Why Lawyers Need to Spare Some Change

Last week, I sat in a meeting where a very prominent judge made a comment that went something like this: Change is coming to the legal profession like a freight train. We need to put more rules and restrictions in place so that it doesn’t impact us too much.

I picked my jaw up off the floor.

Change is bad? Change is something we should avoid? This mentality is the problem with the legal profession. Many lawyers view change as the enemy and not as the opportunity that is it. Because change is coming whether you want it to or not, you can either embrace it and grow or you can get railroaded and left behind.

While I agree we shouldn’t haphazardly make changes without being intentional, we also can’t stick our heads in a hole and wait until someone taps us on the back to say, “It’s ok to come out now.” If that reassurance is what you’re waiting for, you’ll likely raise your head to find that lawyers, as we’ve traditionally known them, are gone. Either some innovators from a different industry have come in and filled the void or lawyers who kept their heads out of the sand positioned themselves to ride the wave and are now living their best life on a beach in Maui.

Which do you want to be?

Maybe the judge who made the change-is-evil comment sees his ship pulling into the port of retirement, so he doesn’t really care about what happens in the next five or ten years. If your ship is still out at sea (or even just left the dock), I encourage you to make change your friend. Don’t run from it or put your head in the sand. Get on your board and ride it.

What small change can you implement this week? What larger one can you work towards over the next year?