The year is 2030. The fight at the top of the Am Law rankings is between divisions of Deloitte and EY. Many lawyers work from home because local and state courts have largely moved online. Artificial intelligence has made contract drafting and review near non-existent; most new lawyers are fine with that anyway, because they came out of law school with AI certifications. You’ve heard this before, right? Perhaps, this is the future that legal technologists (or even George Orwell) would have you see. But the reality could be much different.

“I think the pace of change is glacial,” says James Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corp. “The practice of law to me looks very 20th century, maybe even 19th. For all the talk about change in the practice, I’m not seeing change at a rapid pace. No better than linear.”

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