From DSC:
As some of you may know, I’m now working for the WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School. My faith gets involved here, but I believe that the LORD wanted me to get involved with:

  • Using technology to increase access to justice (#A2J)
  • Contributing to leveraging the science of learning for the long-term benefit of our students, faculty, and staff
  • Raising awareness regarding the potential pros and cons of today’s emerging technologies
  • Increase the understanding that the legal realm has a looooong way to go to try to get (even somewhat) caught up with the impacts that such emerging technologies can/might have on us.
  • Contributing and collaborating with others to help develop a positive future, not a negative one.

Along these lines…in regards to what’s been happening with law schools over the last few years, I wanted to share a couple of things:

1) An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Benjamin Barton:

The Law School Crash

 

2) A response from our President and Dean, James McGrath:Repositioning a Law School for the New Normal

 

From DSC:
I also wanted to personally say that I arrived at WMU-Cooley Law School in 2018, and have been learning a lot there (which I love about my job!).  Cooley employees are very warm, welcoming, experienced, knowledgeable, and professional. Everyone there is mission-driven. My boss, Chris Church, is multi-talented and excellent. Cooley has a great administrative/management team as well.

There have been many exciting, new things happening there. But that said, it will take time before we see the results of these changes. Perseverance and innovation will be key ingredients to crafting a modern legal education — especially in an industry that is just now beginning to offer online-based courses at the Juris Doctor (J.D.) level (i.e., 20 years behind when this began occurring within undergraduate higher education).

My point in posting this is to say that we should ALL care about what’s happening within the legal realm!  We are all impacted by it, whether we realize it or not. We are all in this together and no one is an island — not as individuals, and not as organizations.

We need:

  • Far more diversity within the legal field
  • More technical expertise within the legal realm — not only with lawyers, but with legislators, senators, representatives, judges, others
  • Greater use of teams of specialists within the legal field
  • To offer more courses regarding emerging technologies — and not only for the legal practices themselves but also for society at large.
  • To be far more vigilant in crafting a positive world to be handed down to our kids and grandkids — a dream, not a nightmare. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Still not convinced that you should care? Here are some things on the CURRENT landscapes:

  • You go to drop something off at your neighbor’s house. They have a camera that gets activated.  What facial recognition database are you now on? Did you give your consent to that? No, you didn’t.
  • Because you posted your photo on Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and/or on millions of other websites, your face could be in ClearView AI’s database. Did you give your consent to that occurring? No, you didn’t.
  • You’re at the airport and facial recognition is used instead of a passport. Whose database was that from and what gets shared? Did you give your consent to that occurring? Probably not, and it’s not easy to opt-out either.
  • Numerous types of drones, delivery bots, and more are already coming onto the scene. What will the sidewalks, streets, and skies look like in your neighborhood in the near future? Is that how you want it? Did you give your consent to that happening? No, you didn’t.
  • …and on and on it goes.

Addendum — speaking of islands!

Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley can’t be on ‘Palo Alto island’ — Big Tech must play by the rules — from cnbc.com by Jessica Bursztynsky

Excerpt:

Palantir Technologies co-founder and CEO Alex Karp said Thursday the core problem in Silicon Valley is the attitude among tech executives that they want to be separate from United States regulation.

“You cannot create an island called Palo Alto Island,” said Karp, who suggested tech leaders would rather govern themselves. “What Silicon Valley really wants is the canton of Palo Alto. We have the United States of America, not the ‘United States of Canton,’ one of which is Palo Alto. That must change.”

“Consumer tech companies, not Apple, but the other ones, have basically decided we’re living on an island and the island is so far removed from what’s called the United States in every way, culturally, linguistically and in normative ways,” Karp added.

 

20 digital transformation leaders to follow on Twitter in 2020 — from enterprisersproject.com by David. F. Carr
Committed to digital transformation this year? Follow these people for perspective and emerging lessons

Excerpt:

One of our New Year’s resolutions was to refresh and expand our Twitter feed for digital transformation leaders, reviewing them not just for the use of the right hashtags but for the content they share.

There are a few repeats from a similar list we shared last year, but for the most part, we tried to give you new Twitter handles to follow. This year’s list includes CIOs, authors, consultants, and cloud computing leaders. Some only post on technology topics, while others share thoughts on family, culture, politics, and favorite movies.

