From DSC:
I received an email the other day re: a TytoCare Exam Kit. It said (with some emphasis added by me):

With a TytoCare Exam Kit connected to Spectrum Health’s 24/7 Virtual Urgent Care, you and your family can have peace of mind and a quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment plan whenever you need it without having to leave your home.

Your TytoCare Exam Kit will allow your provider to listen to your lungs, look inside your ears or throat, check your temperature, and more during a virtual visit.

Why TytoCare?

    • Convenience – With a TytoCare Exam Kit and our 24/7/365 On-Demand Virtual Urgent Care there is no drive, no waiting room, no waiting for an appointment.
    • Peace of Mind – Stop debating about whether symptoms are serious enough to do something about them.
    • Savings – Without the cost of gas or taking off work, you get the reliable exams and diagnosis you need. With a Virtual Urgent Care visit you’ll never pay more than $50. That’s cheaper than an in-person urgent care visit, but the same level of care.

From DSC:
It made me reflect on what #telehealth has morphed into these days. Then it made me wonder (again), what #telelegal might become in the next few years…? Hmmm. I hope the legal field can learn from the healthcare industry. It could likely bring more access to justice (#A2J), increased productivity (for several of the parties involved), as well as convenience, peace of mind, and cost savings.


 

 

The Artificial Lawyer Guide to Legal Tech – Autumn 2022 — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

It’s been a wild ride the last couple of years, but what should we be looking out for as we move into the Autumn of 2022? Here are some thoughts from Artificial Lawyer.

 

ABA cleans up accreditation rules surrounding distance education for law schools — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Recent amendments to American Bar Association accreditation standards addressed definitions of distance education, but Leo Martinez, immediate past chair of the ABA Council for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, says the resolution won’t change much for law schools without waivers allowing them to conduct extra distance education.
  • The changes, made at the ABA’s annual meeting in August, were meant to clarify language in accreditation standards.
  • The ABA, which serves as the accreditor for 199 law schools and programs, requires waivers for institutions that want to offer more than one-third of J.D. program credits online. But it remains interested in reviewing distance education.

From DSC:
For an industry in the 21st century whose main accreditation/governance body for law schools still won’t let more online learning occur without waivers…

…how can our nation expect future lawyers and law firms to be effective in an increasingly tech-enabled world?

Here’s the pace of change in the world today:

The exponential pace of change is like warp speed for the U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek) or the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon (Star Wars).

Yet here’s the pace that the American Bar Association (@ABAesq) has been taking — and continues to take — at least in the area of supporting online-based learning as well as in developing sandboxes/new methods of improving access to justice (#A2J):

.

It’s high time the ABA did their research re: online-based learning and majorly picked up their pace. Undergraduate online-based education started back in the late 1990’s for crying out loud! (And the number of students taking one or more of their courses completely online has been increasing ever since that time.)

Plus, many law school students are adults who have jobs as well as families. They often don’t have the time nor the money to travel to campuses in order to take part in something that they could have easily accomplished online.

It’s also appropriate to recognize here that the current learning ecosystems out there continue to move more towards hybrid/blended learning models as well as a hyflex model. 

The ABA is not serving law school students nor our citizenry well at all in this regard.

 

America’s Lawyerless Courts — from americanbar.org by Anna E. Carpenter, Colleen F. Shanahan, Jessica K. Steinberg, and Alyx Mark

Excerpt:

Our research reveals an unavoidable truth: The civil justice system is broken in state civil courts. There is a massive disconnect between what courts were designed to do—solve legal disputes through lawyer-driven, adversarial litigation—and what these courts are asked to do today—help people without lawyers navigate complex social, economic and interpersonal challenges, most of which are deeply tied to structural inequality. As one judge we observed told a courtroom full of litigants, “This courtroom is like the emergency room.”

Five key findings from our work highlight the scope and nature of the crisis: State civil courts are primarily lawyerless, traditional adversary litigation has largely disappeared, the judicial role is not working, the law is not developing, and people’s court experiences amplify inequality and human suffering.

 

I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the United States of America [Christian]


From DSC:
Given:

  • the accelerating pace of change that’s been occurring over the last decade or more
  • the current setup of the legal field within the U.S. — and who can practice law
  • the number of emerging technologies now on the landscapes out there

…I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the U.S. — at least in terms of dealing with emerging technologies. Consider the following items/reflections.


Inside one of the nation’s few hybrid J.D. programs — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Shannon Gardner, Syracuse law school’s associate dean for online education, talks about the program’s inaugural graduates and how it has evolved.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In May, Syracuse University’s law school graduated its first class of students earning a Juris Doctor degree through a hybrid program, called JDinteractive, or JDi. The 45 class members were part of almost 200 Syracuse students who received a J.D. this year, according to a university announcement.

