Providing Something That Databases and Software Cannot

The marketing blurb on the back of Dan Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind” says:

“If it’s likely that  . . . a computer can do your work faster than you can, READ THIS BOOK.”

The premise of Pink’s book, aligns closely with that of this blog: “the age of ‘left-brain thinking'” is gone. “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind . . . creative and emphatic “right-brain” thinkers . . . .”

The analytical, logical left-brain thinking that has so dominated the last century of post-industrialized western countries, the age of the information worker, is giving way to an age in which left-brain analytical skills, such as those of lawyers and accountants, are increasingly commoditized by either out-sourcing, technology, or a combination of the two.
Commenting on lawyers and the future of the legal industry, Pink describes how inexpensive software and services are competing with some lawyers’ practices. There is software that can handle a clients’ divorce and online forms that can be used off-the-shelf or taken as boilerplate to an attorney with the expectation that the lawyer  not charge for drafting the entire document but merely for just the customization.

Pink, however, does not see a future entirely without lawyers (many of you non-lawyers breathe a HUGE sigh of relief). Rather this transition will result in the demand for a different kind of lawyer.  Describing those attorneys who will thrive in the new economic reality, Pink says: they “will be those who can . . . provide something that databases and software cannot – counseling, mediation, courtroom storytelling, and other services that depend upon” right brain thinking.

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