The legal business world in many ways is one of a rotating set of buzzwords. Practice areas are cleverly named, director and leader titles are pointedly given, and strategy shifts are regularly framed in “innovative” and “cutting-edge” terms. But sometimes, what results is confusion about what a term actually means—when everybody has a different definition of a term for their own purposes, that term loses some of its meaning.

Perhaps that is already occurring for the idea of “New Law.” Looking to find a separate nomenclature from “alternative legal services providers” (ALSPs), many companies, startups and law firm subsidiaries augmenting traditional legal services have adopted the New Law label as a way to promote innovation. The designation is meant to convey the idea that law is conducted through a new and exciting path, though the practical detail of where exactly that pathway leads differs from company to company. That’s why, for some, New Law is a term that’s hard to define.

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