The private nonprofit, located in upstate New York, won approval from the American Bar Association in 2018 to offer the three-year hybrid program.

The ABA strictly limits distance education, requiring a waiver for colleges that wish to offer more than one-third of their credits online. To date, the ABA has only approved distance education J.D. programs at about a dozen schools, including Syracuse.

Many folks realize this is the future of legal education — not that it will replace traditional programs. It is one route to pursue a legal education that is here to stay. I did not see it as pressure, and I think, by all accounts, we have definitely proven that it is and can be a success.

Shannon Gardner, associate dean for online education  


From DSC:
It was March 2018. I just started working as a Director of Instructional Services at a law school. I had been involved with online-based learning since 2001.

I was absolutely shocked at how far behind law schools were in terms of offering 100% online-based programs. I was dismayed to find out that 20+ years after such undergraduate programs were made available — and whose effectiveness had been proven time and again — that there were no 100%-online based Juris Doctor (JD) programs in the U.S. (The JD degree is what you have to have to practice law in the U.S. Some folks go on to take further courses after obtaining that degree — that’s when Masters of Law programs like LLM programs kick in.)

Why was this I asked? Much of the answer lies with the extremely tight control that is exercised by the American Bar Association (ABA). They essentially lay down the rules for how much of a law student’s training can be online (normally not more than a third of one’s credit hours, by the way).

Did I say it’s 2022? And let me say the name of that organization again — the American Bar Association (ABA).

Graphic by Daniel S. Christian

Not to scare you (too much), but this is the organization that is supposed to be in charge of developing lawyers who are already having to deal with issues and legal concerns arising from the following technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), algorithms, bots, and the like
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and/or the Internet of Everything (IoE)
  • Extended Reality (XR) — Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Holographic communications
  • Big data
  • High-end robotics
  • The Metaverse
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • NFTs
  • Web3
  • Blockchain
  • …and the like

I don’t think there’s enough time for the ABA — and then law schools — to reinvent themselves. We no longer have that luxury. (And most existing/practicing lawyers don’t have the time to get up the steep learning curves involved here — in addition to their current responsibilities.)

The other option is to use teams of specialists, That’s our best hope. If the use of what’s called nonlawyers* doesn’t increase greatly, the U.S. has little hope of dealing with legal matters that are already arising from such emerging technologies. 

So let’s hope the legal field catches up with the pace of change that’s been accelerating for years now. If not, we’re in trouble.

* Nonlawyers — not a very complimentary term…
I hope they come up with something else.
Some use the term Paralegals.
I’m sure there are other terms as well. 


From DSC:
There is hope though. As Gabe Teninbaum just posted the resource below (out on Twitter). I just think the lack of responsiveness from the ABA has caught up with us. We’ve run out of time for doing “business as usual.”

Law students want more distance education classes, according to ABA findings — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

A recent survey of 1,394 students in their third year of law school found that 68.65% wanted the ability to earn more distance education credits than what their schools offered.


 

Looking Forward and Backward at Legal Technology – 2021 and 2022 — from legaltechmonitor.com by Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighell, Debbie Foster

Excerpt:

Tom Mighell and I, with help from Debbie Foster, continued our annual tradition of looking backward and forward at #legaltech at the end/beginning of each year on our podcast. Of course, we do that in our own way.

Here are the two episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast:

  • Pardon the Interruption: 2021 Edition
  • Dennis & Tom’s 2022 Tech Resolutions

Also see:

Also see:

Check out this year's ABA Tech Show

 

American Bar Association (ABA) calls on lawyers to join push to tackle the student debt crisis — from abajournal.com by Reginald Turner

Excerpts:

Graduating from law school and starting a legal career should be an exciting and hopeful time. But for far too many, student debt causes apprehension and struggle.

A 2020 ABA survey found the average debt for law school graduates has increased to more than $150,000—a staggering amount that affects their personal and professional lives and adversely impacts the economy.

The survey found 95% of respondents borrowed money for their JD degrees. Of those who borrowed, more than 80% indicated student debt has disrupted the trajectory of their career or personal life, causing them to weigh salary more heavily in their job selection or put off home purchases, marriage, children or vacations.

While some law school graduates land high-paying jobs at big firms, that is not the reality for the majority. Many new lawyers work at lower-paying public sector jobs—at nonprofits serving disadvantaged individuals; in prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices; and at local, state and federal government agencies.

