The 2020 ABA Techshow

Also see:

EU Proposes Strict Regulations for AI — from futuretech360.com by John K. Waters

Excerpt:

The European Union this week unveiled its first proposed regulations for artificial intelligence (AI) technology, along with a strategy for handling personal digital data. The new regs provide guidance around such AI use cases as autonomous vehicles and biometric IDs.

Published online by the European Commission, the proposed regulations would apply to “high-risk” uses of AI in areas such as health care, transportation and criminal justice. The criteria to determine risk would include such considerations as whether a person might get hurt, say, by a self-driving car or a medical device, and how much influence a human has on an AI’s decision in areas like job recruiting and law enforcement.

 

 From DSC:
Here are two other example of AI’s further integration into the legal realm:

Casetext is Automating Litigation — from businesswire.com
Casetext’s new litigation automation technology, Compose, automates substantive legal work — and a substantial number of billable hours

Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Casetext, the legal technology company known for its groundbreaking A.I. legal research platform, today announces a new product that will define litigation automation: Compose. Compose, which automates the first draft of a legal brief, is poised to disrupt the $437 billion1 legal services industry and fundamentally change our understanding of what types of professional work are uniquely human.


UC Irvine School of Law To Integrate Blue J Legal’s AI-Enabled Tax Platform into Curriculum
— from businesswire.com
First of its kind initiative aims to prepare graduate students for careers in tax law where AI will be integral to the decision-making process

The joint effort aims to demonstrate why advanced technological integration in higher education is important and how to leverage it, specifically in tax law.

 

 

Online tool will help ‘Spot’ legal issues that people face — from .pewtrusts.org
Artificial intelligence can boost non-lawyers’ ability to navigate civil court system

Excerpt:

People looking for information on legal questions often start their searches online, without a good handle on the terminology. Today’s machine learning tools can help put nonlegal phrasing into context, using artificial intelligence to match people’s situations with specific legal issues, supplying accurate information and connections to potential services.

A team at the Legal Innovation and Technology (LIT) Lab at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts, is building an application programming interface, or API—known as Spot—that can serve as a computerized issue spotter. Spot could be used by legal services websites and others to help lay users, and its functionality will improve as it accumulates more data and real-life examples.

 

BIGLAW 2040: What will happen when Gen Z is in charge? — from law360.com by Natalie Rodriguez

Excerpts:

The opportunities that BigLaw has begun offering associates to spend months-long stints working out of international offices will evolve from rare resume brags to almost standard career milestones for those interested in leadership positions.

“If you don’t have global experience, you’re not becoming a CEO anymore, and that’s going to be true of becoming a managing partner. If you want to be a global business, you’re going to have to understand the world,” Wilkins said.

The legal leaders of 2040 will also have to expand their circle — think data technicians, cybersecurity professionals, chief knowledge officers, legal tech and artificial intelligence systems engineers, all of whom are going to play much larger roles in the BigLaw ecosystem in the next few decades.

Addendum on 2/11/20:

The Skills Every Future Lawyer Needs — from law360.com by Erin Coe

Excerpt:

To provide those outcomes and solutions, many lawyers of the future will be responsible for building the systems that replace the old ways of working.

They will become legal knowledge engineers, legal risk managers, legal systems analysts, legal design thinkers and legal technologists, and they will be the ones solving clients’ problems, not through one-on-one advice, but through technology-delivered solutions, according to Susskind.

The challenge for existing lawyers is whether they are prepared over the next 20 years to retrain themselves for these new roles.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the legal industry — from law.comby Christian A. Farmakis
Artificial intelligence (AI) is adding efficiencies and transforming businesses everywhere, and legal practices are no exception.

Excerpts:

How is AI technology disrupting the legal industry?
AI legal technology won’t replace lawyers, but these tools will drastically change the way lawyers provide services for their clients. While estimates vary, 23%t to 35% of a lawyer’s job could be automated. As a result, lawyers will need to be more strategic and supervisorial, able to act as project managers and supervise the information being fed into systems, and knowledgeable about the assumptions underlying the machine learning algorithms.