The common denominator we looked for was a thoughtfully curated feed that’s not entirely self-promotional but adds to the conversation we’re all having about how to understand the potential of digital transformation and put it to work for our organizations.


From DSC:

While these types of lists invariably leave off a ton of extremely talented individuals and organizations who are worth following as well, such lists are a good starting point for:

  • Someone to use to begin tapping into streams of content in a given area
  • Observing the topics, issues, ideas being discussed
  • Building one’s network
  • Seeing who these folks follow and who they respect
  • …and more.

Searching for the top __ people of Twitter in subject XYZ is a solid way to enhance our [lifelong] learning ecosystems.

 

Technology Trends: The evolution of machine learning and artificial intelligence in 2020 — from dqindia.com
Technology trends in the upcoming year will focus on how new age technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence will advance

Excerpt:

While technology trends in the past year revolved around making machine learning and artificial intelligence accessible for everyone, this year will be about how these technologies will evolve to benefit businesses. With the beginning of 2020, Ramesh SivaSubramanian, Head of Ramco Innovation Lab, Singapore has made technology predictions. The following is a gist on each key technology trend.

 

From DSC:
Looking at these trends, is this the future we want? While some of these are positive trends, some of these ring of distrust to me…and could easily be steering toward a dystopian future, such as this one (emphasis mine):

Improving attendance and workplace access using Facial Recognition
2020 will see significant workplace adoption of facial recognition, especially for customer-centric and cybersecurity functions. Enterprises which adopt this capability, especially those with sizeable workforces, will reduce if not eliminate the tedium of keeping track of employees. It will also solve many issues related to password and access cards, saving even more time and costs.

 
 

The Future of Lawyers: Legal Tech, AI, Big Data And Online Courts — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpts:

In his brand new book Online Courts and the Future of Justice, Richard argues that technology is going to bring about a fascinating decade of change in the legal sector and transform our court system. Although automating our old ways of working plays a part in this, even more, critical is that artificial intelligence and technology will help give more individuals access to justice.

The first generation is the idea that people who use the court system submit evidence and arguments to the judge online or through some form of electronic communication.

The second generation of using technology to transform the legal system would be what Richard calls “outcome thinking” to use technology to help solve disputes without requiring lawyers or the traditional court system.

Some of the biggest obstacles to an online court system are the political will to bring about such a transformation, the support of judges and lawyers, funding, as well as the method we’d apply. For example, decisions will need to be made whether the online system would be used for only certain cases or situations.

Ultimately, we have a grave access-to-justice problem. Technology can help improve our outcomes and give people a way to resolve public disputes in ways that previously weren’t possible. While this transformation might not solve all the struggles with the legal system or the access-to-justice issue, it can offer a dramatic improvement.

 
 

Why the traditional US model of educating tomorrow’s lawyers must change — from iam-media.com by Megan Carpenter
Disruption is increasingly affecting the legal services industry but legal education is not evolving fast enough. Greater specialisation in areas like IP, argues Franklin Pierce School of Law dean Megan Carpenter, could improve the training of lawyers and non-lawyers alike

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But the legal education we need today is not the one-size-fits-all model of the past. For 150 years, law schools and the legal services industry have combined to make legal education a precious commodity, bundled in a very specific way. Like the cable industry or print news media of yore, the education that qualifies people for the legal profession in the US has been one-size-fits-all, without regard to particular practice areas or specialisations and without responding to the diversification of the legal services market.

The legal profession should take a page from the playbook of the medical profession here. Under “healthcare occupations”, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook lists 46 professions, from doctors and nurses to physician assistants, medical extenders, technologists and technicians. Yet, under “Legal Occupations”, the BLS Handbook lists only five positions. By failing to adapt like the medical industry has to a variety of roles for different types of legal professionals, including education that fits those roles, the haves and have-nots of legal knowledge have been defined in a way that is not sustainable and fails to reflect the needs of the marketplace.

Law schools should not resist the expanding market for alternative legal service providers and legal tech; rather, they should lead the charge to provide legal education to people who need it, even if in a different form than such education has taken in the past. There should be more undergraduate and community-college programmes that provide appropriate legal training. The University of Arizona College of Law launched the first undergraduate bachelor degree in law in the US in collaboration with the broader university and other schools should do the same.

 

From DSC:
I’ve also been thinking about the need for more specializations within law schools, the legal realm, and in the Bar Exam itself.

