However, while von Strunckel’s forecasts are famously upbeat, Susskind’s (pictured) predictions frequently contain apparitions of doom. In his recent book, ‘The End of Lawyers?’, the decorated legal guru foresees “a future in which conventional legal advisers will be much less prominent in society than today, and, in some walks of life, will have no visibility at all.”
From time to time, Susskind also issues informal prophesies to members of his inner circle. In 2007 he revealed that, “Over the last two years or so, I have been informally asked to advise the friends of my teenage sons about possible careers in the law. I cannot pretend to these enthusiastic youngsters that what they have seen in movies or read in novels or even experienced through work placements will bear any relation to the legal world a generation hence. Can any responsible lawyer sensibly state with confidence that legal work in 2030 will be much the same as today?”
Susskind’s son Jamie doesn’t appear to have been listening to his dad. The Oxford University graduate is currently at City Law School studying to become a barrister. Described variously as “charming”, “well-connected”, “wealthy”, “intelligent” and “a looker”, Susskind junior – who got a first in his degree – sounds like he has a pretty good shot at thriving at the Bar. And with several commercial sets recently upping their pupillage awards to £60,000, the kid might enjoy a decent run until the inevitable doomsday arrives.
In fairness to Susskind senior, that doomsday may be some way off, with his main target in ‘The End of Lawyers?’ the middle-of-the-road law firms and chambers that have succeeded by trading on the mystique of the lawyer tag while employing so-so practitioners. Despite my jibes, the book is actually an interesting read. Bear in mind, though, that Shelley von Strunckel’s horoscopes are the first thing I turn to every week in the Sunday Times.