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Comparing Uber to legal industry misses the mark

Lots to say, not much time to craft a more deliberate opinion about a number of the ideas raised by Ron Friedman in his audio discussion via a Logikcull Cullcast posted about a month ago. Mr. Friedman summarized that discussion via his blog at Prism Legal

First off, I've queued up the Uber and taxi industry discussion at this SoundCloud link, addressing how the Uber lessons might apply to the legal industry, particularly law firms.

My main point tonight is about that brief question and brief answer regarding Uber and the legal industry (I'm sure that that Ron Friedman and Robert Hilson both had more to say about that topic).

First, Uber and taxis are a portion of the transportation industry, just as law firms are a portion, a pretty decent portion, of the legal industry. The transportation industry includes many facets that Uber hasn't really impacted such as: railroad (passenger and/or freight), freight trucking, parcel shipping, air travel, space travel and probably some items I can’t think of right now. Instead of looking at the legal industry or law firms as a whole to see if there's an Uber-like impact, my opinion is that you have to look more at segments. I'm not yet sure how to make the apples-to-apples comparison yet, but it's not the legal industry as a whole and probably not law firms in the aggregate.

Second, just because Uber represents a shift in part of the transportation industry, that doesn't mean that a shift can or cannot occur, in a portion of another industry in the same way that Uber has made an impact. There's no specific conclusion that can be drawn that change in the legal industry or with law firms is less likely. Particularly because the conclusion is based on a comparison that there's no apparent impact to the industry or to law firms at the same magnitude of Uber's impact on taxis. The particular point is: what type of shift/change are we looking for and where?

Third and final point for now. Mr. Friedman summarizes that because there's been no dramatic change following the Great Reset in 2008-2010 for law practices (a term he didn't use; I might have stolen this phrase from elsewhere), it's not likely that change will be arriving anytime soon. Basically because the Great Reset was such a dramatic change to the legal practice environment. In my opinion, things have changed a great deal and continue to evolve. But I don't have as broad a view of the entire legal market like Mr. Friedmann and Mr. Hilson. And that's really my point. I don't think we should look at this as the entire legal market, but instead use more specific examples of material changes within sectors.

And that's my main point really. Uber is but a part of the transportation industry. Instead of comparing how Uber impacted taxis, and drawing a comparison to entire the legal industry, maybe it makes sense to look at specific portions of the legal industry instead.

I have a lot of notes from the blog post and the SoundCloud discussion. Both of which I really enjoyed because they each force you to think. And I think that's the point they were trying to make.

More later.