ABA TechReport 2020

CYBERSECURITY
2020 Cybersecurity
John G. Loughnane
The 2020 report reflects incremental progress in areas fundamental to adequate security, but not enough. Find out more in this TechReport.

BIG DATA & CLOUD COMPUTING
2020 Cloud Computing
Dennis Kennedy
There’s much to learn from the 2020 results and what they tell us about how to move forward into an era that promises to be much more cloud-intensive.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Solo & Small Firm
Karin Conroy
There are nuanced pros and cons of how solo and small firms approach security and technology decisions; find out more in this TechReport.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Websites & Marketing
Allison C. Shields Johs
Learn about some basic steps that solo and small firm lawyers can take to improve their marketing in the upcoming year to help them compete in an increasingly virtual world.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
2020 Technology Training
Mark Rosch
Lawyers must overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect that is likely coloring their own perceptions about their technology competence to understand that training would benefit them.

PRACTICE TECHNOLOGY
2020 Practice Management
Alexander Paykin
Solo and small firms have to make a choice on how to spend their money in order to survive and to stay competitive with larger firms. Find out more in this TechReport.

2020 Litigation & Technology Assisted Review (TAR)
Stephen Embry
Our Litigation & TAR report is back in 2020 to give you a rundown on the use of technology in the courtroom, training, and e-discovery.

 

2020 in review: Legal software for working remotely — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpts:

  • January: Virtual and chatbot assistants
  • February: Client relationship management tools
  • March: Top tools to help lawyers set up virtual practices
  • April: Document management software
  • May: Online payment tools
  • June: Secure online communication
  • July: Legal billing software
  • August: Time-tracking software
  • September: Contract review software
  • October: Litigation analytics software

 

 

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

 

“Stuck in it until I die”: Parents get buried by college debt too — from hechingerreport.org by Meredith Kolodner
ParentPlus loans have spiked, leading to financial disaster for many low- and middle-income families

Excerpt:

The couple’s original $40,000 loan to cover the cost of their son and daughter attending public universities in Indiana, where the family lived at the time, has snowballed in those 18 years, with interest rates as high as 8.5 percent. Their bill now stands at more than $100,000.

The Rifes would have lost their house if they had been forced to make the original monthly payment, so they negotiated with the federal government to get it down to $733. Still, it’s more than their mortgage, and it doesn’t cover the interest, so the amount owed has continued to grow.

From DSC:
I have fought for over a decade to bring the costs (involved with obtaining a degree) down. Through the years, I have tried to reach anyone who works within higher ed to listen…to change…to find ways to bring the price of obtaining a degree waaaaaay down. 

Before 2010, I had written about a future where the cost of obtaining a degree would be 50% less. And that has already happened with a handful of instances. But the future will likely look much different than the past.

Fast forward…and the perfect storm against higher ed continues to build. The backlash continues to build.

There will be change. Count on it. 100% bound to happen. In fact, it has to happen, or this nation is in big trouble otherwise. 


(11/24/20) An addendum from the Wall Street Journal:

 
 
 

The Observatory is an interactive platform that allows you to do a preliminary analysis of 600+ legal technologies in the market today

The Observatory — from orrick.com with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for mentioning this resource in his Lawtomatic Newsletter (Issue #112, 11/18/20)

The Observatory is an interactive platform that allows you to do a preliminary analysis of 600+ legal technologies in the market today (including some developed by Orrick):

  • Gain insight into features of legal tools
  • View leading categories of legal tech, from artificial intelligence to workflow automation
  • Understand tech use-cases for litigation, transactional and general solutions
  • Identify legal tech companies with diverse leadership

Excerpt from Gabe’s newsletter:

  • The Observatory: the tech-savvy biglaw firm, Orrick, has a new interactive platform offering data on 600+ legal technologies currently on the market.  A user can click on the type of tool they’d like to learn more about (e.g. document automation or contract management), click on various filters, then get a summary of what it does.  It also includes a narrative box for what makes the tool unique.  It’s easy to use, free, and also gives a nice preview for clients on the type of value the firm might offer them beyond run-of-the-mill representation.

