Should Lawyers be Keeping up with Kardashians?

Should today’s lawyers be more like Kim Kardashian if they want to thrive and survive in their legal practice? That’s the question that one of Australia’s leading legal innovators will put to a major innovation and technology conference for the legal profession in Sydney on 25 July 2019.
Adjunct Associate Professor Peter Dombkins, Head of Legal Transformation and Legal Project Management at Gilbert+Tobin, will be part of a panel at the Future of Law and Innovation in the Legal Profession (FLIP) Conference which will explore the core capabilities that all lawyers will need to succeed in a rapidly evolving legal profession.
Dombkins’ question comes off the back of news earlier this year that reality TV star and mega-influencer, Kim Kardashian, is interning at a Californian law firm and plans to take the Californian Bar Exam in 2022.
Instead of attending law school, some US states including California allow would-be attorneys to intern in a law firm for four years before taking the bar exam.
Her inspiration to study law reportedly sparked after she successfully petitioned US President Donald Trump to pardon a 63-year old great-grandmother who had served nearly 22 years for cocaine trafficking.
“The Kardashian case study raises some interesting issues about professionalism, and what it means to be a lawyer in our present day,” Dombkins said.
“Not in the far future, not in 2050, but right now.
“If you look at the blend of traditional and non-traditional core capabilities that legal professionals require to future-proof their career, it may not be that silly for legal practitioners to think more like a Kardashian than the lawyer of days gone by.
“Kim has created a multi-million-dollar self-made empire with 143 million followers on Instagram, so she knows a thing or two about managing and marketing products, understanding what her end users want, and adapting to changing circumstances.
“Whether she can master the legal vertical will ultimately be determined by the Californian bar exam, but her communication, business management and product development skills certainly reflect some of the key skills that legal professionals need for their immediate legal future.”
As a former major projects lawyer who has nearly 15 years’ international experience in organisational transformation, Dombkins is looking forward to sharing to sharing his insights on how a successful legal professional can identify where they should invest their energy today to leverage the opportunities of tomorrow.
Dombkins will be joined on the FLIP Conference panel by Canadian legal futurist, Mitch Kowalksi, Business Psychologist, Justin McNamara and Director of Legal, Google Australia and New Zealand, Shoshana Shields.
“I will be asking the same question that one professor asked me at an International Legal Ethics Conference late last year, when I was presenting on this topic – what is the legal profession, and indeed what is a lawyer?

“What our immediate legal future does promise, is that our traditional be-wigged conception of the legal profession is being challenged,” Dombkins said.
“As for Kim Kardashian’s future, as a lawyer, she may well have genetics on her side.
“Let’s not forget that Kim is also the daughter of the later Robert Kardashian, the American attorney and businessman who shot to fame as O. J. Simpson’s defence attorney during his 1995 murder trial.”
/Public Release.