Rethinking Legal Ops Skills: Generalists Versus Specialists — from abovethelaw.com by Silvie Tucker and Brandi Pack
This ongoing conversation highlights the changing demands on legal ops practitioners.

A thought-provoking discussion is unfolding in the legal operations community regarding one intriguing question: Should legal operations professionals strive to be generalists or specialists?

The conversation is timely as the marketplace consolidates and companies grapple with the best way to fill valuable and limited headcount allotments. It also highlights the evolving landscape of legal operations and the changing demands on its practitioners.

The Evolution of Legal Ops
Over the past decade, the field of legal operations has undergone significant transformation. Initially strictly focused on streamlining processes and reducing costs, the role has expanded to include various responsibilities driven by technological advancements and heightened industry expectations. Key areas of expansion include:


He added: “I have for long been of the view – for decades – that AI will be a vital tool in overcoming the access to justice challenge. Existing and emerging technologies are now very promising.”

Richard Susskind


In A First for Law Practice Management Platforms, Clio Rolls Out An Integrated E-Filing Service in Texas — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Last October, during its annual Clio Cloud Conference, the law practice management company Clio announced its plan to roll out an e-filing service, called Clio File, during 2024, starting with Texas, which would make it the first law practice management platform with built-in e-filing. Today, it delivered on that promise, launching Clio File for e-filing in Texas courts.

“Lawyers can now seamlessly submit court documents directly from our flagship practice management product, Clio Manage, streamlining their workflows and simplifying the filing process,” said Chris Stock, vice president of legal content and migrations at Clio. “This is an exciting step in expanding the capabilities of our platform, providing a comprehensive solution for legal documents, from drafting to court filing.”


Just-Launched Quench Uses Gen AI to Bring Greater Speed and Accuracy to Medico-Legal Records Review — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

A cardiologist with a background in medical technology, computer science and artificial intelligence has launched a product for legal professionals and physician expert witnesses that targets the tedious task of reviewing and analyzing thousands of pages of medical records.

The product, Quench SmartChart, uses generative AI to streamline the medico-legal review process, enabling users to quickly extract, summarize and create chronologies from large, disorganized PDFs of medical records.

The product also includes a natural language chat feature, AskQuench, that lets users interact with and interrogate records to surface essential insights.

 


Is Gen AI Creating A Divide Among Law Firms Of Haves and Have Nots? — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

It further seems to me that there is increasingly a divide in the use of generative AI between larger firms and smaller firms. Some will jump on me for saying that, because there are clearly smaller firms that are leading the pack in their development and use of generative AI. (I’m looking at you, Siskind Susser.) By the same token, there are larger firms that have locked their doors to generative AI.

But of the firms that are most openly incorporating generative AI into their workflows, they seem mostly to be larger firms. There is good reason for this. Larger firms have innovation officers and KM professionals and others on staff who are leading the charge on generative AI. Thanks to them, those firms are better equipped to survey the AI landscape and test products under controlled and secure conditions.


On LawNext: Cofounder Jason Tashea on the First Year and Uncertain Future of Georgetown’s First-of-Its-Kind Judicial Innovation Fellowship — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Eighteen months ago, the first-of-its-kind Judicial Innovation Fellowship launched with the mission of embedding experienced technologists and designers within state, local, and tribal courts to develop technology-based solutions to improve the public’s access to justice. Housed within the Institute for Technology Law & Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, the program was designed to be a catalyst for innovation to enable courts to better serve the legal needs of the public.


Addendum on 6/24/24:

Legal AI Careers Prospects and Opportunities: Navigating the Future of Law — from lawfuel.com

The advances with generative AI tools open new career opportunities for lawyers, from legal tech consultants to junior lawyers supervising AI systems.

Institutions like Harvard Law School and Yale Law School are introducing courses that focus on AI’s implications in the legal field and such career oppotunities continue to arise.

Pursuing a career in Legal AI requires a unique blend of legal knowledge and technical skills. There are various educational pathways can equip aspiring professionals with these competencies.

 

Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

The Making of the Access to Justice (A2J) Crisis — from by Nora Freeman Engstrom & David Freeman Engstrom

After decades of neglect, access to justice has roared onto legal and political radars, fueled by a growing realization—first among lawyers but increasingly among the wider American public—that the civil justice system is in crisis. In roughly three-quarters of the 20 million civil cases filed in state courts each year, one side lacks a lawyer—a dynamic that poses a direct challenge to the system’s adversarial core.1  And these are the cases and litigants we can see. Beneath them lies a larger but hidden crisis. It consists of tens of millions more Americans who face genuine legal problems but take no formal legal action to protect their interests.2  As this double-layered calamity has come into focus, state supreme courts, bar associations, and even the crusty American Law Institute are taking note.3

These institutional plaintiffs have built business models around high-volume litigation practices, in large part by leveraging “legal tech,” from e-filing to AI. Yet the legal tech that serves individual Americans on the other side of the “v” remains clunky and limited. The result is a lopsided litigation landscape that’s wreaking havoc on litigants and courts alike.

 

The Digital Transformation Journey: Lessons For Lawyers Embracing AI — from abovethelaw.com by Olga V. Mack
The journey from the days of leather-bound law books to the digital age — and now toward an AI-driven future — offers valuable lessons for embracing change.

No One Will Miss The ‘Good Old Days’
I have yet to meet a lawyer nostalgic for the days of manually updating law reports or sifting through stacks of books for a single precedent. The convenience, speed, and breadth of digital research tools have made the practice of law more efficient and effective. As we move further into the AI era, the enhancements in predictive analytics, document automation, and legal research will make the “good old days” of even the early digital age seem quaint. The efficiencies and capabilities AI brings to the table are likely to become just as indispensable as online databases are today.

The Way We ‘Law’ Will Change For The Better
The ultimate goal of integrating AI into legal practice isn’t just to replace old methods with new ones; it’s to enhance our ability to serve justice, increase access to legal services, and improve the quality of our work. AI promises to automate mundane tasks, predict legal outcomes with greater accuracy, and unearth insights from vast data. These advancements will free us to focus more on the nuanced, human aspects of law — strategy, empathy, and ethical judgment.


AI to Help Double Legal Tech Market Over Five Years, Gartner Says — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Isabel Gottlieb (behind a paywall)

  • Tech to take up a bigger share of in-house legal spend
  • Generative AI boom has much longer to run

The legal tech market will expand to $50 billion by 2027, driven by the generative artificial intelligence boom, according to an analysis by market research firm Gartner Inc.

That growth, up from about $23 billion in 2022, will be driven by continued law firm spending on AI legal tech, as well as in-house departments allocating more of their overall budgets to technology, said Chris Audet, chief of research in Gartner’s legal, risk and compliance leaders practice. The market size prediction, released publicly on Thursday, comes from a late-2023 analysis for Gartner clients, and the 2022 market size comes from …


Legal Tech Market To See Huge Lift Off Thanks to GenAI — from digit.fyi by Elizabeth Greenberg

The global legal technology market has grown significantly in recent years and generative AI (GenAI) will accelerate this growth, meaning the market will reach $50 billion in value by 2027, according to Gartner.

“GenAI has huge potential for bringing more automation to the legal space,” said Chris Audet, chief of research in the Gartner for legal, risk & compliance leaders practice.

“Rapid GenAI developments, and the widespread availability of consumer tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, will quickly increase the number of established legal technology use cases, in turn creating growing market conditions for an increasing number of legal-focused tools.”

“New technologies can fundamentally change the way legal organizations do business, and GenAI has enormous potential to do this,” an analyst at Gartner said.


Revolutionizing Legal Tech in 48 Hours — from law.stanford.edu by Monica Schreiber
At CodeX Hackathon, SLS Students Help Create Award-Winning AI Tools to Help Veterans and Streamline M&A

Disabled veterans seeking to file claims with the Veterans Administration are faced with multiple hurdles and reams of paperwork. Many vets resort to paying third-party companies thousands of dollars to help them with the process.

What if there were a way to streamline the claims process—to condense burdensome information gathering and data inputting into a linear, simplified set of tasks guided by a chatbot? How long would it take to roll out a tool that could accomplish that?

The answer: about 48 hours—at least for an interdisciplinary team of students from Stanford University’s schools of Law, Business, and Computer Science collaborating feverishly during Codex’s Large Language Model (LLM) Hackathon held recently on campus.


What If Your Law Firm Had A Blank Page For Legal Tech? — from artificiallawyer.com

f law firms had a blank page for legal technology and innovation, what would they do?

While organisations across all sectors are getting to grips with the opportunities and risks posed by genAI, forward-thinking law firm leaders are considering what it means for their businesses – today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.

