Building a Consumer-Centered Legal Market: Takeaways from IAALS’ Convening on Regulatory Reform — from iaals.du.edu by Jessica Bednarz

Two initial high-level takeaways from the convening include:

  • Every state effort is different for a reason. There are many factors that leaders must consider when determining which model(s) of regulatory reform to pursue and how. Some examples of factors to consider include whether the state is a mandatory or voluntary bar state, whether the supreme court justices in the state are appointed or elected, and whether the model(s) to be pursued is market-based or free to consumers. The answers to these questions will likely dictate which stakeholders will likely be allies, which stakeholders will likely be opposed, and which strategy and approach to pursue.
    .
  • We need to better engage the public in regulatory reform efforts. While some organizations and efforts have included public engagement from the outset, (shout-outs to Innovation for Justice and Arizona more generally, as well as Alaska Legal Services Corporation and Frontline Justice), most have not, and this has likely hindered efforts to some degree. The data we have thus far indicates the public is interested in obtaining legal services from alternative service providers such as allied legal professionals and community justice workers, as well as through alternative business models. The more we can engage the public in this conversation, the better chance we have of creating regulatory reform that is aligned with their needs and the better chance leaders have of getting their respective efforts over the finish line.
    • Because this is an area within the regulatory reform space that is ripe for further development and impact, IAALS will soon be launching a project on consumer engagement. Stay tuned for more updates!

IAALS will share a more comprehensive list of lessons learned and recommendations for building and sustaining regulatory reform in its post-convening report, currently set to be released in early 2024.

 

Will Legal Prompt Engineers Replace Lawyers? — from forbes.com by Charles Lew

A woman at the computer

.

From DSC:
I’m not crazy about the click bait nature of the title, but the article lists some ways that AI could/is impacting the legal realm.
For example, here’s an excerpt:

Engineers in this capacity might not be legal experts, but they excel in framing precise questions for these models, drawing out answers that align with legal nuances. Essentially, these experts represent a significant paradigm shift, evolving the role of legal practitioners.

In legal research, an LPE harnesses advanced models to improve comprehension. Specific legal texts, statutes or summaries fed into the AI yield clarifications, contextual insights or succinct summaries. This assists legal professionals in quickly grasping the implications of texts, streamlining the research process.

In legal drafting, AI can suggest relevant clauses, pinpoint angles of an argument and provide recommendations to enhance clarity. It ensures consistency in terminology and references, detects redundant language and verifies the accuracy of legal citations. It flags potential high-risk language, aligns with jurisdictional norms and prioritizes relevance through contextual analysis. The system checks coherence in stipulated timelines and identifies potentially biased or non-inclusive language.

For training and brainstorming, LPEs can present hypothetical situations, formulating questions that unearth potential legal arguments or implications. Not only does it serve as an instructional tool for budding legal professionals, it also exercises a fresh perspective for seasoned attorneys.


12 Thoughts on Promises and Challenges of AI in Legal after Yesterday’s AI Summit at Harvard Law School — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

  1. Armed with AI, pro se litigants could overwhelm the courts, so the courts need to be prepared to respond in kind.
  2. If AI is to enhance access to justice, it will not be only by increasing lawyer productivity, but also by directly empowering consumers.
  3. Even the AI experts don’t understand AI.
  4. Experts are already striving to make the black box of AI more transparent.
  5. Even as law firms adopt AI, they are finding implementation to be a challenge.
  6. …and more

 

Why Christians need to support diversity professionals, not demonize them — from religionnews.com by Michelle Loyd-Paige
Even among Christians, DEI leaders find themselves isolated and unsupported.

For nearly 39 years, I have taught about and advocated for diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and social justice in Christian contexts. I have been sustained by the knowledge that diversity is a part of God’s good creation and is celebrated in the Bible. 

And not just diversity, but love for our neighbors, care for the immigrant, and justice for the marginalized and oppressed. In fact, the Hebrew and Greek words for justice appear in Scripture more than 1,000 times. 

