Unlike John Henry against the pile driver, John Henry, Esq. will not completely succumb to the internet.
No matter how much guidance, tips and traps, form documents, exegesis, expert systems, and documents law firms post or update, an individual lawyer’s legal judgment and experience will be essential – at least for some legal problems.
No matter how deft the search engines, clever the concept search algorithms, comprehensive the aggregators, enlightening the academic commentary, visually useful the information displays, and comprehensive the databases, a brain will sort and sift and spotlight legal issues and solutions better than technology.
No matter how much legal insight pours onto the toll-free highway of the internet, from blogs to social book-marking, to meta-sites, to offshore glosses and enrichment, there will be need for lawyers to drive.
John Henry, Esq. will find that the rising tide of free information, easily found and constantly growing more sophisticated on the internet, will erode his privileged position as the keeper of secrets. Digitalization will make more and more kinds of legal knowledge and training a commodity. Astute law departments will harness that wealth of information.