But some firms remain constrained by yesterday, due to legacy processes, ways of working and mindsets. To create the conditions for change, firms need to adopt a ‘blank page’ approach and review all areas of their businesses by asking: if we were starting afresh, how would we design the organisation to future-proof it to achieve transformative growth with genAI at the core?

From DSC:
This sentence reminds me of the power of culture:

But some firms remain constrained by yesterday, due to legacy processes, ways of working and mindsets.


Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Sarah Glassmeyer — from legaltalknetwork.com by Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighell, and Sarah Glassmeyer

What if, instead of tech competence being this scary, overwhelming thing, we showed lawyers how to engage with technology in a more lighthearted, even playful, way? The reality is—tech competency doesn’t have an endpoint, but the process of continuous learning shouldn’t be dull and confusing. Sarah Glassmeyer joins Dennis and Tom to talk about her perspectives on technology education for attorneys, the latest trends in the legal tech world and new AI developments, and growing your knowledge of technology by building on small skills, one at a time.
.

 


How Legal Technology Can Add Value to an M&A Practice — from lexology.com

Following is a primer on some of the A.I.-driven legal technologies, from contract review and automated due-diligence solutions to deal collaboration and closing-management tools, that can drive productivity and efficiency during the four phases of an M&A transaction, as well as enhance market insight and client service.

 

Dr Abigail Rekas, Lawyer & Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Galway

Abigail is a lecturer on two of the Law micro-credentials at University of Galway – Lawyering Technology & Innovation and Law & Analytics. Micro-credentials are short, flexible courses designed to fit around your busy life! They are designed in collaboration with industry to meet specific skills needs and are accredited by leading Irish universities.

Visit: universityofgalway.ie/courses/micro-credentials/


The Implications of Generative AI: From the Delivery of Legal Services to the Delivery of Justice — from iaals.du.edu by

The potential for AI’s impact is broad, as it has the ability to impact every aspect of human life, from home to work. It will impact our relationships to everything and everyone in our world. The implications for generative AI on the legal system, from how we deliver legal services to how we deliver justice, will be just as far reaching.

[N]ow we face the latest technological frontier: artificial intelligence (AI).… Law professors report with both awe and angst that AI apparently can earn Bs on law school assignments and even pass the bar exam. Legal research may soon be unimaginable without it. AI obviously has great potential to dramatically increase access to key information for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. But just as obviously it risks invading privacy interests and dehumanizing the law.

When you can no longer sell the time it takes to achieve a client’s outcome, then you must sell the outcome itself and the client’s experience of getting there. That completely changes the dynamics of what law firms are all about.


Preparing the Next Generation of Tech-Ready Lawyers — from news.gsu.edu
Legal Analytics and Innovation Initiative Gives Students a Competitive Advantage

Georgia State University College of Law faculty understand this need and designed the Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative (LAII) to equip students with the competitive skills desired by law firms and other companies that align with the emerging technological environment.

“As faculty, we realized we need to be forward-thinking about incorporating technology into our curriculum. Students must understand new areas of law that arise from or are significantly altered by technological advances, like cybersecurity, privacy and AI. They also must understand how these advances change the practice of law,” said Kris Niedringhaus, associate dean for Law Library, Information Services, Legal Technology & Innovation.


The Imperative Of Identifying Use Cases In Legal Tech: A Guiding Light For Innovation In The Age Of AI — from abovethelaw.com by Olga V. Mack
In the quest to integrate AI and legal technology into legal practice, use cases are not just important but indispensable.

As the legal profession continues to navigate the waters of digital transformation, the importance of use cases stands as a beacon guiding the journey. They are the litmus test for the practical value of technology, ensuring that innovations not only dazzle with potential but also deliver tangible benefits. In the quest to integrate AI and legal technology into legal practice, use cases are not just important but indispensable.

The future of legal tech is not about technology for technology’s sake. It’s about thoughtful, purpose-driven innovation that enhances the practice of law, improves client outcomes, and upholds the principles of justice. Use cases are the roadmap for this future, charting a course for technology that is meaningful, impactful, and aligned with the noble pursuit of law.

 

15 legal Substacks worth your time — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
It’s my great pleasure to return the compliment of a Substack Recommendation and direct your attention to these terrific legal newsletters.