What will be the next wave of AI legal technology?
The next generation, which is starting to hit the market now, will be document automation and legal research and writing tools, as well as predictive technology tools. For example, a contract can be put through an algorithm in order to identify how risky it is. It could be used to determine how likely it is to go into litigation or if it complies with the company’s internal contract procedures and policies.

Another use is analytic tools that can measure efficiency and pricing of the legal services. E-billing and practice management tools could measure whether a service contract should cost $2,500, not the $7,500 that’s being charged. In other instances, AI could help firms do estimates for alternative fee arrangements.

 

How technology and law changes for career development — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Manan Ghadawala

Excerpt:

But things have been changing in technology and law over the years. Let us look at these developments in technology and law and also see how technology already [is] — and will — impact legal careers.

Joni Pirovich from Hall & Wilcox explained, “As technology trends are pervasive across all industries, it’s now incumbent upon law firms to ensure lawyers have a good starting language to interpret technology concepts and how they interact with legal principles.”

The increase in law firm technology did surprise some people. Forbes found out that there was a 713% jump in investments in technology for law firms in 2018—almost 1.63 billion USD—bolstered mostly by the arrival of eDiscovery, which is an electronic method for finding important information specific investigations or suits.

#Automation #MachineLearning #AI #BigData

 

 

Juris announces launch of AI powered software to help people solve their own legal problems — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

Legal technology company Juris has announced the launch of their service, DepositLetter, an online tool built to recover illegally withheld security deposits on behalf of renters. Customers complete a five-minute online interview and Juris does the rest automatically to show their former landlord that they know their rights under the law, to demand their money back, and even threaten to sue. DepositLetter is the first service built on the Juris Virtual Legal Assistant platform, a law-powered A.I. expert system made to help people solve their own legal problems.

Also see:

Millennial lawyers demand mobility. Are law firms ready to provide it? from law.com by Alex Babin
Like it or not, remote work is coming to the legal world. Even among law firms, the development of policies to accommodate work performed away from the office appears to be a notable trend.

Excerpt:

Like it or not, remote work is coming to the legal world. Even among law firms, where I am repeatedly reminded that the adoption of technology tends to lag behind other workplaces and industries, the development of policies to accommodate work performed away from the office appears to be a notable trend. In part, this is being driven by increasing numbers of millennials in the legal workforce. According to a 2019 Deloitte survey, nearly 75% of millennials think a “work-from-home” or “work remotely” policy is important. But the changing perspective is also very likely a function of a broader transition in the legal industry toward technology-enabled efficiency.

 

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.
 

Coming down the pike: A next generation, global learning platform [Christian]

From DSC:
Though we aren’t quite there yet, the pieces continue to come together to build a next generation learning platform that will help people reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, constantly, and cost-effectively.

Learning from the living class room

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Virtual access to legal assistance becoming mainstream is hopefully not far off!

From DSC:
Along these lines, we’ll likely see more bots and virtual legal assistants that we will be able to ask questions of.

#A2J #AccessToJustice #legal #lawyers #society #legaltech #bots #videoconferencing #AI #bots #VirtualAssistants

Along these lines, also see:

Innovative and inspired: How this US law school is improving access to justice — from studyinternational.com

Excerpt:

Though court and other government websites in the US provide legal information, knowing what to search for and understanding legal jargon can be difficult for lay people.

Spot, software that is being developed at the LIT Lab, aims to fix this.

“You know you have a housing problem. But very few people think about their housing problems in terms of something like constructive eviction,” explains David Colarusso, who heads the LIT Lab. “The idea is to have the tool be able to spot those issues based upon people’s own language.”

Developed by Colarusso and students, Spot uses a machine-based algorithm to understand legal queries posed by lay persons. With Spot, entering a question in plain English like “My apartment is so moldy I can’t stay there anymore. Is there anything I can do?” brings up search results that would direct users to the right legal issue. In this case, the query is highly likely to be related to a housing issue or, more specifically, to the legal term “constructive eviction.”

 

Lastly, here’s an excerpt from INSIGHT: What’s ‘Innovative’ in BigLaw? It’s More Than the Latest Tech Tools — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Ryan Steadman and Mark Brennan

Top Innovation Factors for Success

  • The first step is always to observe and listen.
  • True innovation is about rigorously defining a client problem and then addressing it through a combination of workflow process, technology, and people.
  • Leave aside the goal of wholesale transformation and focus instead on specific client use cases.

Before revving the engines in the innovation process, the safety check comes first. Successful innovation requires a deliberate, holistic approach that takes into consideration people, process, and technology. Firms and vendors that listen and learn before implementing significant change will stand apart from competitors—and help ensure long-term success.

 

The Future Ready Lawyer — from Wolters Kluwer

Excerpts:

Leveraging technology as a strategic advantage is characteristics of high-performing businesses and professionals around the world. The same is true for the legal sector. Technology is a differentiator, and will become even more important as legal professionals recognize and leverage the unprecedented insights, capabilities and efficiencies that technology delivers. In addition, the emerging legal ecosystems will demand it, as tech-empowered players outside of the traditional legal profession continue to enter and disrupt the market.

 

Excerpt from the Future Ready Lawyer

 

 

From DSC:
It’s interesting to note how many times the words “technology” (205 times) and/or the word “technologies” (77 times) appear in that report.

 

 

Big money is betting on legal industry transformation — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen

Excerpts:

Law has been big business for decades, but only recently has significant venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneur money been pumped into the legal sector. Last year saw an eye-popping 718% increase in legal industry investment, and this year’s capital infusion through the third-quarter has already surpassed last year’s $1 billion total and could well double it. Capital is turbocharging customer-centric providers that are leveraging technology, process, new skillsets, and data to transform the legal function and the delivery of legal services.


Teaser alert: what’s to prevent Amazon, Google, or some other tech giant from entering the legal space, creating a global platform, injecting billions into infrastructure and talent, creating a global legal services hub that connects consumers with global legal delivery sources as never before imagined? Short answer: the inclination to do so.

 

Legal delivery has morphed into a three-legged stool supported by legal, technological, and business expertise. 

 

Basic elements of an interactive legal application — from nonprofittechy.com by Quinten Steenhuis

Excerpt:

So, you want to create your first interactive legal application (sometimes also called guided interview or wizard). Congratulations! Whether you are creating the next TurboTax for drafting a will or a blockbuster access to justice app for pro se debtors, there are some standard elements of the application that it will help you to understand, whether you are a developer yourself or managing an outsourced project. This will be the first in a small series of blogs about getting started in interactive app building. As I’ve built these apps both for non-profits and law firms over the last few years, I realized it can help for everyone to share the same vocabulary. This guide applies to one kind of legal app–a linear wizard-like interview that helps a pro se user create a letter, fill out a form, or perhaps complete an intake.

For the most part, these concepts apply whether you are using DocassembleHotDocsA2J AuthorContract Express, or any of a number of different platforms. Of course, they also hold true for platforms built on Docassemble, such as Documate and Community.Lawyer.

 

 

Commentary: Momentum is building to fix our legal system. Let’s seize it. — from sltrib.com by Deno Himonas, Gillian Hadfield and John Lund

Excerpts:

We like to say we are all equal under the law. And in terms of our rights, that may be true, but it’s flat wrong when it comes to access to justice. Each year millions of Americans face a legal world of confusing online privacy policies and employment contracts, painful family or small business disputes, struggles with insurers and service providers, evictions and foreclosures, and more. What unites people, from poor to upper-middle class, is the fact that the vast majority muddle through all of this without any legal help.

Why in a world with so much law do so few have access to affordable legal help? The answer is very simple: lawyers cost too much and yet there’s no good alternative.

Finally, a few states are taking steps to change this.

How bad is the problem? A 2010 study in New York found that 98% of people in court facing eviction, 99% of borrowers in consumer credit matters, and 95% of parents in child support cases were in court without a lawyer.

Lawyers don’t cost too much because they’re greedy. They cost too much because a set of rules that courts and bar associations came up with about a hundred years ago—originally intended to ensure lawyers behaved ethically—forces them to operate in a highly inefficient business model and without the capacity to embed their expertise in technologies that could drive down the cost of legal advice.