It could be argued that Jesus’ ministry on earth exemplified the value of diversity, the importance of inclusion and the obligation of justice and restoration. Our ministry — in schools, churches, business, wherever we find ourselves — should reflect the same.

From DSC:
I was at Calvin (then College) when Michelle was there. I am very grateful for her work over my 10+ years there. I learned many things from her and had my “lenses” refined several times due to her presentations, questions, and the media that she showed. Thank you Michelle for all of your work and up-hill efforts! It’s made a difference! It impacted the culture at Calvin. It impacted me.

The other thing that hepled me in my background was when my family moved to a much more diverse area. And I’ve tried to continue that perspective in my own family. I don’t know half of the languages that are spoken in our neighborhood, but I love the diversity there! I believe our kids (now mostly grown) have benefited from it and are better prepared for what they will encounter in the real world.

 

***
From DSC:
Having come from various other areas of higher education back in 2017, I was *amazed* to see *how far behind* legal education was from the rest of higher ed. And this is directly tied to what the American Bar Association allows (or doesn’t allow). The ABA has done a terrible job of helping Americans deal with today’s pace of change.

 

New virtual legal tool launching in Montgomery County to help people who can’t afford legal representation — from wdtn.com by Riley Phillips

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People living in Montgomery County now have access to a new legal tool.

Filing for divorce, changing custody of a child, or taking action in a domestic violence case is not easy, especially for people who cannot afford a lawyer. Susan Choe is the Executive Director of Ohio Legal Help.

“That’s a complex thing for folks who’ve never gone through the legal system, don’t know how to complete court forms,” Choe explained.

Seventeen percent of people in Montgomery County live below the federal poverty line. Ohio Legal Help teamed up with the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court to create a virtual tool to make sure sure low income residents get the legal help they need. Choe said the website takes people through each part of the legal process. It also helps people fill out forms right there on the site.

Montgomery County Domestic Relations Self Help Center -- DC: We need more of these!!!

 

The Future of Law: Embracing AI in the Legal Profession — from ethicalailawinstitute.com by Trent Kubasiak

Excerpt:

Improving Access to Justice:
One significant advantage of AI in the legal profession is its potential to improve access to justice. The high costs associated with legal services have traditionally created barriers for individuals with limited financial means. However, AI-powered solutions can help bridge this gap by providing affordable and accessible legal information and guidance. Virtual legal assistants and chatbots can assist individuals with legal queries, empowering them to navigate legal processes more effectively and make informed decisions. By leveraging AI, the legal profession can become more inclusive and ensure that legal services are available to a broader segment of society.


Also relevant/see:

Law Unlimited: Welcome to the re-envisioned legal profession — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
Will Generative AI destroy law firms? Only if lawyers are too fixed in their ways to see the possibilities that lie beyond who we’ve always been and what we’ve always done.

Excerpt:

The immediate impact of Gen AI on legal services will be to introduce unprecedented efficiency to the production of countless legal documents and processes. For most of the last century, lawyers have personally performed this work, spending and billing hours or parts of hours to accomplish each task. Law firms have used this production method to provide on-the-job training for inexperienced lawyers and have leveraged those hours to generate profits for their partners. But LLMs can now do the same work in seconds, as effectively as lawyers can today and much better in the near future. This is, among other things, a very serious problem for law firms’ business models and talent development practices, not to mention a real challenge to lawyer education and training and potentially a revolution in access to justice.

 
 

The Rumors Were True: Thomson Reuters Acquires Casetext for $650M Cash — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Thomson Reuters Acquires Casetext for $650M Cash

Excerpt:

“The proposed transaction will complement Thomson Reuters existing AI roadmap and builds on its recent initiatives, including a commitment to invest more than $100 million annually on AI capabilities, the development of new generative AI experiences across its product suite, as well as a new plugin with Microsoft and Microsoft 365 Copilot for legal professionals,” TR’s announcement said.