In alphabetical order, they are:

  1. Daniel’s in-house legal newsletter, by Daniel Van Binsbergen, CEO at Lexoo, London. “One useful insight, idea or framework for in-house lawyers, every week.”
    —> Recommended post: Receiving feedback hurts
  2. Durant’s Rants, by Erin Durant, litigator, founder of Durant Barristers, Russell, ON. “Hot takes from an Ontario law firm. Home of the tea for subscribers.”
    —> Recommended post: Where have all the mid-career lawyers gone?
  3. GeoLegal Notes, by Sean West, Co-Founder Hence Technologies, Santa Monica, CA. “Bridging the gap between global affairs and legal practice; helping equip legal leaders to thrive against a backdrop of increasing global complexity.”
    —> Recommended post: Law and Politics of Supply Chains for Goods, AI and Knowledge

In addition…please also take a moment to click through and check out these ten other excellent newsletters:


Lawyering in the Age of Artificial Intelligence — from papers.ssrn.com and the University of Minnesota Law School by Jonathan H. Choi, Amy Monahan, & Daniel Schwarcz; via Tom Barrett

Abstract
We conducted the first randomized controlled trial to study the effect of AI assistance on human legal analysis. We randomly assigned law school students to complete realistic legal tasks either with or without the assistance of GPT-4. We tracked how long the students took on each task and blind-graded the results. We found that access to GPT-4 only slightly and inconsistently improved the quality of participants’ legal analysis but induced large and consistent increases in speed. AI assistance improved the quality of output unevenly—where it was useful at all, the lowest-skilled participants saw the largest improvements. On the other hand, AI assistance saved participants roughly the same amount of time regardless of their baseline speed. In follow up surveys, participants reported increased satisfaction from using AI to complete legal tasks and correctly predicted the tasks for which GPT-4 were most helpful. These results have important descriptive and normative implications for the future of lawyering. Descriptively, they suggest that AI assistance can significantly improve productivity and satisfaction, and that they can be selectively employed by lawyers in areas where they are most useful. Because these tools have an equalizing effect on performance, they may also promote equality in a famously unequal profession. Normatively, our findings suggest that law schools, lawyers, judges, and clients should affirmatively embrace AI tools and plan for a future in which they will become widespread.


Legal Week 2024 Special Part One: Joey Seeber of Level Legal — from geeklawblog.com by Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

Welcome to the first of a few special Legal Week 2024 edition episodes of “The Geek in Review,” where we looked for innovative and creative ideas on the road and recorded live from the bustling environment of the 2024 Legal Week conference in New York.

Marlene Gebauer notes the transformation of Legal Week into a thought leadership conference, with a special mention of keynote speaker Bryan Cranston’s impactful talk on storytelling, branding, and the thoughtful application of AI in both the acting world and the legal tech space.


LegalWeek 2024 Special Part Two: Mollie Nichols and Mark Noel from Redgrave Data — from geeklawblog.com by Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

In the second of a special series of interviews from Legal Week 2024 , co-hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer welcomed Mollie Nichols, CEO, and Mark Noel, Chief Information and Technology Officer of Redgrave Data. Nichols and Noel discuss Redgrave Data’s mission to cut through the hype of legal tech innovations, particularly generative AI. Nichols emphasized the company’s focus on delivering custom solutions that meet clients’ actual needs and highlighted the importance of educating the legal community on effectively integrating new technologies into their practices.

Mark Noel emphasized the strategic addition of data scientists to their team, enabling Redgrave Data to develop and advise on cutting-edge technologies. He stressed the importance of applying generative AI judiciously, pointing out its limitations and the potential for misuse if not properly vetted. Noel and Nichols shared insights on navigating the legal tech landscape, emphasizing efficiency, data management, and the careful evaluation of tech solutions.


LexisNexis Report: What Every C Suite Leader Needs to Know about Legal AI — from deweybstrategic.com by  Jean O’Grady

Today LexisNexis Legal & Professional, released results from a survey of senior leadership at top U.S. law firms and legal professionals at Fortune 1000 companies. The survey 2024 Investing in Legal Innovation Survey: The Rise of GenAI at Top Firms & Corporations  explores  the business impact of generative AI technology on the legal industry.

I can’t recall any prior technology that has simultaneously trigged both of breathless enthusiasm and panicked resistance . While the technology shows game changing promise, there are significant ethical, client relations, security and intellectual property concerns which still need to be addressed. The C-Suite survey charts the issues of concern where are impeding adoption of GenAI.


GenAI for Law Is Like Google Maps (for Lawyers) — from elevate.law by Pratik Patel

These days, whenever a customer asks me for my view of generative AI for law and where and how they should be using it, I reply with a simple analogy: Think ‘Google Maps for lawyers’.