 

Excerpt from Higher Education Predictions for 2020: Recession, Certificates, and Computer Science by Richard Garrett

Coding bootcamps, the educational innovation that arose over the past decade to tackle an acute supply-demand crunch in computer science, had a stellar year in 2019. Dismissed as a fad by some, in 2019, bootcamps graduated 23,000 people, up 49% in one year (37% on a same-school basis).


But short of an unprecedented surge in domestic master’s degrees awarded in 2019, that year will mark the turning point when bootcamps—dominated by U.S. students— unequivocally passed master’s degrees.

An intriguing question is: what impact does a university’s own bootcamp have on domestic enrollment in its computer science master’s program: complementary or competitive? That will have to wait for another Wake-Up Call.

 

How AI is disrupting the legal tech industry — from itproportal.com by Derek Chau
Law firms will benefit from a growing ability to deliver high-value, strategic services while leveraging the ability of AI to execute lower value tasks.

Excerpt:

As increasingly complex AI solutions emerge, the technology continues to capture imaginations across the legal community. AI has become a catalyst for change within the legal ecosystem. And as platforms become more sophisticated, companies have begun to tap into ever-expanding automation and scalability.

Potential impacts/applications include:

  • Legal research (due diligence)
  • Predicting legal outcomes
  • Contract management
  • Intellectual property law

This reality is driven by the democratisation of legal services as a result of AI integrations. The movement is poised to lower the costs associated with corporate transactions, legal research, IP transactions, and related services. As such, law firms will benefit from a growing ability to deliver high-value, strategic services while leveraging the ability of AI to execute lower value tasks.

 

‘Fundamental shift’ is transforming the delivery of legal services, new report concludes — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

Excerpt:

“Revolutionary changes are afoot” in the market for legal services, according to a new report.

Clients are actively managing their relationships with outside counsel, nonlaw competitors are gaining ground, and law firms are responding to market changes in innovative ways, the report says.

The 2020 Report on the State of the Legal Market was released Monday by Georgetown Law’s Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. It is available for download here.

However, taking that view is seeing only one side of the story. Over this same period, there has been mounting evidence that the underlying model itself is changing, that clients, non-law firm competitors, and even many law firms are now operating with very different assumptions about the role law firm services should play in the legal ecosystem and how such services should be delivered. In the past year or so, this evidence has grown to the point that it seems apparent that a fundamental shift is now well underway.

Also see:

Lori Lorenzo, research and insights leader of chief legal officer program, Deloitte: “Catching-up and keeping-up with tech advancements for the legal function will remain a top goal for chief legal officers in 2020. Of course, addressing legal team tech skills gaps may drive inclusion of professionals with diverse skillsets, like data scientists, automation experts and the like, into the legal function.”

 

8 digital transformation trends for 2020 — from enterprisersproject.com by Stephanie Overby
Having some digital transformation fatigue on your team? You’re not alone: Here’s what else to watch for in the year ahead, digital leaders

Excerpts:

“2020 will still see the rapid scaling of digital initiatives across industries,” says Steve Hall, partner and president of global technology research and advisory firm ISG. “In many areas, CIOs and organizations have prepped their organizations for change but haven’t made the full leap to transforming their culture to fully embrace the change.”

Trends mentioned include:

  1. Digital operating models become mandatory
  2. More data, more problems
  3. AI takes center stage
  4. M&A shakes up IT services
  5. New digital transformation allies emerge
  6. Public cloud adoption expands
  7. New digital transformation metrics will emerge
  8. IT takes the long view on digital insights

 

 

Legal Tech’s Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2020 — from law.com by Zach Warren
We may not have robot lawyers, but lawyers and technologists agree that artificial intelligence will have a major impact on the legal profession in 2020.

Excerpts:

Alex Babin, CEO, Zero: “The biggest gains from automating legal practices will be time saved and improved workflow efficiencies as the AI ‘takes over’ more laborious tasks including litigation support, email, e-discovery, and the use of databases for case management. Lawyers will begin to trust in this process, letting AI perform these basic tasks such as auto-filing document and email for compliance. AI will enhance corporate and regulatory reporting and improves contract creation and management.”

Scott Forman, shareholder, Littler Mendelson and founder of Littler CaseSmart and Littler onDemand: “Data analytics and AI have already fundamentally changed the delivery of legal services, but I expect 2020 to bring a greater understanding of how these technologies enhance, rather than overtake, the work of lawyers. While robots and technology will never replace lawyers, they provide data and insight enabling lawyers to do their jobs faster and better. This includes automating aspects of the legal process—so that lawyers can focus on top-of-the-pyramid work—as well as synthesizing and serving up information that guides litigation strategy, identifies potential areas of risk and moves toward predicting legal outcomes.”

 

 

Some of the topics/items mentioned include:

  • Technologists join lawyers in creating the legal realm of the future.
  • Future lawyers will need to either have project managers on staff or be able to manage projects themselves.
  • Lifelong learning is now critically important. One doesn’t necessarily need to be able to code, but one needs to be constantly learning.
  • Need to understand legal principles but you will also need to have augmented skills (which will differ from person to person)
  • New business and delivery models. Don’t presuppose that the current model will always be around.
  • There will be fewer traditional roles/practices. Traditional roles are sunsetting; new skillsets are needed.
  • Students: Do your due diligence; read up on the industry and think about whether there’s a good fit. Learn your craft. Get experience. Be who you are. Bring your unique brand to the table.
 

The cost of college increased by more than 25% in the last 10 years—here’s why — from cnbc.com by Abigail Hess

Excerpt:

During the 1978 – 1979 school year, it cost the modern equivalent of $17,680 per year to attend a private college and $8,250 per year to attend a public college. By the 2008 – 2009 school year those costs had grown to $38,720 at private colleges and $16,460 at public colleges.

Today, those costs are closer to $48,510 and $21,370, respectively. That means costs increased by roughly 25.3% at private colleges and about 29.8% at public colleges.

Also see:

How affordable are public colleges in your state for low-income students?

Students from low-income backgrounds should be able to attend college without shouldering a debt burden or having to work so many hours that they jeopardize their chances of completing a degree. But that’s just not possible today.

Think students today can work their way through college? Think again.

For millions of college-going students, one of the most urgent concerns is the rising cost of college and how to pay for it — and not just for tuition but other necessities like textbooks, housing, food, and transportation. The idea that one can work one’s way through college with a minimum-wage job is, in most cases, a myth. In the vast majority of states, students at public four-year institutions would have to work an excessive number of hours per week to cover such costs. The same goes for students at many public community and technical colleges. In one of the costliest scenarios, students would have to work 45 hours a week to be exact, leaving nearly no time to focus on academics.

Overall, students from low-income backgrounds, despite access to financial aid, are being asked to pay well beyond their means for a college degree. In the following analysis, we look closely at just how much beyond their means.

Also see:

Also see:

 

AI arms race — insidehighered.com by Lilah Burke
More employers are using applicant tracking systems to hire employees. Some colleges are using new AI-based tools, like VMock, to help students keep up.

Excerpt:

When college students need help with their résumés, some now will be turning to algorithms rather than advisers.

In the last decade, a growing number of large companies have started hiring using applicant tracking systems, AI-based platforms that scan résumés for keywords and rank job candidates.

Similarly, video interviewing platforms that use algorithms to evaluate a candidate’s voice, gestures and emotions have become ubiquitous in some industries. HireVue, the most well-known of these platforms, has drawn accusations of being pseudoscientific and potentially exacerbating bias in hiring.

The frustration many job candidates voice when coming up against these platforms is that they have no way of knowing what they could have done better. The systems give no feedback to candidates.

So what if students, job seekers and career advisers could use the AI for themselves?

Boston University, in a document of VMock tips for students, also advised graphic design or other creative industry students to have two versions of their résumé, one with a conventional layout.

From DSC:
Per my nephew, who works in a recruiting type of position within HR for a Fortune 500 organization:

  • Without a doubt HR recruiting is using AI to help in the selection process.
  • Many companies use keyword scanners, but not everyone [and, in fact, his company did not].
  • HireVue is very important to use when it comes to understanding a person’s presentation skills since a lot of presenting is done via Skype/live video these days. So HireVue is not going away anytime soon. I think it’s a great system/product.
  • At the end of the day, a good recruiter will identify the best talent that has applied to a position. I think it’s important for students to really think about what position they’re applying for and be realistic with their applications. I think that’s where a lot of frustration happens with students that apply to positions and never get to the first round interview. They apply to 20-50 positions that don’t reflect their experience at all…so that’s where coaching and personal advisement is important
 

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