Historically, certain professions, including attorneys, have enjoyed the benefits of a “Grand Bargain” with society – prestige, income and self-regulation – in exchange for their expertise, integrity and client-side manner. But according to Richard and Daniel Susskind, father and son authors of the new book, The Future of the Professions, the “Grand Bargain” has deteriorated over the years.
The publisher, Oxford University Press, describes the book as follows:
In an Internet society, according to Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century.
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The authors challenge the ‘grand bargain’ – the arrangement that grants various monopolies to today’s professionals. They argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of the best is enjoyed only by a few. In their place, they propose six new models for producing and distributing expertise in society.
The Future of The Professions is an especially useful book for lawyers, because it encourages us to think outside ourselves—both to see the parallels in other fields and to imagine a different future.
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Or, as the Susskinds put it: ‘The professions should survive and prosper because they bring values and benefits that no system or tool can.’ To do that, we have to both understand and take the best from the New Normal, and refresh the Grand Bargain through our commitment to being the best profession we can be.
We wholeheartedly agree.