Analogising generative AI for law to mapping technology begins with thinking about legal matters as journeys. A similar conceptualisation appears in a recent article by Justin Turman, legal systems and processes manager at Stryker, with legal work as flight paths. Either way, you have a desired destination (winning a lawsuit, closing a deal, finalising a contract, etc.) and many possible ‘routes’ reflecting various strategic and tactical decisions along the way. At various junctures, it is helpful to get intelligence and directions on how to proceed. And, as with driving (or flying), circumstances are subject to change along the way – newly discovered facts, shifts in goals, etc.


Law Student’s Gen AI Product, Lexplug, Makes Briefing Cases A Breeze — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Based on that bathroom-break induced inspiration, Neal went on to develop — and this week launch — Lexplug, a site developed for law students “to make interacting with cases more accessible, efficient, and engaging.”

Search, Query and Simplify Case BriefsAt its core, Lexplug is a library of case briefs, all created by Neal using GPT-4. So far, he has created 7,000 briefs, and hopes to have 50,000 by the end of the year. To decide which cases to prioritize, he collected a variety of syllabi for basic law school courses such as constitutional law and torts and extracted the key cases. He also has the full text of every briefed case.


The Justice Gap in Legal Tech: A Tale of Two Conferences and the Implications for A2J — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

But there is another, related, kind of justice gap in this country. It is the funding gap between those who are developing legal technology to better meet the legal needs of low-income Americans and those who are developing legal tech to serve large law firms and corporate legal departments.

At Legalweek, the focus of the conference is almost exclusively on tech for large law firms and corporate legal departments. The sponsors and exhibitors are focused on products for e-discovery, contract lifecycle management, large firm financial and business management, and the like. The programs, similarly, focus on data privacy, e-discovery, information governance, contract technology, and large-scale litigation.

The exhibit hall spans three floors, the booths are big and bright, and the vendors seemingly all throw parties that are over the top, or quite literally near the top, at venues such as the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center, with freely flowing alcohol and plenty of food.

By contrast, at the ITC conference, the attendees come mostly from the ranks of legal aid offices, pro-bono programs, court self-help staff, and the like. The programs focus on how understaffed legal aid offices and understaffed courts and understaffed community programs can use technology to help meet the influx of low-income people seeking legal help.

The juxtaposition of the glitziness of one conference and the modesty of the other speaks to the larger issue of inequity in legal tech – and specifically financial inequity.

 

From DSC:
How does this sentence hit you? I read it in a fictional book recently and it gave me pause.

…we don’t have a justice system in this country. We have a legal system.


Innovative New Project Launches to Increase Access to Justice for the Overlooked Middle Class — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

An important addition to the national access to justice landscape, the Above the Line Network (ATLN) has launched today to tackle the daunting challenges that middle-class Americans face when seeking legal help that doesn’t break the bank. While most organized access to justice efforts rightly focus on low-income and poor people who are especially vulnerable, we can never achieve our nation’s ideal of equal justice for all when middle-class people—who make up more than 50% of the nation’s population— and small businesses struggle to find quality, affordable legal services. They are “above the line” of income eligibility for the free legal aid reserved for the poorest Americans, but they also struggle to find quality and affordable legal services in the current legal market.


Top legal tech trends for businesses to watch in 2024 — from verdict.co.uk by

  • Data protection: a new regulator, more reforms and continued enforcement
  • Online reforms and increased regulation

2024 in-house legal outlook series: GCs, CLOs ready for hard decisions — from legaldive.com by Lyle Moran and Robert Freedman
Legal leaders look at practical generative AI use cases and get tough on outside counsel spend, among other priorities this year.

General counsel and chief legal officers will do more work in-house with the help of tech investments, especially as more legal tech companies add generative AI and other types of artificial intelligence capabilities to the tools they offer in-house teams. At the same time, legal leaders will be exploring ways to reduce outside counsel costs, in part by giving work to smaller firms and reserving the most complex work for the largest firms.


Politico Launches AI-generated Bill Summaries Available to Politico Pro Subscribers — from politico.com by Melissa Cooke; via The Neuron

ARLINGTON, Va. – POLITICO, today announced the launch of a new, innovative feature allowing POLITICO Pro users to quickly review an AI-generated summary of Federal bills, rapidly accessing critical legislative context while benefiting from the in-depth analysis and insights that subscribers rely upon. POLITICO Pro is the leading subscription policy intelligence platform.