 

NLADA Welcomes DOJ’s Advice to Chief Justices to Ensure Fair Process to Keep Families in Their Homes — from nlada.org

Excerpts:

NLADA welcomes the Associate Attorney General’s letter urging Chief Justices and State Court Administrators to consider eviction diversion strategies that can help families avoid the disruption and damage that evictions cause. Together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium and the additional steps announced by the White House, this letter is an important tool in a package of federal resources to help our country and courts navigate this crisis.

The housing crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, disproportionally affects women and communities of color. More than 80 percent of people facing eviction are Black. We know that when families have access to counsel provided by civil legal aid attorneys, approximately 80 percent of families stay in their homes, and that rates of homelessness have had a direct correlation to coronavirus rates. These numbers represent men, women and children who are integral to communities across the country, and we are pleased by today’s actions to help families and communities struggling in our nation.

 

 

 

AI and the Future of Lawyering & Law Firms – Northwestern Law and Technology Initiative — from youtube.com by Northwestern Law & Technology Initiative as moderated by Dan Linna; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource.

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the future of work. AI has the potential to automate and augment many tasks. This transformation is leading to the creation of new roles and jobs to be done. How will AI impact the work of lawyers, legal professionals, and law firms? Our panelists will discuss the future of work, the work of lawyers and structure of law firms, and current uses of AI for legal services today.

Speakers:

  • Hyejin Youn, Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Mari Sako, Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Stephen Poor, Partner and chair emeritus, Seyfarth

Moderator:

  • Daniel W. Linna Jr., Senior Lecturer & Director of Law and Technology Initiatives, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law & McCormick School of Engineering
 

Could 2021 Be The Year Of Civil Justice Reform? — from law360.com by Cara Bayles

Excerpt:

Now, any tenant in Boulder, regardless of means, can get an attorney to represent them in housing court for free. While a handful of other cities like New York and San Francisco offer similar programs, there is no universal right to an attorney in eviction cases.

Justice advocates are hoping that could change. COVID-19, they say, has drawn attention to access to justice issues that have plagued civil proceedings for years. They hope the tragedies of 2020 can fuel reform in 2021.

Six months into the pandemic, millions of Americans had fallen behind on rent. One statistic that civil justice advocates have known for years became apparent — that while 90% of landlords have legal counsel in eviction proceedings, only 10% of tenants do.

 

 

From DSC:
Reading through the article below, I can’t help but wonder…how might the eviction crisis impact higher education?


 

Losing a Home Because of the Pandemic Is Hard Enough. How Long Should It Haunt You? — from nytimes.com by Barbara Kiviat (professor of sociology) and Sara Sternberg Greene (law professor)
Americans who default on their rent may find it hard to escape lasting effects on their financial future.

Excerpts:

Millions of Americans have fallen behind on rent during the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the passage of eviction moratoriums and rental assistance plans. But as policymakers have struggled to meet the needs of tenants and landlords, they’ve largely overlooked a crucial fact: The looming eviction crisis isn’t just about falling behind on rent and losing one’s home to eviction. It’s also about the records of those events, captured in court documents and credit reports, that will haunt millions of Americans for years to come.

Just as criminal records carry collateral consequences — preventing people from getting jobs, renting apartments and so on — blemishes on a person’s financial history can have far-ranging effects. Records of evictions can prevent Americans from renting new places to live, and debts and lawsuits related to unpaid rent can follow people as they apply for jobs, take out insurance policies, apply for mortgages and more. The process starts when landlords report late payments directly, file for eviction, sue in small claims court and hire debt collectors to pursue back rent. Those paper trails of unpaid rent and eviction get sucked into the digital warehouses of credit bureaus and data brokers.

 

 

 

The transformative power of virtual courts

The transformative power of virtual courts — from raconteur.net by Ben Edwards

Excerpt:

At the Odeon cinema in Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird retail park, the movie posters have been taken down and the popcorn machines covered up as jurors take their seats in one of the four auditoriums to attend a virtual court hearing.

These remote jury centres have allowed the Scottish High Court to restart criminal trials by beaming live court action directly onto the cinema screen, allowing jurors to watch and hear evidence while maintaining social distancing, something that wouldn’t have been possible inside the main court building. With a further 11 screens available in Glasgow, the court is now back up to full capacity.

“The real beauty in this approach is it provides a way of scaling up; we have a model that works and can be applied anywhere,” says Tim Barraclough, executive director of the Judicial Office for Scotland.

Also see:

Reynen Court Now Lets You Take Legal Tech Products For A Test Drive — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Reynen Court, the platform that describes itself as the app store for legal technology, has introduced a new feature, appropriately called One-Click Test Drive, that makes it easy for law firms and legal departments to test products without having to buy them or negotiate trial licenses.

Using Test Drive, a user can quickly deploy a pilot of a pre-configured application in a secure environment. The application comes fully loaded with dummy data and transaction or case materials. It can be easily launched without requiring IT support.

