I come from a family of lawyers. My grandfather was a lawyer, and of course my father also. Now my brother and I have taken over the family tradition. Already as a young boy I was fascinated by my father's modern office at that time.
My father was so proud of his first electronic typewriter! The copier was as big as a wardrobe; the first faxes were a sensation. Important papers, however, were still sent by post. And because progress doesn’t stop, my father would be very surprised that we are communicating today mainly through emails. However, according to my sixteen-year-old son, Kryštof, this form of communication is only for dinosaurs. What will our legal communication look like in a world of never-ending innovation? Getting back to the fax, I have a fax number on my business card, but I don’t even know when I last used the fax machines. Clients expect a response immediately and are impatient if they do not get it in the shortest time. Speed has increased considerably, and so also have demands on us, but the risk associated with our profession has remained the same and will still continue to. Is it possible here to innovate as well? Where is the border of a possible and at the same time responsible top service? While my father could have thought about a problem even for a few days, today a completely different reaction time is expected of us. At the same time, there is also speculation that legal advice will be provided over the Internet. Is this the legal consultancy of the future?
I agree with the assertion that you can’t stop progress, and I’m convinced that it soon will be possible to automate some standardised actions even in our legal practice. When someone buys a car, these days he generally does not turn to a lawyer. At the same time, I believe, and our clients confirm, that personal consultancy is irreplaceable. I like to compare it to a visit to the dentist. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s always a struggle to go. But when I do go, I know it's very important to me that I can trust my dentist. At the very least, this relationship is quite personal, and I really appreciate it. I know he's helping me.
I can see the same trend also in our profession. Our clients entrust us with their personal concerns and let us take part in their personal lives. But it is not only about private clients. It’s much the same with large business transactions. Can we imagine that a computer can handle the development of complicated structures of a transaction and replace the personal consultation? Hardly. Of course, conferencing by phone and through video makes communication easier today. It saves time and travel expenses, but it will not replace the direct and personal interview and the confidential relationship between a lawyer and his client.
Yes, we can manage many things faster and more efficiently. Long live innovation. We do not want to stop time or modern technology. But let us be so brave and bring to our client a sense of a personal conversation and personal consultation. In the short run, perhaps it will seem an extra step, but in the long run he will be more satisfied.