Legaltech is revolutionizing the way lawyers work — from verdict.co.uk by
Legaltech focuses on increasing work efficiency by addressing important but low-value or high-volume work to provide more time for lawyers to work on tasks requiring a higher skill set.

For example, in February 2023, Allen & Overy launched its generative AI platform, integrating Harvey (based on GPT-4 technology by OpenAI), into its global practice to help its lawyers with drafting legal documentation. In December 2023, Allen & Overy also created an AI contract negotiation tool, ContractMatrix, in partnership with Harvey. The firm estimates that the tool saves around seven hours when negotiating a contract. When discussing these innovations, David Wakeling, Head of the Markets Innovation Group at Allen & Overy explained that the firm’s goal was to “disrupt the legal market before someone disrupts us.”


 

 

Firms must continue to evolve to remain relevant — from lawyersweekly.com.au by Emma Musgrave
Law firms of all shapes and sizes must continue to reinvent themselves beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two senior leaders at Piper Alderman.

“So [it’s] not saying, ‘We’re going to roll out ChatGPT across the board and use that’; it’s finding some particular cases that might be useful,” he explained.

“We’ve had, for example, [instances] where lawyers have said, ‘We’ve got a bunch of documents we use on a regular basis or a bunch of devices we use on a regular basis. Can we put these into ChatGPT and see if we can [find a] better way of pulling data out of things?’ And so use cases like that where people are coming up with ideas and trying them out and seeing how they go and [questioning whether] we roll this out more widely? I think that’s the approach that seems to be the best.”


Is Legal Technology the Future of Legal Services? — from lawfuel.com by Kelli Hall

Impact of Legal Technology on the Legal Industry

  • Virtual simulations and unrecognizable deep-fakes
  • eDiscovery investigations and the potential for cyberattacks
  • Enhancing efficiency, but potential risk for data leakage
  • Automation of administrative tasks and rapid data research

Revolutionizing Law Firm Strategies With AI And SEO — from abovethelaw.com by Annette Choti
Explore how AI and SEO are transforming law firm strategies, from automated keyword research to predictive SEO and voice recognition technology.

AI and SEO are two powerful technologies transforming the digital world for legal offices. AI can enhance SEO strategies, offering a competitive edge in search engine rankings. AI can streamline your content creation process. Learn about machine learning’s role in enhancing content optimization, contributing to more targeted and effective marketing efforts.


Navigating Gen AI In Legal: Insights From CES And A Dash Of Tequila Thinking — from abovethelaw.com by Stephen Embry
What should be our true north in making decisions about how to use technology?

Embracing Gen AI in Legal
So in all the Gen AI smoke and handwringing, lets first identify what we excel at as lawyers. What only we as lawyers are qualified to do. Then, when it comes to technology and the flavor of the day, Gen AI, let’s look relentlessly at how we can eliminate the time we spend on anything else. Let technology free us up for the work only we can do.

That’s Satya Nadella’s advice. And Microsoft has done pretty well under his leadership.


From Gavels to Algorithms: Judge Xavier Rodriguez Discusses the Future of Law and AI — from jdsupra.com by

It’s a rare privilege to converse with a visionary like Judge Xavier Rodriguez, who has seamlessly blended the realms of justice, law, and technology. His journey from a medieval history enthusiast to a United States district court judge specializing in eDiscovery and AI is inspiring.

Judge Rodriguez provides an insightful perspective on the need for clear AI regulations. He delves into the technical aspects and underscores the potential of AI to democratize the legal system. He envisions AI as a transformative force capable of simplifying the complexities that often make legal services out of reach for many.

Judge Rodriguez champions a progressive approach to legal education, emphasizing the urgency of integrating technology competence into the curriculum. This foresight will prepare future lawyers for a world where AI tools are as commonplace as legal pads, fostering a sense of anticipation for the future of legal practice.


 

 

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Psalm 145:8-14 New International Version

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[a]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice?


From DSC:
As you can see from the above items, Mr. David Goodrich, a great human being and a fellow Instructional Designer, had a great comment and question regarding the source of my hope that AI — and other forms of legaltech — could significantly provide more access to justice here in America. Our civil justice system has some serious problems — involving such areas as housing, employment, healthcare, education, families, and more.

I’d like to respond to that question here.