Legal Tech Traditionally Favored Law Firms. That May Be Changing — from law.com by Frank Ready
Ironclad’s “State of Digital Contracting, Winter 2020: AI and the Elusive Promise of Smart Contracting” virtual event delved into how changes in service delivery models could help to drive a new wave of legal tech directed toward in-house attorneys and nonlawyers.

Excerpts from Working Remote: Advantages Gained from Legal Technology Adoption — from law.com
In this episode of the Perspectives podcast, sponsored by AbacusNext and hosted on Law.com, we’ll hear highlights from the September 9th presentation titled, Working Remote: Advantages Gained Through Legal Technology Adoption.

The Top 25 Artificial Lawyer Articles of 2020 — from artificiallawyer.com by Richard Tromans

What Is Quantum Computing and How Is It Disrupting Law Firms? — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Shannon Flynn

 

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs — from law360.com by Andrew Strickler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As state lawmakers begin preparing for upcoming legislative sessions amid a resurgent pandemic, a scattered but largely grim outlook for state court funding is beginning to take shape.

With some judicial administrators already dealing with staggered budgets and new technology costs, experts and advocates say court leaders have their work cut out for them to convince budget analysts and lawmakers to pay for pandemic recovery efforts.

Perhaps nowhere is the coming financial strain more apparent than in Florida, where legislators began gathering Tuesday in Tallahassee to face a historic $5.4 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

There, court leaders have drawn on their experiences dealing with a crush of foreclosures and other litigation following the 2008 financial crisis to project that nearly 1 million additional cases will be in front of the state’s trial courts by the middle of 2021.

In New York, where the next fiscal year promises to include a gaping $14.5 billion budget hole, dozens of appellate judges over age 70 are being forced into retirement, a move court administrators said would save $55 million in the coming years and help prevent staff layoffs.


Addendum on 11/24/20:

Civil Justice Fest: A Month of Dialogues On the Most Pressing Civil Justice Issues — from vimeo.com
Judicial Education Program & Congressional Civil Justice Academy Law & Economics  Center Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University November 2020 Virtual

 

On LawNext: Rocket Lawyer Founder Charley Moore — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource from his Lawtomatic Newsletter

Excerpt

In September, Rocket Lawyer became the first national company approved to participate in Utah’s regulatory sandbox, a pilot program for licensing new and alternative forms of legal providers and services. For Charley Moore, who founded Rocket Lawyer in 2008, it was yet another step in his quest to deliver high-value legal services at an affordable price.

In this episode of LawNext, Moore recounts the founding and development of Rocket Lawyer and its expansion into Europe starting in 2012. He also explains why he wanted the company to participate in the Utah sandbox and what he expects to happen there. Finally, as one of the few Black CEOs in legal tech, Moore discusses his thoughts on expanding diversity in the industry.

Also see:

Manage all of your legal needs online. Create legal documents and legal forms instantly with safe & secure storage, e-signatures and lawyer review.

Also from Gabe, see:

Justice-as-a-Service — from Henrik Zillmer

Excerpts:

There’s a new wave of customer empowerment coming. It’s called Justice-as-a-Service (JaaS), and you need to know about it because it benefits you – you just don’t know it yet.

Justice-as-a-Service is an on-demand service, powered by tech, that challenges private and public companies by representing the consumer in their fight for justice/compensation based on laws, consumers’ rights, and contract of carriage.

Why is there a need for JaaS?

  • You don’t know your consumer rights.
  • You don’t know how to claim and neither does the service provider.
  • You don’t have the time to fight for your rights.
  • Success is very unlikely.
 

Technologies that enable legal and compliance leaders to spot innovations — from helpnetsecurity.com
COVID-19 has accelerated the push toward digital business transformation for most businesses, and legal and compliance leaders are under pressure to anticipate both the potential improvements and possible risks that come with new legal technology innovations, according to Gartner.

Excerpt:

To address this challenge, Gartner lists the 31 must-watch legal technologies to allow legal and compliance leaders to identify innovations that will allow them to act faster. They can use this information for internal planning and prioritization of emerging innovations.

Also see:
(with a shoutout to Nicola Shaver for this resource)

legaltechnology hub dot com

Also see:

Envisioning the future of law — from abovethelaw.com by Ken Crutchfield
We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes.

Excerpt:

We’ve seen a transformation underway within the legal industry for some time now, and the pandemic is continuing to accelerate these changes. From what we have observed in recent months, many of the technologies that were reshaping the practice of law have now become necessary, and resistance to digital workflows is no longer a viable option for many legal professionals. In the midst of this transformation, we can draw some observations about how the industry can cope with what’s next. 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian