5 reasons why legal tech matters — from lawyer-monthly.com by Colin Bohanna

Excerpt:

5. Technology can improve access to justice
Using technology can help to increase access to justice in a number of ways. The increased adoption of videoconferencing technology seen during the pandemic has had a positive impact on those who have traditionally struggled to access legal services. That includes those living in rural areas, who may not live in proximity to a lawyer qualified to deal with their specific matter; those working in precarious situations that may not enable them to travel to meet a lawyer or who may have family- or elder-care responsibilities; and people with disabilities who may have mobility issues that make travel difficult.

Tech can also play an essential role in the support of legal aid. We know there’s a perception that the level of paperwork, admin, and invoicing requirements means the burden of conducting legal aid is high. As Clio is committed to transforming the legal industry, we offer a legal aid solution as part of our practice management software at no extra cost in order to increase access to justice, for all. It helps to cut legal aid processes drastically so that legal aid providers can focus on their client work and make legal aid work more financially viable.

Also relevant/see:

Top 10 Legal Operations Trends in 2022. — from jdsupra.com

Key legal operations trends for 2022

1. Growing legal operations teams
2. Formalizing the legal operations function
3. Implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program
4. Finding new ways to improve processes
5. Insourcing more work
6. Strengthening vendor management
7. Expanding the use of data analytics tools
8. Increasing technology investments
9. Strengthening the law department’s technology acumen
10. Improving data security

 

6 ADA accessibility trends revealed in our mid-year 2022 report — from blog.usablenet.com by Jason Taylor

Excerpt:

We just published our mid-year ADA web and App report created by the UsableNet research team reviewing all lawsuits filed in federal courts under the ADA and California state court under Unruh. We review the cases to identify where a digital property, including websites, mobile apps, and video, is the subject of the claim. Our bi-annual reports let UsableNet inform our clients and provide them with the most up-to-date advice for planning their digital accessibility initiatives.

Here is my main take on some key numbers based on what we have seen in 2022 and what’s driving those numbers. 


 WEB ACCESSIBILITY LAWSUIT NUMBERS ARE HIGH AND SET TO ONLY GET HIGHER.

 

Metaverse, NFTs, Web3 And Virtual Land In The Sandbox — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So, what does Borget – undeniably one of the pioneers of the concept – think the metaverse actually is?

“For us, metaverse is really this myriad of worlds,” he tells me during our recent webinar conversation, “that users can experience through an avatar that becomes a 3D representation of themselves.”

These avatars are the key to unlocking “all sorts of new experiences … more creative, more immersive, unlike what we’ve seen before with traditional virtual worlds, where users can already socialize … here, what’s important is the ability of users to truly own their own identity, own their own belongings, digital assets, virtual land, houses … and are able to move that identity from one world to another without being constrained.”

“There will be millions of virtual worlds, places where users can take their avatars,” Borget continues. “What’s important is this ability to move from one to another while … keeping all their content they create in one and using it in others.”


Also see:

Metaverse Opportunities, risks and policy implications — from europarl.europa.eu by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)
Metaverse Opportunities, risks and policy implications

Summary:

One of the most talked about concepts in modern technology, the metaverse can be described as an immersive and constant virtual 3D world where people interact by means of an avatar to carry out a wide range of activities. Such activities can range from leisure and gaming to professional and commercial interactions, financial transactions or even health interventions such as surgery. While the exact scope and impact of the metaverse on society and on the economy is still unknown, it can already be seen that the metaverse will open up a range of opportunities but also a number of risks in a variety of policy areas.

Major tech companies are scaling up their metaverse activities, including through mergers and acquisitions. This has given impetus to a debate on how merger regulations and antitrust law should apply. Business in the metaverse is expected to be underpinned largely by cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, raising issues of ownership, misuse, interoperability and portability. Furthermore, the huge volume of data used in the metaverse raises a number of data protection and cybersecurity issues (e.g. how to collect user consent or protect avatars against identity theft).

There is considerable scope for a wide range of illegal and harmful behaviours and practices in the metaverse environment. This makes it essential to consider how to attribute responsibility, inter alia, for fighting illegal and harmful practices and misleading advertising practices, and for protecting intellectual property rights. Moreover, digital immersion in the metaverse can have severe negative impacts on health, especially for vulnerable groups, such as minors, who may require special protection. Finally, the accessibility and inclusiveness of the metaverse remain areas where progress has still to be made in order to create an environment of equal opportunities.