From DSC:
I post this to show how AI continues to make inroads into the legal realm — and how serious vendors are about it. I believe AI-enabled applications will eventually increase access to justice for the citizens of the United States of America.


Below is an addendum on 6/28/23 that further illustrates how serious vendors are about AI:

Databricks picks up MosaicML, an OpenAI competitor, for $1.3B — from techcrunch.com by Ingrid Lunden

Excerpt:

Databricks announced it will pay $1.3 billion to acquire MosaicML, an open source startup with neural networks expertise that has built a platform for organizations to train large language models and deploy generative AI tools based on them.

 

AI-driven Legal Apprenticeships — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com by Josh Kubicki

Excerpts:

My hypothesis and research suggest that as bar associations and the ABA begin to recognize the on-going systemic issues of high-cost legal education, growing legal deserts (where no lawyer serves a given population), on-going and pervasive access to justice issues, and a public that is already weary of the legal system – alternative options that are already in play might become more supported.

What might that look like?

The combination of AI-assisted education with traditional legal apprenticeships has the potential to create a rich, flexible, and engaging learning environment. Here are three scenarios that might illustrate what such a combination could look like:

    • Scenario One – Personalized Curriculum Development
    • Scenario Two – On-Demand Tutoring and Mentoring
    • Scenario Three – AI-assisted Peer Networks and Collaborative Learning:

Why Companies Are Vastly Underprepared For The Risks Posed By AI — from forbes.com by
Accuracy, bias, security, culture, and trust are some of the risks involved

Excerpt:

We know that there are challenges – a threat to human jobs, the potential implications for cyber security and data theft, or perhaps even an existential threat to humanity as a whole. But we certainly don’t yet have a full understanding of all of the implications. In fact, a World Economic Forum report recently stated that organizations “may currently underappreciate AI-related risks,” with just four percent of leaders considering the risk level to be “significant.”

A survey carried out by analysts Baker McKenzie concluded that many C-level leaders are over-confident in their assessments of organizational preparedness in relation to AI. In particular, it exposed concerns about the potential implications of biased data when used to make HR decisions.


AI & lawyer training: How law firms can embrace hybrid learning & development — thomsonreuters.com
A big part of law firms’ successful adaptation to the increased use of ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI, may depend upon how firmly they embrace online learning & development tools designed for hybrid work environments

Excerpt:

As law firms move forward in using of advanced artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI, their success may hinge upon how they approach lawyer training and development and what tools they enlist for the process.

One of the tools that some law firms use to deliver a new, multi-modal learning environment is an online, video-based learning platform, Hotshot, that delivers more than 250 on-demand courses on corporate, litigation, and business skills.

Ian Nelson, co-founder of Hotshot, says he has seen a dramatic change in how law firms are approaching learning & development (L&D) in the decade or so that Hotshot has been active. He believes the biggest change is that 10 years ago, firms hadn’t yet embraced the need to focus on training and development.

From DSC:
Heads up law schools. Are you seeing/hearing this!?

  • Are we moving more towards a lifelong learning model within law schools?
  • If not, shouldn’t we be doing that?
  • Are LLM programs expanding quickly enough? Is more needed?

Legal tech and innovation: 3 ways AI supports the evolution of legal ops — from lexology.com

Excerpts:

  1. Simplified legal spend analysis
  2. Faster contract review
  3. Streamlined document management

AI’s Potential for Access to Justice -- a podcast from the Legal Talk Network

 

IAALS Releases National Framework for States to Create New Tier of Legal Professionals Who Can Offer More Affordable Legal Help — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

Excerpt:

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announced today the release of its new report, Allied Legal Professionals: A National Framework for Program Growth. As part of IAALS’ Allied Legal Professionals project—which is generously supported by the Sturm Family Foundation—this report includes multiple research-informed recommendations to help standardize a new tier of legal professionals across states, with the goal of increasing the options for accessible and affordable legal help for the public.