Explore The Observatory from Orrick dot com to help you identify potential fits for your legaltech related needs

 

Bloomberg Law 2021 — from pro.bloomberglaw.com

Excerpt:

Our Bloomberg Law 2021 series sets the stage for a new year, previewing the themes and topics that our experts will be watching closely, so you can effectively navigate the dynamic legal landscape. Our team of experienced legal analysts leverages the latest data and technology to deliver expert perspectives on the legal market to the legal market.

 

Best Practices 7 Ways Students Can Maintain Good Study Habits During COVID-19 — from fierceeducation.com by Peggy Bresnick

Excerpts:

  1. Stay organized.
  2. Don’t multitask.
  3. Make the most of video lectures.
  4. Set a schedule.
  5. Swap out study strategies.
  6. Collaborate remotely.
  7. Stay connected to others.

The guide being referenced from the University of Michigan:

Adjusting your study habits during COVID

 

Pushback is growing against automated proctoring services. But so is their use — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

Many students have pushed back, arguing that remote proctoring tools result in a serious invasion of privacy and create stress that can hinder academic performance. More than 60,000 students across the U.S. have signed petitions calling on their colleges to stop using automated proctoring tools, meaning that the technology has become arguably the most controversial tool of the pandemic at colleges.

From DSC:
We have an issue oftentimes within higher education — including graduate schools/professional schools as well — where the student and the professor aren’t always on the same team (or at least that’s the percaption). To me, the professors need to be saying (and living out the message that), “We ARE on your team. We are working to help make you successful in the future that you have chosen for yourself. We’re here to help you…not monitor you.”

It’s like I feel when I walk into so many public places these days (and even out on the roadways as well). When I walk into a store, it’s like the security cameras are whispering to me and to others…”We don’t trust you. Some of you have stolen in the past. so we’re going to carefully watch every single one of you. And we aren’t just going to watch you, we’re going to record you as well.”

The message? We don’t trust you.

This severely hampers the relationships involved.

And I’m sure that cheating is going on. But then, that makes me think that perhaps it’s time to change the way we assess students — and to help them see assessments as opportunities to learn, not to cheat. 

Lower the stakes. Offer tests more frequently. Provide more opportunities to practice recall. And be on their team.

 

Temperament-Inclusive Pedagogy: Helping Introverted and Extraverted Students Thrive in a Changing Educational Landscape — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Mary R. Fry

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So how do we take these different approaches to learning into account and foster a classroom environment that is more inclusive of the needs of both extraverts and introverts? Let’s first distinguish between how extraverts and introverts most prefer to learn, and then discuss ways to meet the needs of both. Extraverts tend to learn through active and social engagement with the material (group work, interactive learning experiences, performing and discussing). Verbalizing typically helps extraverts to think through their ideas and to foster new ones. They often think quickly on their feet and welcome working in large groups. It can be challenging for extraverts to generate ideas in isolation (talking through ideas is often needed) and thus working on solitary projects and writing can be challenging.

In contrast, introverts thrive with solitary/independent work and typically need this time to sort through what they are learning before they can formulate their thoughts and articulate their perspectives. Introverted learners often dislike group work (or at least the group sizes and structures that are often used in the classroom (more on this in a moment)) and find their voice drowned out in synchronous discussions as they don’t typically think as fast as their extroverted counterparts and don’t often speak until they feel they have something carefully thought out to share. Introverted learners are often quite content, and can remain attentive, through longer lectures and presentations and prefer engaging with the material in a more interactive way only after a pause or break.

From DSC:
Could/would a next-generation learning platform that has some Artificial Intelligence (AI) features baked into it — working in conjunction with a cloud-based learner profile — be of assistance here?

That is, maybe a learner could self-select the type of learning that they are: introverted or extroverted. Or perhaps they could use a sliding scaled to mix learning activities up to a certain degree. Or perhaps if one wasn’t sure of their preferences, they could ask the AI-backed system to scan for how much time they spent doing learning activities X, Y, and Z versus learning activities A, B, and C…then AI could offer up activities that meet a learner’s preferences.

(By the way, I love the idea of the “think-ink-pair-share” — to address both extroverted and introverted learners. This can be done digitally/virtually as well as in a face-to-face setting.)

All of this would further assist in helping build an enjoyment of learning. And wouldn’t that be nice? Now that we all need to learn for 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80 years of our lives?

The 60-Year Curriculum: A Strategic Response to a Crisis

 

After the Pandemic, a Revolution in Education and Work Awaits — from nytimes.com by Thomas Friedman
Providing more Americans with portable health care, portable pensions and opportunities for lifelong learning is what politics needs to be about post-Nov. 3.

No job, no K-12 school, no university, no factory, no office will be spared. 

Excerpt:

Your children can expect to change jobs and professions multiple times in their lifetimes, which means their career path will no longer follow a simple “learn-to-work’’ trajectory, as Heather E. McGowan, co-author of “The Adaptation Advantage,” likes to say, but rather a path of “work-learn-work-learn-work-learn.”

“Learning is the new pension,” Ms. McGowan said. “It’s how you create your future value every day.”

The most critical role for K-12 educators, therefore, will be to equip young people with the curiosity and passion to be lifelong learners who feel ownership over their education.

 

How to Work Remotely as a Lawyer: A Guide — from clio.com by Teresa Matich; with thanks to Nelson Miller for this resource

Excerpt:

Whether you’ve looked at working remotely as a lawyer in the past (or as a paralegal, legal assistant, legal professional) with dreams of traveling the world, or whether you’re looking into it for the first time now, this guide contains clear, practical tips for opening a remote legal practice without interruption. We’ll cover:

  • 10 steps to follow for successful remote work
  • What to do if you still need to meet clients in person
  • Tips for how larger legal teams can succeed when transitioning to remote work
  • A basic list of tools to use for remote lawyering
  • Examples of law firms that have worked remotely in some capacity (or are currently doing so)
 

From DSC:
Many people talk about engagement when they discuss learning, and with good reason. It seems to me that what they are really getting at is the topic of getting and maintaining someone’s *attention.* Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning. I wonder if some of the next generation learning platforms that employ some level of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled features, will look to a learner’s preferences (as stored in their cloud-based learner’s profile) in order to help gain/maintain such attention.

And this also helps explain why allowing more learner agency — i.e., more choice, more control — in pursuing their own interests and passions really helps: A motivated learner is paying closer attention to what’s going on.

 

Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning.

 

 

From DSC:
And along these lines, that’s one of the key reasons I’d like to see more involvement from the Theatre Departments, Computer Science Departments, and from those involved with creative writing across the land — in terms of helping develop content for remote and online-based education. Actors, actresses, set designers, costumer designers, audio/video editors, programmers/software developers, and more who could collaborate on these kinds of ideas.

Last comment on this. I don’t mean that we should present our classes like many advertisements do (i.e., running a thousand images by me within 30 seconds). But changing things up periodically — both visually and audibly —  can help regain/reset your students’ attentions.

 

Important New Report on Essential Lawyering Skills — from bestpracticeslegaled.com by John Lande

Excerpt:

Ohio State Professor Deborah Jones Merritt and Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System Research Director Logan Cornett just published an important report, Building a Better Bar: The Twelve Building Blocks of Minimum Competence, based on insights from 50 focus groups.

They found that minimum competence consists of 12 interlocking “building blocks,” including the ability to interact effectively with clients, communicate as a lawyer, and see the “big picture” of client matters.

They propose 10 recommendations that courts, law schools, bar associations, bar examiners, and other stakeholders should consider in their efforts to move towards better, evidence-based lawyer licensing.

 

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