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"We are in the golden age of legal entrepreneurs, there is so much opportunity for new products and services. "

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Mark Cohen 

Ed Andrew talks to Mark Cohen, weekly Forbes columnist, former lawyer, serial entrepreneur - twice in law tech and with his own litigation law firm, author, international keynote speaker, distinguished fellow at Northwestern University and Chair of the Board of Advisors and Chief Strategy Officer for Elevate.  


We discuss the future of the legal profession, what law students will need to learn today to adjust to the changing nature of legal services, how technology is an enabler, his own lessons as an entrepreneur and the enormous opportunities unfolding for those innovative people who want to be involved with the $1 trillion legal industry.  Also how law firm structures are holding them back and without change others will step into their place.


  • Economics and technology have created a new way of buying and selling legal services. 


  • Founding a company with just an idea is not good enough - what problems are you solving, technology is a team sport, technology is only as relevant as the problem it is seeking to solve.


  • For start up founders study the marketplace and competition, so much going around the world, before reinvent wheel need to know what is out there and what is being done - need to know who users will be, it require capital and patience and you may forego salary for a long time, there are thousands of companies that need to bootstrap and very few unicorns. 


  • Nowadays that just knowing the law is not good enough on its own, need to get into technology, process and the business of law.


  • Bucerius Law School  in Hamburg, Germany is the most innovative in the world in changing the traditional law school model with 1/3 law. 1/3 business 1/3 tech.


  • Law schools should focus on competency and experience not paper, develop an inter disciplinary and holistic approach which includes business, tech and social media.

  • Law firms structure needs to change to a corporate structure - legal practice is shrinking but delivery of legal services is expanding.


  • Law firms have a more fundamental issue of the leveraged model which is no longer acceptable to clients and lawyers alike - need to look at how effective lawyers are and what value do they drive to their own business and clients. 

  • The 4% chance of partnership from a lawyer entering an Amlaw 200 firm is no longer aspirational.


  • Elevate is not an LPO, it is very sophisticated law company but not engaged in the practice of law, very customer centric, solves business problem and not always with lawyers, employees are far more engaged as they offer a long term career path and they are invested, sometimes through real equity, in the future of the business as a corporation. 


  • Today most professionals may have 12 different jobs through their career, or even 12 careers.


  • Mental health and emotional wellness needs to improve dramatically in law firms and striking a work/life balance is not always in the interests of partners as it does not serve the billable hour culture. 


  • In 5 years Mark will be writing about the many different careers which have opened to people in the legal field, fixed price billing is a thing of the past.


  • Ai is not going to be a death knell for the  legal profession - tech will not replace lawyers, it will work with lawyers and already is, tech will change what it means to be a lawyer in a functional sense. 


  • 90% of American public cannot afford legal services, need to reboot culture of lawyers and services we deliver, lot of all and mid size business even cannot afford it.  Legal Zoom has serviced 4 million customera and over 1m SME’s already.


  • When do you close a business? - when your gut or bank balance tells you so, one thing you can expect is the unexpected, you will get things out of left field, all about the ability to adapt. You have to be able to release when the time is to end a business and when people lose their passion for it, it is a good signal to quit.


  • Mark has learned more form disappointment than from success, he learned a lot more from Clearspire than from others that were more financially successful and grew more as a human being and businessman as a result.

To contact Mark please use the links below.

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