That Chrissie Lightfoot styles herself as the ‘naked lawyer’ is, you might say, suggestive of what to expect from her most recent book ‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’. The book is written in Chrissie’s uniquely playful manner (or ‘naughty’: her word), something that works towards the book’s stated intention of appealing to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. ‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’ is a book for the industry insider and the slightly curious onlooker; the world-weary lawyer as much as the techno-hipster. It is part zeitgeist-summary and part Delphinian excursion into the deep future of the legal services industry. Along the way, Chrissie admonishes the reader to speak plainly and in their own vernacular, and embodies this in her own readily-devoured prose. The book is easy on the eyes, if you follow me.
‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’ picks up nicely from Chrissie’s first ‘Naked Lawyer’ outing, particularly her ROAR (Reach Out And Relate) concept, and builds upon this. There is a particular focus on the modern paradigm of human-to-human service interactions, rather than business-to-business, and Chrissie is the master of what she calls ‘Brand,You’. Social media strategy and personal marketing are disseminated, dissected, and devoured here. Brand you is supplied with a full rundown of what works online and off, with pre-eminently useable advice, including keywords and other tools to grab the attention of an increasingly cluttered virtual space. Her advice will prove invaluable to innumerable readers.
The value of ‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’ lies not merely in pointing with outstretched finger toward already developing industry trends, but in forcing the reader to think seriously of the seemingly outlandish (think robot judges), and to connect recent legal developments with other spheres of endeavour to envision the shape of the decades to come. This is a future-looking book; a book that determinedly leads the reader by the hand, while entertaining mercilessly, into the murky unknowns. But we are not, however, left stranded in a foreign jurisdiction. The present, the near future, and the not-at-all-near future are neatly elided, with the reader always being aware of the passage from now to then. This is dazzlingly useful in the setting of mid- and long-term goals, and gifts BigLaw and NewLaw alike an insight as to from where their challenges may come.
Chrissie has shown a boldness in attempting to predict the future of the legal services industry, and this boldness rewards the reader with a sustained, realistic, and, most vitally, a practical outlook on what that future may hold. Legal professionals are often reticent about casting their gaze too far down the road – a point that the book makes effectively – preferring instead a navel-gazing shoe shuffle that is slowly atrophying elements of the industry. ‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’ is a necessary salve to the conservative near-sightedness of many legal professionals and ought to incite many an inflammatory conversation, be it at the water cooler or in the boardroom. For those looking for legal reinvigoration and a glimpse into the future, ‘Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer’ offers a superb insight and a lively, enthralling read. See highlights of the book launch here.