First of all, I completely get what David is saying. I, too, have serious doubts that our horrible access to justice (#A2J) situation will get better. Why? Because:

  • Many people working within the legal field like it this way, as they are all but assured victory in most of the civil lawsuits out there.
  • The Bar Associations of most of the states do not support changes that would threaten their incomes/livelihoods. This is especially true in California and Florida.
  • The legal field in general is not composed, for the most part, of highly innovative people who make things happen for the benefit of others. For example, the American Bar Association is 20+ years behind in terms of providing the level of online-based learning opportunities that they should be offering. They very tightly control how legal education is delivered in the U.S.

Here are several areas that provide me with hope for our future


There are innovative individuals out there fighting for change.
And though some of these individuals don’t reside in the United States, their work still impacts many here in America. For examples, see:

There are innovative new companies, firms, and other types of organizations out there fighting for change. For examples:

There are innovative new tools and technologies out there such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) 
    • AI and machine learning remain pivotal in legaltech, especially for in-house lawyers who deal with vast quantities of contracts and complex legal matters. In 2024, these technologies will be integral for legal research, contract review, and the drafting of legal documents. Statistics from the Tech & the Law 2023 Report state more than three in five corporate legal departments (61%) have adopted generative AI in some capacity, with 7% actively using generative AI in their day-to-day work. With constant improvements to LLM (Large Language Models) by the big players, i.e. OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft (via OpenAI), 2024 will see more opportunities open and efficiencies gained for legal teams. (Source)
    • From drafting contracts to answering legal questions and summarising legal issues, AI is revolutionising the legal profession and although viewed with a sceptical eye by some law firms, is generally perceived to be capable of bringing huge benefits. (Source)
    • Legal bots like Harvey will assist lawyers with discovery.
  • Technology-assisted review (TAR) in e-discovery
  • Due to COVID 19, there were virtual courtrooms set up and just like with virtual/online-based learning within higher education, many judges, litigants, lawyers, and staff appreciated the time savings and productivity gains. Along these lines, see Richard Susskind’s work. [Richard] predicts a world of online courts, AI-based global legal businesses, disruptive legal technologies, liberalized markets, commoditization, alternative sourcing, simulated practice on the metaverse, and many new legal jobs. (Source)

There are innovative states out there fighting for change. For examples:

  • Utah in 2020 launched a pilot program that suspended ethics rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership of legal services providers and let non-lawyers apply for a waiver to offer certain legal services. (Source)
  • Arizona in 2021 changed its regulatory rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership. (Source)
  • Alaska with their Alaska Legal Services Corporation
  • …and others

And the last one — but certainly not the least one — is where my faith comes into play. I believe that the Triune God exists — The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit — and that the LORD is very active in our lives and throughout the globe. And one of the things the LORD values highly is JUSTICE. For examples:

  • Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice. Proverbs 29:26 NIV
  • These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; Zechariah 8:16 NIV
  • …and many others as can be seen below

The LORD values JUSTICE greatly!


So I believe that the LORD will actively help us provide greater access to justice in America.


Well…there you have it David. Thanks for your question/comment! I appreciate it!

 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice? — from gtlaw.com.au by Peter Waters, Jason Oliver, and David Baddeley

So asks a recent study by two academics from Stanford Law School, David Freeman Engstrom and Nora Freeman Engstrom, on the potential impact of AI on the civil litigation landscape in the US.

It is against this landscape, the study observes, that champions of legal tech have suggested that there is an opportunity for legal tech to “democratise” litigation and put litigation’s “haves” and “have nots” on a more equal footing, by arming smaller firms and sole practitioners with the tools necessary to do battle against their better resourced opponents, and cutting the cost of legal services, putting lawyers within reach of a wider swathe of people.

But is this a real opportunity, and will AI be key to its realisation?

However, while AI may reduce the justice gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” of litigation, it could also exacerbate existing inequalities.

From DSC:
While this article approaches things from the lawyer’s viewpoint, I’d like to see this question and the use of AI from the common man’s/woman’s viewpoint. Why? In order to provide FAR GREATER access to justice (#A2J) for those who can’t afford a lawyer as they head into the civil law courtrooms.

  • Should I take my case to court? Do I have a chance to win this case? If so, how?
  • What forms do I need to complete if I’m going to go to court?
  • When and how do I address the judge?
  • What does my landlord have to do?
  • How do I prevent myself from falling into a debt-collection mess and/or what options do I have to get out of this mess?
  • Are there any lawyers in my area who would take my case on a pro bono basis?
  • …and judges and lawyers — as well as former litigants — could add many more questions (and answers) to this list

Bottom line:
It is my hope that technology can help increase access to justice.


