Richard Susskind

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Richard's Latest Book

Tomorrow’s Lawyers

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Published by Oxford University Press

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In his latest book, Richard claims that legal institutions and lawyers are poised to change more radically over the next two decades than they have over the last two centuries.

The future of legal service, he says, will be neither Grisham nor Rumpole. Instead, it will be a world of virtual courts, Internet-based global legal businesses, online document production, commoditized service, legal process outsourcing, and web-based simulated practice. Legal markets will be liberalized, with new jobs, and new employers, for lawyers.

Tomorrow’s Lawyers is a guide to this future – for young and aspiring lawyers, and for all who want to modernize our legal and justice systems. It navigates the new legal terrain and offers practical guidance for those who intend to build careers and businesses in law.

More about Tomorrow’s Lawyers

Tomorrow’s Lawyers is divided into three parts. The first offers an updated restatement of Susskind's views on the future of legal services, identifying the key drivers of change, and presenting strategies for coping with the radical changes in the legal market. In the second part, the author sketches out his predictions for the new legal landscape, including the future for law firms, the shifting role of in-house lawyers, and the coming of virtual hearings and online dispute resolution. The final part focuses on the prospects for aspiring lawyers, and equips young lawyers with penetrating questions to put to their current and future employers.

Richard Susskind

Biography

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which the IT and the Internet are changing the work of lawyers. He has worked on legal technology for over 30 years. He lectures internationally, has written many books, and advised on numerous government inquiries..

Richard lectures internationally and has been invited to speak in over 40 countries and has addressed audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 250,000. He has written and edited numerous books, including Expert Systems in Law (OUP, 1987), The Future of Law (OUP, 1996), Transforming the Law (OUP, 2000), The Susskind Interviews: Legal Experts in Changing Times (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005), The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (OUP, 2008), Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013), and has written around 150 columns for The Times. His work has been translated into 10 languages.

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He has advised on numerous government inquiries and, since 1998, has been IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England. In 2003, he was appointed by the Cabinet Office as Chair of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information, a position he held until 2008. Richard is President of the Society for Computers and Law and is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute where he is also a Visiting Professor. He also hold professorships at UCL, Gresham College, London, and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Richard has a first class honours degree in law from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in law and computers from Balliol College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the British Computer Society, and was awarded an OBE in the Millennium New Year's Honours List for services to IT in the Law and to the Administration of Justice.

He lives in Radlett, England, with his wife and three children. His hobbies include running, golf, skiing, reading and cinema.

Independence

Although Richard is self-employed and works independently, he does not claim to be a dispassionate analyst or to be free of commercial interests. His passion is the modernization of the practice of law and the administration of justice. His belief that the professions and justice systems should be modernized underpins most of his activities as an advisor and commentator.

Richard’s work is not confined to the academic world and to advising in the public sector. He consults widely in the private sector, to major law firms and to large in-house legal departments. He also sits on an advisory board of Lyceum Capital, a private equity firm that is committed to investing in the legal profession, and he chairs the advisory board of Integreon, a legal and business process outsourcing business.

Given his various roles, responsibilities, and interests, Richard is sensitive to conflicts that may arise, and he discusses these regularly with those with whom he works closely.

Richard Susskind

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Roles

IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice

Since 1998, Richard has been IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

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Richard has been IT Adviser to Lord Bingham from 1998 to 2000, to Lord Woolf from 2000 to 2005, to Lord Phillips 2005 to 2008, and to Lord Judge, since October 2008. In this capacity, he works closely with senior judges in England and Wales in helping them identify and articulate the most promising applications of IT for the Judiciary. Also in this role, he works alongside politicians and officials in the Ministry of Justice (formerly the Department for Constitutional Affairs and before that the Lord Chancellor's Department) and with the Court Service.

Over the years, Richard has advised on various UK government inquiries and initiatives, including Lord Woolf's Access to Justice Inquiry (1995-96), the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Review (1997-98), the Review of Tribunals (2000-01), the Criminal Courts Review (2000-01), the Lord Chancellor's Department Civil Justice IT Strategy Group (1997-2001) and, since 1990, the Information Technology and Courts Committee (ITAC). Details about most of these initiatives can be found at www.justice.gov.uk

President, Society for Computers and Law

In March 2011, Richard Susskind succeeded Lord Saville as President of the Society for Computers and Law.

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Richard has been a member of the Society for more than 30 years and was its Chairman from 1990 to 1992. The Society is the leading UK organization for legal professionals advising and practising within the IT sector. Its mission is to be the community for lawyers who understand IT and the related legal and business practice issues and provides thought leadership, best practice, education and standards in these areas. See www.scl.org.

Chair, Advisory Board, Oxford Internet Institute

In 2011, Richard succeeded Andrew Graham (formerly, Master of Balliol College, Oxford) as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at Oxford University. Since 2009, he has also been a Visiting Professor in Internet Studies at the OII.

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Richard played an important role in the establishment of the Oxford Internet Institute and, since 2001, has been a Founding Member of its Advisory Board.

The Oxford Internet Institute was founded as a department of the University of Oxford in 2001, as an academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet. The current home, in a building owned by Balliol College, was formally opened in July 2003. The OII’s academics are engaged in a variety of research projects covering social, economic, political, legal, industrial, technical, and ethical issues of the Internet in everyday life, governance and democracy, science and learning and shaping the Internet. For further information, see www.oii.ox.ac.uk.

Honorary Professor, UCL Faculty of Laws

Since November 2011, Richard has been an Honorary Professor of UCL in the Faculty of Laws.

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At the UCL Faculty of Laws, Richard is also a member of the Advisory Board of the UCL Judicial Institute, a centre that is devoted to research and teaching about the Judiciary in the UK. See more details at UCL's website

Emeritus Gresham Professor of Law

Richard is Emeritus Gresham Professor of Law at Gresham College, London. From 2000 to 2004, he was Gresham Professor of Law, and from 2004 to 2010 was the first Honorary Professor in the College since its establishment in 1597.

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The College was founded in 1597, is supported by the City of London Corporation and the livery company, The Mercers. There are eight Gresham Professors - in music, divinity, commerce, rhetoric, geometry, physic, astronomy, and law. The purpose of the College is and always has been to raise awareness of the latest learning in each of these disciplines. To that end, each professor presents a series of lectures each year.

Richard's lectures took the form of 20 public discussions that he held with distinguished legal guests, each of whom, in quite different ways, was exerting considerable influence on the development of legal practice and the administration of justice, both in Great Britain and beyond. Through frank, friendly, and often light-hearted conversation, Richard explored major trends in advanced legal systems; significant challenges facing modern justice systems; the thinking underlying recent reforms and changes; and the likely shape of the legal world in years to come.

His guests included Lord Woolf, Lord Falconer, Cherie Booth QC, Lord Saville, and Lord Irvine. A revised set of transcripts of the interviews is now published as a book - The Susskind Interviews: Legal Experts in Changing Times (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005).

Details of the current programme of lectures at Gresham College can be found at www.gresham.ac.uk.

Professor, Law School, University of Strathclyde

In 1990, Richard was the co-founder (with Professor Alan Paterson) of the Centre for Law, Computers and Technology at the Law School of the University of Strathclyde. At that time, aged 29, he was appointed Visiting Professor. He became a part-time, full professor in 2001 and continues to hold this position.

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Over the years, his teaching responsibilities have include lecturing to undergraduates, leading Masters seminars (the full-time and pioneering distance learning Ll.M degrees in IT and Telecommunications Law courses), supervising research students, and acting as an external examiner for doctoral work in the UK.

In 2002, working with Professor Paul Maharg, Richard produced several hours of web-cast, a very early legal e-learning resource that is still available on the law school network. Students at all levels (including those working towards their Diplomas in Legal Practice) are thereby able, essentially, to attend a virtual tutorial on the impact of IT on the legal world.

Richard also organizes the Centre's annual retreat (held each year since 1993), an event which brings together, at Ross Priory, on the banks of Loch Lomond, a small group of leading lawyers in a two-day seminar that focuses on the latest developments in legal systems.

Further information on Strathclyde Law School can be found on their website

Chair, Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (2003-2008)

In April 2003, Richard was appointed by the Cabinet Office as the first Chair of a non-departmental public body, known as the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information or APPSI.

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When first set up, APPSI was called the Advisory Panel on Crown Copyright. While Chair of APPSI, its terms of reference were:

  • to advise Ministers on how to encourage and create opportunities in the information industry for greater reuse of Government information;
  • to advise the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office about changes and opportunities in the information industry, so that the licensing of Crown copyright information is aligned with current and emerging developments; and
  • to advise on the impact of the complaints procedures under the Information Fair Trader Scheme.

The sponsor department of the Panel is now the Ministry of Justice. Richard completed his term as Chair in April 2008.

Further details about the work of the Panel can be found at www.hmso.gov.uk/appsi.

Richard's leadership of APPSI built on his experience as a member of the Modernising Government Project Board (run by the Cabinet Office, 1999-2001). It also dovetailed effectively with his membership, from 2003 until 2005, of the Freedom of Information Project Board at the then Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Consulting Services

Richard works with top managers, in the private and public sectors, in helping them to think clearly and make decisions confidently about the future, and to plan for the long term within their organizations.

As an independent expert and thought leader, he brings fresh insight to clients, and acts as a catalyst in helping them drive forward their long term planning and implementation. He challenges in a way that is hard to do from the inside as a partner or employee. He advises his clients in a variety of ways.

The following list indicates the various ways in which Richard helps his clients. He acts as:

  • an adviser on likely and possible trends in the legal market, using a mix of his own ideas and techniques such as ‘blank-sheet thinking’;
  • a sounding board (a coach of sorts) for those who run firms and practices within firms, helping them to focus on future trends and plans;
  • a speaker at internal conferences, away-days, leadership training events, and training sessions generally; a researcher who undertakes studies of the views of clients;
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  • a ghost writer or copy editor of articles and of speeches;
  • as an external, non-executive member of firms’ boards and committees;
  • as an advisor on the content and production of client events;
  • as a mini R&D capability, scanning the horizon, monitoring successes amongst competitors and in other sectors, and evaluating the relevance of emerging technologies;
  • as a source of new ideas and innovations; and
  • as someone who helps future proof practice areas within firms, exploring how they plan to respond to new ways of sourcing legal work and to the impact of disruptive technologies.

Additionally, Richard offers certain clients early sight of his own research and writings.

Speaking Engagements

Richard currently makes presentations (mainly keynote speeches) at about 100 conferences, seminars, retreats or other events each year and has been invited to lecture in more than 40 countries around the world.

Inquiries as to his availability and rates can be made by e-mail to richard@susskind.com

Richard has addressed audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 250,000.

He has organized various international conferences, is a regular conference chairman and gives numerous major keynote addresses each year. When unable to attend in person, Richard regularly delivers his talks by video link, or on pre-recorded video or dvd, or as a multi-media e-learning presentation.

He is also frequently invited to act as a facilitator and chairman of meetings.

His speaking subjects include the future of law and legal services, the future of professional service, trends in IT and the Internet, strategy and business planning, the future of government, the future of education, IT strategy for major organizations, knowledge management, and e-business.

Read more about Richard’s speaking engagements

By way of example, as well as many keynotes at law firm partnership conferences, the following are some of the recent lectures he has given:

  • Keynote Address – Law Via the Internet Conference, Cornell University (October 2012)
  • Levitt Lecture 2012, University of Iowa (October 2012)
  • Kelley Lecture 2012, University of Michigan (September 2012)
  • Keynote Address – American Bar Association Conference for Deans of US Law Schools, Seattle, US (January 2012)
  • Bracton Lecture, Exeter University, (November 2011)
  • Keynote Address – Association Corporate Counsel Conference, Berlin (May, 2011)
  • Keynote Address – LawWithoutWalls, Inaugural event, London (January 2011)
  • Opening address – UCL Judicial Institute launch, London (November 2010)
  • Keynote Address – Conference of International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, New York (January 2010)
  • Keynote Address - Canadian Bar Association Conference, Toronto (November 2009)

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