Review by Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer magazine
Chrissie Lightfoot’s new book, tomorrow’s naked lawyer: NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw: How to be successful, 2015 to 2045, comes as the second in a series committed to offering forward-thinking solutions for the law industry.
Despite the surname, Lightfoot is not one to tip-toe around her topics or beat around any bushes; more often than not, she stamps her ideas down and cuts through her subjects with a chainsaw, albeit a sexy one.
Adopting the guise of the “imaginary prancing, private dancing, prrrrrrrrrring ‘naked lawyer’ in law law land”, Lightfoot is not concerned with conforming to any formal, over-complicated legal jargon. On the contrary, her almost satirical lingo deconstructs the traditional, technical approach to law literature, and attempts to rebuild the rules of writing about legal services in a fun and accessible way.
While containing a consistent adult theme throughout, from an XXX rated introduction to her ‘KISS’ model (keep it simple, stupid), Lightfoot’s publication can read like a child or adolescent’s book, which, for more traditional readers, may come across as inappropriate or patronising. On the other hand, the able and willing readers that see further than her façade – one that, paradoxically, falls between a provocative tigress and an empathetic kitten – are rewarded with refreshing insights into what the future of tomorrow has in store for the lawyers of today.
Taking with her some applicable lessons from the prequel, entitled the naked lawyer, Lightfoot reinforces the importance of her ROAR model (reach out and relate), emphasising the responsibility of emotional intelligence in an industry that has “an increasing demand for customer service excellence”.
Lightfoot analyses, and aptly describes, the transitional period that we occupy in modern times: the closing winter of classical traditions, making way for the spring of a technological age.
“Marketing is dead”, she claims, and offers well-founded research to suggest that theaccelerating presence of artificial intelligence (AI) will replace not only human marketing but B2B/B2C strategies altogether. As robots supersede our ability to calculate, predict and even judge, she proposes that humans must side step into more naked roles, clothing ourselves with a dedication to “intimacy, service, branding and reputation” above all.
By jumping in bed with futurist Ray Kurzweil’s interpretation of singularity (mathematician John Von Neumann’s theory that AI will exceed human intelligence), Lightfoot’s foresight begs the attention of her readers. She discusses topics ranging from the looming dilemmas of technological unemployment, to the age-old question: why are we here? In between, there are many tips, strategies and insights that grip the imagination and give the book a nice pace.
The publication, from start to finish, discusses how firms would best approach the coming tide of technology. Lightfoot highlights, among other facets, the importance of social networking, search-engine optimisation and online presence for companies that seek to stay afloat, adapt and excel in an ever-changing world of information, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Aside from the initial mixed-messages that she proffers, such as advising readers to “research deeply, slowly, methodically” but also to “just do it”, tomorrow’s naked lawyer is a grand achievement.
It is no easy feat to fit what she does into one volume of work. She predicts three decades of progress; encapsulates the implications of technological change; and covers social, economic, political and personal reactions to advanced technologies. And she does it, most impressively, in an accessible and entertaining way for experts and novices alike.
Tomorrow’s naked lawyer: NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw: How to be successful, 2015 to 2045 is an original addition to an industry saturated with complex, and at times, tired literature.