New Michigan court program could let you resolve legal disputes for free online — from freep.com by Emma Keith

Excerpts:

If you’ve got an issue with your landlord, a friend who owes you money or a serious problem with your neighbors, you may not have to take it to court.

Thanks to a new tool from the Michigan court system, some Michiganders can now solve civil disputes and small claims cases online.

MI Resolve offers users in certain Michigan counties a chance to go through an online resolution and mediation process whether or not their case has gotten to court.

The program is meant to increase equitable access to legal resources and respond to Michigan residents’ goals for their state courts, said Bridget McCormack, chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

The program is meant to resolve small claims, contract disputes, neighborhood disputes, and small landlord/tenant matters. It won’t handle an eviction but will handle rent or maintenance issues.

 

Also see:

 

DSC: Holy smokes!!! How might this be applied to education/learning/training in the 21st century!?!

DC: Holy smokes!!! How might this be applied to education/learning/training in the 21st century!?!

 

“What if neither distance nor language mattered? What if technology could help you be anywhere you need to be and speak any language? Using AI technology and holographic experiences this is possible, and it is revolutionary.”

 

 

Also see:

Microsoft has a wild hologram that translates HoloLens keynotes into Japanese — from theverge.com by
Azure and HoloLens combine for a hint at the future

Excerpt:

Microsoft has created a hologram that will transform someone into a digital speaker of another language. The software giant unveiled the technology during a keynote at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference [on 7/17/19] in Las Vegas. Microsoft recently scanned Julia White, a company executive for Azure, at a Mixed Reality capture studio to transform her into an exact hologram replica.

The digital version appeared onstage to translate the keynote into Japanese. Microsoft has used its Azure AI technologies and neural text-to-speech to make this possible. It works by taking recordings of White’s voice, in order to create a personalized voice signature, to make it sound like she’s speaking Japanese.

 

 

 

Why law faculty need to learn about legal tech and what they need to know — from aals.org by Catherine Sanders Reach and Michael Robak — with special thanks to Kim O’Leary, Tenured Professor at WMU-Cooley Law School for this resource

Excerpts:

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the profession of law and the delivery of legal services. Legal educators must give real consideration to the role of technology in the legal profession if legal educators are going to sufficiently prepare law students to practice law in the 21st century. In this webinar, the presenters will explain why law faculty need to learn about legal tech and what they need to know.

Click here to watch this webinar on-demand. You will be asked for your contact information before viewing.

Presentation Slides

 

Also see:

Tech Competence That Solo and Small Firm Lawyers Really Need: Resources Here

Excerpt:

DIGITAL ASSETS AND ESTATE PLANNING
Many estate planning lawyers are hopelessly behind on assisting clients in making provisions for digital assets. In so doing, they expose themselves to malpractice. Without proper provision for digital assets, beneficiaries can lose out on substantial sums of money that they cannot locate or access. Many lawyers I’ve spoken with have dismissed digital assets figuring that most older clients aren’t using the Internet. But that’s not necessarily the case. To the contrary, older clients may indeed be using the Internet but not be aware of the need to make provisions for disposing of assets. At some point, lawyers will be sued for failing to advise on digital assets- and deservedly so.


Also see:

 

 

Reflections on “Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale” [Christian]

Clay Shirky on Mega-Universities and Scale — from philonedtech.com by Clay Shirky
[This was a guest post by Clay Shirky that grew out of a conversation that Clay and Phil had about IPEDS enrollment data. Most of the graphs are provided by Phil.]

Excerpts:

Were half a dozen institutions to dominate the online learning landscape with no end to their expansion, or shift what Americans seek in a college degree, that would indeed be one of the greatest transformations in the history of American higher education. The available data, however, casts doubt on that idea.

Though much of the conversation around mega-universities is speculative, we already know what a mega-university actually looks like, one much larger than any university today. It looks like the University of Phoenix, or rather it looked like Phoenix at the beginning of this decade, when it had 470,000 students, the majority of whom took some or all of their classes online. Phoenix back then was six times the size of the next-largest school, Kaplan, with 78,000 students, and nearly five times the size of any university operating today.

From that high-water mark, Phoenix has lost an average of 40,000 students every year of this decade.

 

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate both Clay’s and Phil’s thought leadership and their respective contributions to education and learning through the years. I value their perspectives and their work.  Clay and Phil offer up a great article here — one worth your time to read.  

The article made me reflect on what I’ve been building upon and tracking for the last decade — a next generation ***PLATFORM*** that I believe will represent a powerful piece of a global learning ecosystem. I call this vision, “Learning from the Living [Class] Room.” Though the artificial intelligence-backed platform that I’m envisioning doesn’t yet fully exist — this new era and type of learning-based platform ARE coming. The emerging signs, technologies, trends — and “fingerprints”of it, if you will — are beginning to develop all over the place.

Such a platform will:

  • Be aimed at the lifelong learner.
  • Offer up major opportunities to stay relevant and up-to-date with one’s skills.
  • Offer access to the program offerings from many organizations — including the mega-universities, but also, from many other organizations that are not nearly as large as the mega-universities.
  • Be reliant upon human teachers, professors, trainers, subject matter experts, but will be backed up by powerful AI-based technologies/tools. For example, AI-based tools will pulse-check the open job descriptions and the needs of business and present the top ___ areas to go into (how long those areas/jobs last is anyone’s guess, given the exponential pace of technological change).