Also relevant/see:

Virtual Justice? Exploring AI’s impact on legal accessibility — from nortonrosefulbright.com by Chris Owen and Mary-Frances Murphy

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A number of products are already under development, or have been launched. One example is a project that Norton Rose Fulbright is working on, together with not-for-profit legal service Justice Connect. The scope is to develop an automated natural language processing AI model that seeks to interpret the ‘everyday’ language used by clients in order to identify the client’s legal issues and correctly diagnose their legal problem. This tool is aimed at addressing the struggles that individuals often face in deciphering legal jargon and understanding the nature of their legal issue and the type of lawyer, or legal support, they need to resolve that problem.

 



Don’t Believe the Hype? Practical Thoughts About Using AI in Legal (Stephen Embry – TechLaw Crossroads) — from tlpodcast.com by Stephen Embry

Despite the hype and big promises about AI, if it is used correctly, could it be the differentiator that sets good legal professionals apart from the pack? Stephen Embry offers a good argument for this in the latest episode.

Stephen is a long-time attorney and the legal tech aficionado behind the TechLaw Crossroads blog– a great resource for practical and real-world insight about legal tech and how technology is impacting the practice of law. Embry emphasizes that good lawyers will embrace artificial intelligence to increase efficiency and serve their clients better, leaving more time for strategic thinking and advisory roles.

 

The new apprenticeships — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
Several American states are rewriting the rules of lawyer licensure and bringing the US into line with a key element of lawyer formation worldwide: supervised practice.

Change comes so gradually and fitfully to the legal sector that when something truly revolutionary happens — an actual turning point with an identifiable real-world impact — we have to mark the occasion. One such revolution broke out in the United States last week, opening up fantastic new possibilities for Americans who want to become lawyers.

The Oregon Supreme Court approved a new licensure program that does not require passage of a traditional written bar exam. After graduating from law school, aspiring Oregon lawyers can complete 675 hours of paid legal work under the supervision of an experienced attorney, assembling a portfolio of legal work to be assessed by bar admission officials. Candidates must submit eight samples of legal writing, take the lead in at least two initial client interviews or client counseling sessions, and oversee two negotiations, among other requirements.

Jordan mentions what’s going on in several other states including:

  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • South Dakota

From DSC:
The Bar Exam doesn’t have a good reputation for actually helping get someone ready to practice law. So this is huge news indeed! The U.S. needs more people/specialists at the legal table moving forward. The items Jordan relays in this posting are a huge step forward in making that a reality.


For other innovations within the legal realm, see:

LawSchoolAi — from youtube.com

Picture this: A world where anyone can unlock the doors to legal expertise, no matter their background or resources. Introducing Law School AI – the game-changing platform turning this vision into reality. Our mission? To make legal education accessible, affordable, and tailored to every learner’s unique style, by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence.

As a trailblazing edtech company, Law School AI fuses cutting-edge AI technology with modern pedagogical techniques to craft a personalized, immersive, and transformative learning experience. Our platform shatters boundaries, opening up equal opportunities for individuals from all walks of life to master the intricacies of law.

Embrace a new era of legal education with Law School AI, where the age-old law school experience is reimagined as a thrilling, engaging, and interactive odyssey. Welcome to the future of legal learning.

 

 

 


The legal world in 10 years (if we’re really lucky) — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
Here are eight predictions for how the legal sector will be different and mostly better in 2033. If you have an alternative vision, there’s one sure way to prove me wrong.

What part are you going to play in determining the future? This isn’t a spectator sport or a video game. “The future” will be what you (and everyone else) make it by your decisions, commitments, sacrifices, and leadership — or, equally, by your inaction on all these fronts.

There’s a meme making the rounds that says, “People in time-travel movies are always afraid of committing one tiny action in the past, because it might completely change the present. But people in the present don’t seem to believe that committing one tiny action in the present could completely change the future.” I think that has it exactly right. The future we get is the future that you and I start making in the present, meaning today, right now.


Shadow AI: A Thorny Problem For Law Firms — from abovethelaw.com by Sharon D. Nelson, John W. Simek, and Michael C. Maschke
Its use is often unknown to a law firm’s IT or security group.


 
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