“To hire a lawyer, people either need considerable money or have an income low enough to qualify for the limited legal aid available. The problem is that the majority of people in the middle class don’t fit into either of those categories, making access to legal services incredibly difficult,” says IAALS Director of Special Projects Michael Houlberg. “Even if every lawyer took on pro bono clients, it wouldn’t come close to addressing the need. And IAALS’ research shows that people who need legal help are open to receiving it from qualified and authorized providers who are not lawyers.”

 

Fresh Voices on Legal Tech – New Podcast Interview Series — from legaltechmonitor.com by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell

Here are the episodes so far:

  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Kristen Sonday – Kristen talks about her platform at Paladin connecting lawyers to pro bono work; weighs in on ChatGPT, AI, tech adoption, and more; and shares her top tip for using technology in legal practice.
  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Chase Hertel – Chase discusses his career path and offers tips for helping attorneys engage with technology to improve their practice. They dig into the potential uses and dangers of ChatGPT and other AI tech in the profession, discuss Chase’s work in immigration legal tech, and survey the outlook of legal tech’s future.
  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Natalie Knowlton – Natalie discusses the current state of legal services, the justice gap, and ways technology is helping attorneys provide better and more affordable services to consumers.
 



Going to court without a lawyer? DIY law is on the rise — from cbc.ca by Yvette Brend
Self-representation saves money, but the larger cost is high, say justice-access advocates

Excerpt:

Most reported feeling the justice system was “unfair,” and many described a sense of “the odds being stacked against them.”

Advocates say the rising number of lawyer-free litigants is problematic. The legal system is meant to be adversarial — with strong lawyers on each side — but the high rate of self-representation creates lopsided justice, pitting an untrained individual against a professional.

‘Legal Tech Lists’: 3 Things Your CRM Should Do For You — from abovethelaw.com by Cady Darago
How you can go beyond merely storing information.

Exploring the Hottest Legal Tech Startups in Europe — from legalreader.com by Amy Hollow
Europe is quickly becoming a hub for legal tech startups, offering innovative solutions to the legal industry.

Excerpt:
Europe is home to some of the most innovative legal tech startups in the world. Here are five of the hottest ones:

    1. Legatics
    2. Juro
    3. LawGeex
    4. The Lawyer Guide
    5. CaseCrunch

Keep Up With Today’s Legal Tech (Or Be Left Behind) — from legaltalknetwork.com by Joy Murao and Tony Sipp

In this podcast:

  • High tech tools aren’t just for big trials anymore. Learn to incorporate the latest tech for depositions and even smaller hearings and trials.
  • Keep track of every detail and hold every bit of data at your fingertips.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic opened doors and highlighted technologies that support paralegals and legal teams in the courtroom and online.

Legal Operations and Generative AI: Preparing for a Sea Change — from jdsupra.com

Excerpt:

AI will likely make lawyer’s jobs easier (or, at least, more interesting) for some tasks, however the effects it may have on the legal profession could be the real legacy of the technology. Schafer pointed to its potential to improve access to justice for people who want legal representation but can’t get it for whatever reason.


 

Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Natalie Knowlton — from legaltalknetwork.com by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell

EPISODE NOTES

Technology has become the main driver for increasing access to justice, and there are huge opportunities for legal service providers to leverage both existing and emerging tech to reach new clients. Dennis and Tom welcome Natalie Knowlton to discuss the current state of legal services, the justice gap, and ways technology is helping attorneys provide better and more affordable services to consumers. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.

New report on ChatGPT & generative AI in law firms shows opportunities abound, even as concerns persist — from thomsonreuters.com; via Brainyacts #43

Excerpt:

The survey, conducted in late-March by the Thomson Reuters Institute, gathered insight from more than 440 respondent lawyers at large and midsize law firms in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The survey forms the basis of a new report, ChatGPT & Generative AI within Law Firms, which takes a deep look at the evolving attitudes towards generative AI and ChatGPT within law firms, measuring awareness and adoption of the technology as well as lawyers’ views on its potential risks.

