What is NewLaw and why does it Matter?

What is #NewLaw?

The following has been extracted from NewLaw Fundamentals Q&A by Anusia Gillespie on August 4, 2021:

NewLaw is a mindset. It is a movement. NewLaw’s enemy is the adage: “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Whether coined by Eric Chin, see Post 242, or Jordan Furlong, see Furlong, “An Incomplete Inventory of New Law,” Law21, May 13, 2014, the original definition circa 2013 was: “any model, process, or tool that represents a significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed.”…
The concept has evolved to focus on the source of true power and change in the profession – people. Models, processes, and tools fail if not created, or at least embraced, by the people who power the legal system. NewLaw fails without open and informed minds. The form of output, whether a new business model, regulation, or legal technology, is secondary. In fact, strike the first part of the 2013 definition and we capture this nuance for today’s understanding.
NewLaw: A significantly different approach to the creation or provision of legal services than what the legal profession traditionally has employed.

What is a True NewLaw Firm?

Since the term NewLaw was coined in 2013, alongside true NewLaw Firms there has been a continuous procession of traditional law firms rebadging themselves to claim they are a NewLaw firm.

This begs the question: What is a true NewLaw Firm?

To help answer this question, the following has been extracted from the article "What is a True NewLaw Firm?" by Rebecca Lim | December 7, 2016

In an age of disruption, BigLaw or traditional large law firms face increasing competition from rapidly evolving NewLaw providers. But what does NewLaw actually mean, and how do these firms differ from their more traditional competitors?

Whilst the legal profession was for decades conservative + resistant to using new or "disruptive" technologies, it seems as if all at once, a lightbulb was turned on, and the buzz and potential of #legaltech or put more simply, the use of technology to more efficiently + effectively deliver legal services has been ushered in a new era of exciting fast paced change in the legal profession.

My personal observation is that whilst there has been adoption of #legaltech by traditional law firms, this has been mainly done behind the scenes where clients do not see what is happening.

Adopting new technologies in this way does not represent a significant culture change for traditional law firms.

What they are doing is low-risk.

If something goes wrong, they can step in and rectify the problem without the client ever knowing there was a problem.

If they are successful in making incremental improvements, in the end it doesn't change a great deal.

In my opinion, traditional law firms are still going about the business of law in the same way they have in the past.

One of the Red Ocean Traps: The mental models that undermine market-creating strategies is to confuse technology innovation with market-creating strategies.

Using the latest technology alone does not change traditional culture, structures and thought processes.

To differentiate a true NewLaw Firm we need to see evidence of changed thinking, and with that changed culture, rather then simple window-dressing and wordsmithing.

What is Blue Ocean Strategy® ?

Blue Ocean Strategy® represents a change in mindset that is in total alignment with the updated concept of #NewLaw as a mindset.

Blue Ocean Strategy ® offers a strategic framework to help break free of traditional legal profession thinking ....

Blue Ocean Law Group has been designed from a blank canvas using Blue Ocean Strategy®

In a nutshell, we think differently, therefore we have created unique offerings which align with our vision for the future of the Legal Profession.

For a deep dive into what this will continue to entail please read my article: Charting the future of the Legal Profession: A Blue Ocean Perspective.


This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.