Also see the following from the Legal Talk Network — with Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell

  • Metavisting the Metaverse – Dennis and Tom plunge into the metaverse—its trends, current tech, and possibilities for the future.
  • The Wild World of NFTs – Dennis and Tom dive into these unique digital objects (art, video, and much more) and outline the issues surrounding their current hype and value in the real world.

 

Denis Kennedy and Tom Mighell -- run the Legal Talk Network podcast

 


 

Only 37% of Lawyers are Satisfied with their Firm’s Technology — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

A new survey has found that only 36.7% of lawyers are satisfied with the tech tools on offer at their firms, and with only 37.1% saying that they had used a new product at their law firm in the last six months. So, they’re not too happy with what they’ve got, while most firms are not bringing in anything much that is new either.


Mat Rotenberg, CEO of Dashboard Legal, the company that conducted the survey, told Artificial Lawyer that a key factor here is the retention of talent, i.e. that underinvesting in tech that removed drudgery would inevitably contribute to lawyer attrition.

‘This survey raises the question of whether firms are doing what they can to retain top talent. It appears that partners are not asking associates what they want to make their lives better.’

He noted that the survey data also showed that although lawyers were not that pleased with what was on offer, they did indeed value tech solutions and believed they could help.

 

From DSC:
An AI-backed platform will constantly search all job postings and present the most desired skills in the marketplace and then how to get those skills. The providers will be individuals, organizations, training providers, traditional institutions of higher education, vendors and more.

Depending upon what happens with blockchain — and if a much more energy-efficient/environmentally-friendly solution can be implemented — blockchain may be a part of that equation.

 

Animated Series: What’s Up with the Metaverse — from joetechnologist.com by Joseph Raczynski with creative by Elise Harmening, Esq.

Video description (emphasis DSC):

What’s Up with the Metaverse, published on June 2, 2022, was written by Joseph Raczynski of Thomas Reuters, a member of the Governing Council for the Center for Innovation, and created by Elise Harmening, Esq., Project Specialist Manager at the Center for Innovation. Innovation and You is a production by The American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation to help lawyers and our members think about innovative legal technology and practices as the legal landscape continues to change. Join the conversation on Twitter @ABAInnovation.

 

Also see:

Animated Series: What is an API? — from joetechnologist.com by Joseph Raczynski with creative by Elise Harmening, Esq.

 

Majority Want Online Courts To Keep Going – Survey — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

A major survey by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) of 1,000 individuals, plus 1,000 businesses, has found that a majority want to keep the online court system going, despite the end of the worst of the pandemic in the UK.

The results were:

  • three-quarters of the British public are content with online hearings and other remote access arrangements. Just 27% of the public object to such innovations.
  • 64% of businesses support remote access to the civil courts…..although, that means that up to 36%, a notable minority, of companies are not that happy with remote court hearings.

And here’s a related item from here in the United States:

 

How to Learn about Learning Science — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
How do you learn about learning science? Recommendations for people to follow, books to read, and other resources.

Excerpt:

I have written before about how research informs my work. As instructional designers, LXDs, and other L&D professionals, I think it’s important for us to learn how to design more effective learning experiences. Our work should be informed by research and evidence. But, how do you learn about learning science, especially if you don’t have a graduate degree in instructional design? These are my recommendations for people to follow, books to read, and other resources.

 

 

How has your legal service delivery model changed as we look forward to post-pandemic life? — from legal.thomsonreuters.com

Excerpt:

The rise of the self-service delivery model
Self-service for legal clients was already a trend before COVID, a trend that accelerated during the shutdowns. Clients now expect to be able to find answers themselves to many of their basic legal questions. Call it the Google-fication of legal service delivery. Clients also want to be able to see their matter statuses without having to take the time to call their lawyers, possibly incurring a charge.

Below are some other legal-related items:

Law Schools Are Changing Thanks To Legal Tech — from lawyer-monthly.com
New digital skills courses are rapidly being added to undergraduate law degrees in the UK. While the first students are currently studying the digital skills course, it’s expected that further students will take part over the coming months. Here, we explore what digital skills courses in law schools are covering.