The report also reveals several key findings that deserve special attention from law firm leaders and other legal professionals as ChatGPT and generative AI evolve from concept to reality for the vast majority of the legal industry participants. These findings include:

    • Attitudes are evolving around this technology
    • Firms are taking a cautiously proactive approach
    • There’s a growing awareness of the risks

‘Legal Tech Lists’: 5 Lawyer Tropes That Were Upended By Legal Tech — from abovethelaw.com by Jared Correia
These common fictitious scenarios would be solved by technology.

Excerpt:

There are lots of tropes related to lawyers and law firms that frequently show up in works of fiction.  The thing is, those tropes are tropes because they’re sort of old; they’ve been around for a long time. Now, however, modern technology can solve a heck of a lot of those issues. So, for this edition of the “Reference Manual of Lists,” we’re going to relay a trope, offer an example, and talk about how legal tech actually fixes the problem today.

The Future of Generative Large Language Models and Potential Applications in LegalTech — from jdsupra.com by Johannes Scholtes and Geoffrey Vance

Excerpt:

If you made it this far, you should by now understand that ChatGPT is not by itself a search engine, nor an eDiscovery data reviewer, a translator, knowledge base, or tool for legal analytics. But it can contribute to these functionalities.

In-person vs. virtual ADR — How to choose? — from reuters.com by Eric Larson

Excerpt:

April 20, 2023 – Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a common technique parties can use to settle disputes with the help of a third party, offers several unique benefits over traditional litigation. It is typically more cost-effective, confidential and generally a preferred method to resolving disputes. As a result, counsel and their clients often view ADR as a no-brainer. But the once simple decision to engage in ADR is now complicated by whether to proceed in-person, virtually or with a hybrid approach.

ChatGPT: A Lawyer’s Friend or Ethical Time Bomb? A Look at Professional Responsibility in the Age of AI — from jdsupra.com by Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard

Excerpt:

The emergence of ChatGPT comes with tremendous promise of increased automation and efficiency. But at what cost? In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential ethical time bomb of using ChatGPT and examine the responsibility of lawyers in the age of AI.

 

 

A.I. Is Coming for Lawyers, Again — from nytimes.com by Steve Lohr (behind paywall)
Previous advances in A.I. inspired predictions that the law was the lucrative profession most likely to suffer job losses. It didn’t happen. Is this time different?

Excerpt:

But unless the past isn’t a guide, the impact of the new technology is more likely to be a steadily rising tide than a sudden tidal wave. New A.I. technology will change the practice of law, and some jobs will be eliminated, but it also promises to make lawyers and paralegals more productive, and to create new roles. That is what happened after the introduction of other work-altering technologies like the personal computer and the internet.

One new study, by researchers at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, concluded that the industry most exposed to the new A.I. was “legal services.” Another research report, by economists at Goldman Sachs, estimated that 44 percent of legal work could be automated. Only the work of office and administrative support jobs, at 46 percent, was higher.

Lawyers are only one occupation in the path of A.I. progress. A study by researchers at OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and the University of Pennsylvania found that about 80 percent of American workers would have at least 10 percent of their tasks affected by the latest A.I. software.

Also relevant/see:

039 | Micro-legal & AI Legal Help — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com

Keywords for Better ChatGPT Responses

 

Justice Through Code — from centerforjustice.columbia.edu by ; via Matt Tower
Unlocking Potential for the 80+ Million Americans with a Conviction History.

Excerpt:

A world where every person, regardless of past convictions or incarceration can access life-sustaining and meaningful careers.

We are working to make this vision a reality through our technical and professional career development accelerators.

Our Mission: We educate and nurture talent with conviction histories to create a more just and diverse workforce. We increase workplace equity through partnerships that educate and prepare teams to create supportive pathways to careers that end the cycle of poverty that contributes to incarceration and recidivism.

JTC is jointly offered by Columbia University’s Center for Justice, and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at the Columbia Business School.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian