapter she explores the way in which the traditional way of lawyering is being questioned, superseded and/or supported by other ways of operating and delivering legal advice, products and services.
Chapter 4 puts forward some ideas to transition you the lawyer into the new world by addressing your skills set.
Chapter 5 focuses on the concept of what it will mean to be ‘SocialHuman’ over the next few years, by discussing the branding concepts of Brand Me/You; Brand Firm and Brand Product but then relying on the work of scientist Jazz Rasool who has devised pioneering software in the field of psycho-semantics – i.e. a technology which connects up people and products by finding a personal ‘best fit’.
Chapter 6 supports us by addressing the legal technology available to-day which could help us transition to the ‘NewTech, NewHuman, and NewLaw’ of the book’s title.
Chapter 7 is the wrap up short chapter which challenges us to answer the question ‘Are you ready to change your world, or change the world?’
The book is designed to be provocative and therefore is not about providing tools as such but asking questions and providing some tips to encourage reflection but more importantly ACTION. It does contain lots of references for further research.
Clarity & readability
I do not regard myself as stuffy but I did find the inexhaustible innuendo rather wearing. I also was not sure some of the time whether an idea was original or adapted; for example, for a while I thought the idea that marketing was dead and branding was all, was the author’s idea but on reading around the subject became aware that there is a whole subset of marketing out there which is about creating ‘Brand Me’. Nevertheless, having access to all the references for Ms Lightfoot’s research is useful and supports what many have been saying for several years without being believed that the future of law is not the same as the past and is not even tomorrow but already to-day and we need to embrace it if we still wish to succeed.
Relevance to practitioners
Some readers of this review may feel this book has no relevance to them but they would be wrong. Anyone studying law, teaching law, working in practice, providing legal services and products knows that technology is changing the way we humans interact and communicate so if we want to be able to communicate with and attract not just the legal work but the services of the Baby Boomers, Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), Generation Y or Millennials (born between 1981 and 2000) and Generation Z (born after 2001) we have to be able to understand the future of ‘law,law land’. This book provides a road map. It is up to the reader which direction they choose to take – perhaps the road less travelled.
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