Liquid Legal – Transforming an Industry
“Liquid Legal – Transforming Legal into a Business Savvy, Information Enabled and Performance Driven Industry” is the title of a new Springer publication (Heidelberg, 2016) which I edited together with Kai Jacob from SAP and Dr. Dierk Schindler from NetApp. We assembled 30+ voices from In-house Legal Departments (e.g. SAP, NetApp, Microsoft, Cap Gemini), Law Firms (e.g. Dentons, DLA Piper), Legal Process Outsourcers (e.g. Integreon, Elevate), Research Institutions (e.g. Oxford University, Technical University Munich, Bucerius Law School), Professional Associations (e.g. IACCM, CLOC) and LegalTech Companies (e.g. Leverton, Seal Software) calling for a more collaborative mindset among legal professionals, and in the whole industry. What I personally found as exciting as the innovative and stimulating ideas of our authors (among them corporate board members, senior partners of law firms, and university professors) was the editorial process itself. Although representing different companies, and coming from different professional backgrounds (Kai and Dierk both studied law while I have a humanities education), all three of us editors realized the need and the opportunity to propel the digital transformation in a traditionally very conservative industry. The 18 months of collaboration with our authors, from the first brainstorming to holding the printed book in hands, thus can be seen as one practical example of the book’s core belief: that even in informal and non-hierarchical relationships, win-win cooperation is possible and, in fact, likely if people share the same values and vision. We are now in the process of establishing Liquid Legal as a brand. Watch out for the announcements of the “Liquid Legal MOOC” (Massive Open Online Course) featured by OpenSAP (planned for May 2017), and the “Liquid Legal Seminar” at the University of St. Gallen (planned for September 2017).