I thought I was dreaming about legal complaints this morning, which was a bit worrying as I like to think I have a fairly creative imagination. You can imagine my relief when I realised that, rather than my conscience being overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of legal consumers, I was semi-sleeping through the chief legal ombudsman’s interview on Radio 4’s Today programme.
Many many years ago, a friend at university said I was a Luddite for refusing to use a computer (that's right kids, I am of the old world). I wasn't too far into writing my 15,000 word dissertation by hand before I realised he was probably right. Even so, my fear of accidentally deleting everything I'd written kept me from embracing technology for at least another year. I like to think when I gave in to the inevitable I did it gracefully. I am not sure the same cannot be said for those lawyers attempting to prevent alternative business structures (ABS) or those who think the legal revolution is nothing more than a very small storm in quite a large teacup.
So this will (probably) be my last blog post of 2011, just over a year since I wrote my first one on the Legal Futures website (which you should read if you don’t, the website that is, not my post). I was inspired to write because I was fed up with just sighing loudly and shaking my head at the absurd reporting of a survey suggesting most, if not all, high street law firms would come out of the ABS mangle alive. One year on, sadly, not much has changed with the way many lawyers think about the changes taking place in the legal market. Lots else has though.
As I sat in an excruciatingly long, unmoving queue at Lanzarote airport on Thursday I nearly caused a stampede when I read about the QualitySolicitors deal on my iPhone. My little whoop of excitement and slight leap into the air made many of the frustrated travellers around me think that Spanish ground crew had finally turned up to check us in.
So this morning when I woke up, still in the fog of sleep, I thought I must have stepped back in time. Coming from my radio, without, it seemed, a hint of irony, was a discussion about whether lawyers should be allowed to operate for profit . Actually, it was more of a parallel-universe feeling than a going-back-in-time one because I’m pretty sure lawyers have been parting people from their cash since advocates in ancient Rome realised there was money in winning arguments.