Pioneers and Pathfinders: Bob Ambrogi — from seyfarth.com by J. StephenPoor

Description of podcast:

For anyone following the rapidly evolving area of legal technology, today’s guest will be a familiar voice. Bob Ambrogi—lawyer, journalist, media consultant, and blogger—has been working at the intersection of law, media, and technology for 40 years. He is known internationally for his expertise in legal technology, legal practice, and legal ethics. He’s won numerous awards for his blog and his leading role on the cutting edge of change in the industry, including being named to Fastcase 50 and Legal Rebels Trailblazers. Before entering the blogosphere, Bob was an editor at a number of mainstream legal publications.

In today’s conversation, we talk about Bob’s journey as a journalist, his views on the current state of mainstream media, the potential of regulatory reform to further disrupt the industry, and the growing diversity of the legal technology industry.

***

Founders Forum invests in fintech-focused virtual law startup Chronos Law — from globallegalpost.com by Ben Edwards
Chronos will be rebranded Founders Law as part of the deal

Bohills said: “Most tech businesses require flexible legal services that don’t fit the traditional law firm model. I designed the firm to scale with the ambitious startups we support. This new investment will enable us to further recruit and satisfy the growing demand from the tech sector and its need for a new way to access legal advice. 

 

Prioritizing Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace is Evolving and Driving Change in the Legal Profession — from law.upoenn.edu by Daniel T. Lukasik, Esq.; with thanks to PennLaw’s Future of the Profession Initiative (from 6/9/22) for this resource

Excerpt:

I now know I was never the only one with a mental health problem. Over the past five years, numerous surveys have confirmed what I and others suspected: anxiety, burnout, depression, and problems with alcohol are rampant throughout the legal profession. Compared to the general population, the magnitude of lawyer distress is deeply troubling.

In a confidential ABA survey of 13,000 lawyers, twenty-eight percent reported they had experienced a problem with depression within the past twelve months, a rate four times that found in the general population. Yet, given this sobering fact, there’s good cause to feel optimistic about the profession’s future.

Today, there is nothing short of a revolution in the law at all levels regarding mental health.

Two other relevant items from PennLaw’s Future of the Profession Initiative from 6/9/22:

From DSC:
I post this for:

  • Undergrad students within higher education — as you should go into a career in the legal profession with your eyes wide open.
  • For the rest of us in society — for a better understanding of others’ situations. If you know of a lawyer in the family or as a friend, you may want to check in with them as to how they are really doing.
 

The original article by @andylocal in the @nytimes when we first filed our challenge:

They Need Legal Advice on Debts. Should It Have to Come From Lawyers? — from nytimes.com
A nonprofit has filed a lawsuit in New York, hoping to clear the way for volunteers to help people defend themselves against debt collection suits.

Thalia Juarez for The New York Times.

Excerpt:

The Rev. John Udo-Okon, a Pentecostal minister in the Bronx, has a lot of congregants who are sued by debt collectors and don’t know what to do.

Like most of the millions of Americans sued over consumer debt each year, Pastor Udo-Okon’s congregants typically cannot retain a lawyer. When they fail to respond to the suit, they lose the case by default.


Also relevant/see:

Law Firms Branch Out Beyond Lawyers in Bid to Beat Out Rival Advisers — from wsj.com
Facing competitive pressure from consulting firms and others, old law firms try to pick up new tricks

“Clients increasingly were coming to us with a problem that they needed to solve and they really didn’t much care how we solved it,” Mr. Portnoy said. “Very often they were looking for something that was beyond the traditional tool kit.”

 

From DSC:
The items below reminded me that things aren’t looking good for higher education these days. Having a son a quarter of the way through college makes this even more relevant/personal for our family.


The Big Quit | Even tenure-line professors are leaving academe. — from chronicle.com by Joshua Doležal

Excerpts:

We have become accustomed to the exodus of graduate students, postdocs, and adjuncts, but before Covid it was still possible to see tenured and tenure-track faculty members as relatively immune from the stresses of working in higher ed. No more. A 2020 study by The Chronicle and Fidelity Investments found that more than half of all faculty members surveyed were seriously weighing options outside of higher education: either changing careers entirely or retiring early.

“If a return to normal simply means restoring the burnout conditions that the pandemic inflamed, then the rumble of faculty members leaving may build to a roar that no amount of magical thinking can explain away.”

Here’s a relevant quote from a weekly newsletter — Teaching — from The Chronicle of Higher Education (by Becky Supiano)

The bottom line? “You don’t get student success,” McClure says, “unless you have invested in faculty well-being.”

The quote is from Kevin McClure, who is “trying to get the challenges front-line faculty and staff face on the radar of more college leaders.” As primarily a former staff member, I appreciate that he’s including staff members here. Staff are important members of the academe as well.