Below are some quotes that I want to comment on:

Not nothing, but not the kind of environment that will produce an educational Amazon either, especially since the top 30 actually shrank by 0.2% a year.

 

Instead of an “Amazon vs. the rest” dynamic, online education is turning into something much more widely adopted, where the biggest schools are simply the upper end of a continuum, not so different from their competitors, and not worth treating as members of a separate category.

 

Since the founding of William and Mary, the country’s second college, higher education in the U.S. hasn’t been a winner-take-all market, and it isn’t one today. We are not entering a world where the largest university operates at outsized scale, we’re leaving that world; 

 

From DSC:
I don’t see us leaving that world at all…but that’s not my main reflection here. Instead, I’m not focusing on how large the mega-universities will become. When I speak of a forthcoming Walmart of Education or Amazon of Education, what I have in mind is a platform…not one particular organization.

Consider that the vast majority of Amazon’s revenues come from products that other organizations produce. They are a platform, if you will. And in the world of platforms (i.e., software), it IS a winner take all market. 

Bill Gates reflects on this as well in this recent article from The Verge:

“In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets.

So it’s all about a forthcoming platform — or platforms. (It could be more than one platform. Consider Apple. Consider Microsoft. Consider Google. Consider Facebook.)

But then the question becomes…would a large amount of universities (and other types of organizations) be willing to offer up their courses on a platform? Well, consider what’s ALREADY happening with FutureLearn:

Finally…one more excerpt from Clay’s article:

Eventually the new ideas lose their power to shock, and end up being widely copied. Institutional transformation starts as heresy and ends as a section in the faculty handbook. 

From DSC:
This is a great point. Reminds me of this tweet from Fred Steube (and I added a piece about Western Telegraph):

 

Some things to reflect upon…for sure.

 
 

“Access to Justice” – the first open access issue of Dædalus — from amacad.org

Excerpt:

“Access to Justice” – the first open access issue of Dædalus – features twenty-four essays that examine the national crisis in civil legal services facing poor and low-income Americans: from the challenges of providing quality legal assistance to more people, to the social and economic costs of an often unresponsive legal system, to the opportunities for improvement offered by new technologies, professional innovations, and fresh ways of thinking about the crisis.

 
 

2019 State of Corporate Law Departments Report — from Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), and UK-based legal research firm Acritas

 

 

Because many corporate law departments are faced with dynamic and wide-ranging problems, the solutions require a highly diverse set of skills and capabilities. Teams of lawyers alone are no longer enough to solve all problems in optimal ways. That’s why law departments must provide legal support to corporations that not only enables them to maximize their competitive advantage, but also safeguards the organization against unnecessary risk.

The State of Corporate Law Departments 2019 — a new report that was recently published by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), and UK-based legal research firm Acritas — examines the landscape for corporate law departments and explains that in order to maximize the value of legal services being delivered, corporate law departments must make their best efforts to improve the impact of those legal services while at the same time reducing the cost of those services.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

However, this report suggests that in order to maximize the value delivered, it’s time to pay as much attention to improving the impact of legal services the corporate law departments are delivering as it is to reducing the cost of those services.

Indeed, today’s legal problems are dynamic and wide-ranging, and the solutions require a highly diverse set of skills and capabilities. Teams of lawyers alone are no longer enough to solve problems in optimal ways. All types of professional need to work together collaboratively, often from different organizations, and they need the support of modern working processes and systems.

Innovative law departments and innovative law firms score significantly higher across all key performance areas, including the ultimate measures of quality and value.

Innovation incorporates a whole host of different areas, such as embracing legal technologies, utilizing expert professionals holistically with lawyers, overhauling work processes and pricing models, and building collaborative partnerships between in-house teams and their outside law firms and alternative legal services suppliers.

To that end, the report identified a number of key levers that corporate law departments can use to create a higher performing legal function and enhance the impact that their departments makes on the overall success of the organization.

The solution to this challenge reinforces the key findings of this report as a whole — the need to tap into a diverse range of skills beyond legal expertise, to access new technologies, and to report on the progress made.

 

 

Legal Services Innovation Index

 

Legal Services Innovation Index

Excerpts:

“This index should also be a resource for law schools and law students. It will help law schools better understand the evolution of the legal landscape, which will help them better prepare their students for the future. Law students can use this index to learn more about how the profession is changing and the knowledge and skills that they should develop for long-term success. The index also aims to provide law students information about the law firms recruiting them as well as a framework for assessing each law firm’s strategies for the future. Again, I caution that this index is simply an initial attempt to measure indicators of innovation and various weaknesses have been acknowledged. That said, the index and this initial information provides a starting point for very important discussions.”

 

“The problem to be solved is the lack of access to legal services. Experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the impoverished and 50 percent of the middle class lack access to legal services.”

 

 

Six global banks sign up to issue stablecoins on IBM’s now-live Blockchain Network — from cointelegraph.com by Marie Huillet

 

 

From DSC:
For the law schools, relevant lawyers, legislators, and judges out there…how soon before you are addressing blockchain-related issues, questions, and topics? My guess…? Sooner than you think.

 

 

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