Prof. David Wilkins, Director, Program on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School, is on stage right now. He just made a great analogy about the purchasing of legal services that just won’t fit in 140 characters on Twitter.

Folks of a certain age will remember running down to the local record store to buy a new record. It was pre-packaged by the record company. A certain sized and shape. It had a pretty cover. And we were expected to listen to the album in a certain order.

We would drop our money to buy a whole album to get just one song. And if the album wasn’t there, we couldn’t buy it.

(I have several of those albums in my collection, that are now in a box in storage)

And now look how music is purchased.

It’s been completed unbundled. We buy a single song. We download it. We build our own music lists. We share those lists. We are the decider of when and how we will purchase music. The record companies no longer dictate the rules we are living by.

And that is what is happening with legal services. The clients are demanding that the services be unbundled. They want to purchase service as they need them, how they need them.

The analogies are continuing. If you think about legal services being a new suit. Off the rack is just fine for most legal services. You don’t need to purchase a Seville Row suit every time.

Yeah, there will always be the bet the farm cases, the white collar perp walks. But these cases are fewer and farther between every year.