Drop in Spring-2022 Enrollment Is Worse Than Expected — from chronicle.com byAudrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provide a final tally on enrollment for the spring of 2022 — and reveal a persistent trend: College attendance continues to decline.

Undergraduate enrollment fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier, a shortfall of more than 662,000 students. Since the pandemic began, the undergraduate student body has dropped by almost 1.4 million students.

But also in play, he said, are students who increasingly question the value of college, are wary about taking out student loans to pay for it, and who have options to join the labor market instead.


Michigan colleges experience nation’s worst spring enrollment dive, new report shows — from mlive.com by Samuel Dodge

Excerpt:

College enrollment across Michigan plummeted 15% during the spring semester this year, dragged down by a 20% hit to four-year public universities, a new report shows. Spring enrollment across all sectors dropped to 360,220 students, a decrease of more than 62,000 from 2021 to this year, according to data released Thursday, May 26, by the National Student Clearinghouse.


[Cost of Inequity]  The Student Loan Crisis — from businessinsidre.com by various
How the student loan industry put a $1.7 trillion price tag on the American dream and the proposed reforms that could pay the bill.


A somewhat-related item:

The Future of Higher Education Is the Hybrid Campus — from campustechnology.com by Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking
Blending the best of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility of online learning can enhance the higher ed experience for all types of learners, lower the cost of a degree and better prepare students for the workforce.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

What Students Want
Students and families are increasingly rethinking whether a traditional college education is worth the investment, leaving higher ed leaders searching for innovative ways to showcase their school’s value and entice students. When we think about what students really want, they want more than a degree — they want skills training that will ensure a well-paying, rewarding career. In fact, 62% of college students say they would be more likely to re-enroll if their institution offered “new programs and certificates tailored to the new economy” with high-demand majors and education that connects them to employability. This makes sense since employers are continuing to find value in students developing a “broad skill base that can be applied across a range of contexts.”

But over the last several years, and after seeing the success of it at Adrian College, I’ve become convinced that the future of residential colleges is not face-to-face or online, but an intelligent blend of both modalities.


A somewhat-related item:

Navigating career turbulence — from ted.com by Adam Grant; with thanks to Deirdre Honner for this resource

Description:

Everyone’s career will hit some turbulence at some point. Instead of pushing harder against the headwinds, we’re sometimes better off tilting our rudder and charting a new course. In this episode, host Adam Grant speaks with people who have taken unusual steps to battle uncertainty, rethought their approach to finding and landing a job and reached out for help in unexpected places — as well as an expert on recessions who forecasts the future by looking to the past. Listen and subscribe to WorkLife with Adam Grant and more podcasts from the TED Audio Collective wherever you’re listening to this.

 

Four items re: law schools

Embrace the Change—Law School vs. Undergrad — from abaforlawstudents.com by Andrew Kryder

Excerpt:

Learn what to expect before law school to soften the blow. The following points are some of the major differences between undergrad and law school and advice on navigating these new challenges.

‘Law Students Need to Hear from People on the Ground’ – Alice Armitage, LexLab — from artificiallawyer.com by

Excerpt:

How do you help law students to really get to grips with legal tech and the changing profession? One solution is to host your own accelerator along with providing associated courses on legal technology, which is exactly what Alice Armitage, Chief Executive Professor at LexLab, at the University of California Hastings College of Law, is doing.

Armitage told Artificial Lawyer: ‘My belief is that law students need to hear from people on the ground about technology. With LexLab we have been able to get so many people to guest speak, on legal ops and legal informatics, and more. It’s been amazingly successful.’

ABA Legal Ed council seeks comment on proposed revision to law school admissions test requirement — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

A suggested revision to remove the requirement for law school entrance exams will be going out for notice and comment, following a Friday vote by the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

No LSAT Required? Law School Admissions Tests Could Be Optional Under New Proposal — from wsj.com by Deanna Paul
American Bar Association floats proposal to allow law-school applications without LSAT or GRE scores

 

U.S. issues charges in first criminal cryptocurrency sanctions case — from washingtonpost.com by Spencer S. Hsu
Federal judge finds U.S. sanctions laws apply to $10 million in Bitcoin sent by American citizen to a country blacklisted by Washington

Excerpt:

The Justice Department has launched its first criminal prosecution involving the alleged use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. economic sanctions, a federal judge disclosed Friday.

 

The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian