Last week at the ABA Techshow in Chicago, I was pleased to launch the publication of my new book on unbundling.
Writing a book on limited scope services seemed like a logical next step in the process of reevaluating how the legal profession can adapt to the changes it faces as a result of disruptive technology, economic recession, Internet-empowered consumers and other factors that I discuss in the book. In my opinion, unbundling is a concept that underlies and works with all of the changes that legal visionaries like Richard Susskind, Jordan Furlong and others have been preaching to us for the past several years. I was grateful to Jordan Furlong for writing a wonderful Foreward for the book.
The goal of this book is to educate lawyers and law firms on the processes they should to go through to responsibly add limited scope services as part of restructuring their delivery methods to adapt to changes in our legal marketplace. Whereas my other book on virtual law practice was geared more towards solos and firms that were interested primarily in online delivery methods, this book on unbundling is applicable to almost every firm structure from traditional to a hybrid virtual law firm, from solos to large firms and in-house counsel.
It is not only individuals of lower to moderate means who are seeking limited scope services from law firms, but many more sophisticated client bases are keen on finding law firms that provide this. Accordingly, there is a great potential here for increased revenue for law firms as well as for the public to receive alternative forms of legal service delivery, increasing access to justice across the board. Naturally, the book covers the many ethics rules, best practices, and sometimes complex process of determining when unbundling is appropriate and when full-service is necessary.
I’ve included case studies, sample checklists and processes for unbundling. I’ve also tried to examine the concept of unbundling from the perspective of the business world and other industries, such as the music, airlines, newspapers, wireless providers, that have had to unbundle to adapt to changes in the marketplace. In addition to discussing ethics and best practices for unbundling, I’ve also examined marketing strategies and technologies used for unbundling and in delivering unbundled services.
Thank you to the individuals who were so kind to contribute a case study for the book:
David Bilinsky, Thoughtful Legal Management
Michael Mills, Neota Logic
Jim Ring, FairOutcomes
Jared Correia, MassLOMAP
Ronald Staudt, Chicago-Kent
Kenneth Adams, Koncision
Susan Cartier-Liebel, Solo Practice University
Richard Granat, DirectLaw
Jack Newton, Clio
Aaron Kelly, Kelly Law Firm
Charley Moore, Rocket Lawyer
Brian Whalley, Hubspot
Kevin Chern, Total Attorneys
Robert Valdillez and Michael McMullan, Firebrand Legal
Lee Rosen, Rosen Law Firm
Law Offices of Gordon Firemark
Rania Combs, Texas Wills and Trusts Online
Susan Wakefield, Connecticut Legal Coaching, LLC
John Skiba, Skiba Law Group, PLC
At Techshow, I held a Meet the Author session and enjoyed the challenging questions that came up from the attendees. I sincerely hope this book starts a dialogue that is productive and encourages lawyers in a variety of practices to consider implementing some of the concepts surrounding unbundling.
Do you have any plans on releasing this book in Kindle or other ebook format? (It would seem appropriate given the subject matter). Thanks!
I would love to, but it’s up to the publisher, not me. I believe the ABA LPM may be considering ebook formats, but I’m not sure where they are in that process.
On the topic of Kindle and ebook, this is one area where Amazon and not the ABA is to blame. The Amazon pricing structure is such that ebooks are only profitable for high-volume low cost books. Amazon has 2 royalty structures – 35% and 70%. The 70% option applies only to books in the $2.99 – $9.99 price range, so it pretty much eliminates ABA books. The 35% does apply to ABA books, but that means that the ABA would net around $17 for a $50 book, and the author gets a 10% cut of that. And the books just don’t sell enough volume to make up the difference in printing costs. Unless the ABA can do what Nolo does – and self-publish books electronically, I don’t think Kindle will be viable option for a long time.