 

 

 

From DSC:
The two postings below show the need for more collaboration and the use of teams:


 

The future of law and computational technologies: Two sides of the same coin — from legaltechlever.com by Daniel Linna Jr.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

An increasing number of lawyers today work with allied professionals to improve processes, better manage projects, embrace data-driven methods, and leverage technology to improve legal services and systems. Legal-services and lawyer regulations are evolving. And basic technologies and AI are slowly making their way into the legal industry, from legal aid organizations and courts to large law firms, corporate legal departments, and governments.

If we are to realize the potential to improve society with computational technologies, law, regulation, and ethical principles must be front and center at every stage, from problem definition, design, data collection, and data cleaning to training, deployment, and monitoring and maintenance of products and systems. To achieve this, technologists and lawyers must collaborate and share a common vocabulary. Lawyers must learn about technology, and technologists must learn about law. Multidisciplinary teams with a shared commitment to law, regulation, and ethics can proactively address today’s AI challenges, and advance our collaborative problem-solving capabilities to address tomorrow’s increasingly complex problems. Lawyers and technologists must work together to create a better future for everyone.

 

From DSC:
As with higher education in general, we need more team-based efforts in the legal realm as well as more TrimTab Groups.

 

 

Excerpts:

Why does this distinction matter? Because law—like so many industries—is undergoing a tectonic shift. It is morphing from a lawyer dominated, practice-centric, labor-intensive guild to a tech-enabled, process and data-driven, multi-disciplinary global industry. The career paths, skills, and expectations of lawyers are changing. So too are how, when, and on what financial terms they are engaged; with whom and from what delivery models they work; their performance metrics, and the resources—human and machine—they collaborate with.  Legal practice is shrinking and the business of delivering legal services is expanding rapidly.

Law is no longer the exclusive province of lawyers. Legal knowledge is not the sole element of legal delivery—business and technological competencies are equally important. It’s a new ballgame—one that most lawyers are unprepared for.

How did we get here and are legal careers  for most a dead end? Spoiler alert: there’s tremendous opportunity in the legal industry. The caveat: all lawyers must have basic business and technological competency whether they pursue practice careers or leverage their legal knowledge as a skill in legal delivery and/or allied professional careers.

Upskilling the legal profession is already a key issue, a requisite for career success. Lawyers must learn new skills like project management, data analytics, deployment of technology, and process design to leverage their legal knowledge. Simply knowing the law will not cut it anymore.

 

From DSC:
I really appreciate the work of the above two men whose articles I’m highlighting here. I continue to learn a lot from them and am grateful for their work.

That said, just like it’s a lot to expect a faculty member (in higher ed) who teaches online to not only be a subject matter expert, but also to be skilled in teaching, web design, graphic design, navigation design, information design, audio design, video editing, etc…it’s a lot to expect for a lawyer to be a skilled lawyer, business person, and technician. I realize that Mark was only saying a basic level of competency…but even that can be difficult to achieve at times. Why? Because people have different skillsets, passions, and interests. One might be a good lawyer, but not a solid technician…or vice versa. One might be a solid professor, but isn’t very good with graphic design. 

 

A momentous change in the legal industry garnering little attention — from forbes.com by Hendrik Pretorius

Excerpt:

The needed evolution in legal service delivery may receive a big push in the near future. Surprisingly, this issue seems to be flying under the radar for many in the legal industry.

The California Bar, through its Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, created in 2018, seeks to “identify possible regulatory changes to enhance the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and online legal service delivery models.”

A report commissioned by this task force stated that “[m]odifying the ethics rules to facilitate greater collaboration across law and other disciplines will (1) drive down costs; (2) improve access; (3) increase predictability and transparency of legal services; (4) aid the growth of new businesses; and (5) elevate the reputation of the legal profession.”

 

Herein lies one of the fundamental challenges within the legal industry: viewing the law as the delivery of a legal product, and understanding that this delivery needs to revolve around the user, not the lawyer. There is a real and growing divide between the current model of legal service delivery put forth by a traditional law firm model and what the public wants. Consumers have raised the bar based on what they are experiencing in interacting with other businesses in other industries.

I love what many of these legal tech companies are doing: They are applying standards from outside the entrenched legal industry and changing entire delivery models. This should be a real wake-up call. But how can law firms truly compete and play a role?

 

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