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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

The Great Resignation: The toll taken on the legal field and what comes next — from abajournal.com by Thomas MacDonald

Excerpt:

The pandemic has reshaped thinking around the value of work. The Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance: Skills and Progression Mid-Year Survey uncovered three specific priorities legal professionals are factoring into their career decisions.

  • Balance: Young professionals are more in tune with work-life balance and place a higher value on mental well-being, leisure and other activities outside of work than previous generations.
  • Family: A higher percentage of the professional workforce are mothers. Likewise, men are taking a more active role in child-rearing than previous generations, as younger professionals juggle more domestic responsibilities across the board.
  • The Long Game: Many Generation X and millennial employees have long since conceded that their retirement will likely come much later in life than their elder counterparts. The prospect of working for an extra decade—or more—has tempered the enthusiasm for grinding away during their formative years.

Also relevant/see the following articles:

8 Legal Experts on the Future of the Billable Hour — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Are you still billing by the hour? The reality is that most lawyers are and plenty will still be using it in the year 2032. However, many legal experts agree: the billable hour is under pressure, forcing lawyers to investigate other billing methods as well.

Laura Rosseel, Senior Associate at Cambrian, explains clearly why the billable hour is a topic for discussion: ‘There are countless arguments against working with billable hours. Invoicing based on billable hours puts the risk of both unpredictability in the scope of work as well as potential inefficiency on the client, instead of the law firm that is providing the service.

‘It does not differentiate based on the value of the task at hand, the urgency, or the time of day (or night), with which the task is carried out. Additionally, it is a performance metric for lawyers that favours working more over working better, and the relentless pressure is causing junior and mid-level lawyers to leave their firms.’

Digital exhaustion: Redefining work-life balance — from enterprisersproject.com by Irvin Bishop Jr.
Is your team suffering from the digital exhaustion that so often comes with remote and hybrid work? Consider these strategies to ease the stress

As workers continue to create and collaborate in digital spaces, one of the best things we can do as leaders is to let go. Let go of preconceived schedules, of always knowing what someone is working on, of dictating when and how a project should be accomplished – in effect, let go of micromanagement. Instead, focus on hiring productive, competent workers and trust them to do their jobs. Don’t manage tasks – gauge results. Use benchmarks and deadlines to assess effectiveness and success.

What did we learn at the CLOC Conference? — from zachabramowitz.substack.com by Zach Abramowitz
QR Codes, Outside Counsel Startups Make Great Shirts and Standing Out in a Sea of CLM

Some of the tools/products/vendors Zach mentioned were:

 

Is the virtual courtroom the future of the justice system? — from deseret.com by Zakary Sonntag
Video proceedings have increased court access but raised questions of rights amid case backlog

Excerpt:

The justice system in Utah is straining under the weight of an immense backlog of criminal cases, especially serious felony cases, leaving many defendants to languish in custody as additional filings continue to accumulate.

The buildup began in 2020 after the Utah Supreme Court ordered the shutdown of in-person proceedings in response to the coronavirus, which left attorneys and judges to hash out settlements through a remote, Webex court process.

The pandemic’s impact on the legal sector and what emerging lawyers need to know — from timesofindia.indiatimes.com by Roma Priya

Excerpt:

For aspiring lawyers and law school graduates who have commenced practice recently, one of the best ways to stay relevant is to upskill yourself. Apart from the legal industry-related skills as a lawyer, such as in-depth knowledge about clients, the law, and other subjects, communication skills, problem solving and analytical skills, and tech skills are crucial. 

Today, digitally-savvy lawyers are in high demand as technology continues to evolve and progress. And as the Indian Judiciary System gradually acquaints itself with cutting-edge technologies, emerging lawyers must do the same.

About one-fifth of lawyers and staffers considered suicide at some point in their careers, new survey says — from abajournal.com by Debra Cassens Weiss

A new survey of lawyers and staff members hailing mostly from BigLaw has found that anxiety, depression and isolation remain at concerning levels, despite a slight decrease in the percentages since the survey last year.

When is a legal department ready to transform? — from advisory.kpmg.us by Eric Gorman, Kimberly Majure, and Jeff Ikejiri
Explore the catalysts for change

…legal departments that identify and agree on a motive to change, and then are alert for opportunities to act, are legal departments that are ready to transform.


From DSC:
I saw the link to LitSoftware at the posting entitled, Three Lessons In Persuasive Trial Technology (from legaltechmonitor.com by Stephen Embry)..  I thought it offered some interesting software:

 


The Top 3 Legal Technology Trends of 2022 — from lexology.com by Sean Heck

Excerpts:

  1. Web-Based Contract Management Tools for Remote Legal Operations
  2. Online, Web-Based Document Editing
  3. Contract AI With Machine Learning for Intelligent CLM

Litera legal survey shows that technology is driving change in all aspects of M&A practice — from canadianlawyermag.com by Annabel Oromoni

Excerpt:

The global pandemic and the increasing reliance on technology to facilitate remote legal work and collaboration have accelerated the legal profession’s interest in technology-based solutions. A recent survey by Litera, a legal tech company, revealed that technology significantly impacts M&A practices in law firms.

Litera’s survey included insights from over 200 lawyers whose practices focus on M&A in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

David Curle, legal content and research lead at Litera, says the legal profession is fragmented, and Litera sought to receive responses about technology use, adoption, and spending from M&A lawyers specifically.

6 Types of Software for Your In-House Legal Team Needs — from jdsupra.com

Excerpt:

Most legal teams rely heavily on documents and communication for their work, and handling all the related operations may not be as simple as you would like it to be. Unless you change your approach to document management and start exploring tech solutions that improve team efficiency.

Automation software has helped many businesses and departments streamline all or most of their operations and improve their efficiency. The same can be done for a legal team.

In this article, let’s focus on the types of automation software for in-house counsel along with some of the top examples.


Addendum later on 5/11/22:

ANALYSIS: Lawyers’ Top Legal Tech Tools—And Biggest Blind Spots — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Racheal Pikulski, Princess Onyiri, and Lida Ouyang


Addendum later on 5/11/22:

 

Remote court transcription technology enables virtual court appearances — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpts:

That’s why it’s imperative to make certain remote options are available for all aspects of legal work since doing so is the only way to guarantee the justice system doesn’t come to a grinding halt. One way to prevent that is to take advantage of the virtual deposition transcription tools I discussed in last month’s column. In that article, I provided an overview of virtual deposition transcription products and services that rely on videoconferencing tools and software platforms to facilitate remote depositions.

Another way business continuity has been maintained since March 2020 is via virtual court proceedings. Remote court appearances are now more common since courts periodically shifted to partial or fully remote operations throughout the pandemic. Many judges have become accustomed to and appreciate the convenience of virtual court proceedings, and many expect them to continue even after the pandemic ends.

Because all signs point to the continuation of virtual court proceedings, I promised in last month’s article that I would focus on remote court proceeding options in this column. These include software platforms and artificial intelligence language-processing tools that facilitate remote court proceedings.

Nicole’s article mentioned the following vendor/product:

Live Litigation -- Remote Solutions for Attending and Participating in Depositions, Trials, Hearings, Arbitrations, Mediations, Witness Prep, and more.

 

One-time jailhouse lawyer creates legal jobs program for the formerly incarcerated — from abajournal.com by Matt Reynolds

Excerpts:

Devon Simmons, co-founder and project director of a new program helping those with past convictions find work as paralegals and other jobs in the legal profession, says there’s a wealth of untapped legal talent among formerly incarcerated people.

Simmons emerged from prison 15 years later. By that time, he was a product of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“Once I came home, I would constantly see people unemployed who I had sat in the law library with,” Simmons says. “These individuals have legal expertise, but they’re not given the opportunity to utilize it. What if I could create a platform in which I could make that happen?”

 

2022 Outlook: 6 Legal Trends and Predictions to Have on Your Radar — from jdsupra.com by Vivian Susko

Excerpt:

In January, 2020, we made some bold predictions about what would lie ahead for legal operations in the new decade. Let’s dive back into some of our top forecasts, survey our new landscape, and see which legal trends are currently impacting the industry in 2022. Mitratech expert, Justin Silverman, weighs in on what you can expect to see on the horizon for legal ops.

Points on a radar screen

 

Seeing the possibilities, I finally took a chance. I studied English, political science and finite math, and each class I passed deepened my confidence and self-love.

This growing self-love was key to my academic development. Growing up, I didn’t experience much real love, outside of my mother and a few family members. I most often encountered the kind of false love expressed through violence and monetary possessions. College changed the way I thought about myself and others. I worked hand-in-hand with men from all backgrounds to complete assignments, and even taught other students. Before I knew it, I was getting A’s on my essays and solving quadratic equations in math class.

When people question why it’s important to educate prisoners, I remind them that to see change, we must support change. We must give individuals the opportunity to see themselves as more than the harm they’ve caused, more than what was once broken within them.

Christopher Blackwell

Also relevant/see:

Calvin University's Prison Initiative

 

University Behind Bars

 

The Skills Needed to Practice “New Law” — from abaforlawstudents.com by Ram Vasudevan

Excerpt:

…but proficiencies in technology, data and analytics, math and statistics, finance and budgeting, and large-scale project management are among the most valuable. Each of these skill sets now comes into play in the practice of law on a near-daily basis.

All these new legal competencies have in common the recognition that legal projects involve far more than legal skills. Too many lawyers, however, are still narrowly focused on the legal aspect of their work and are therefore missing out on a whole host of opportunities. Rising lawyers and law firm graduates who might have previously struggled to be part of the hiring conversation can now make themselves highly marketable by becoming experts in one or more of these areas and filling a pressing need in today’s legal organizations.

Also relevant/see:

 

The Pandemic Transitioned the Legal Industry Into the Digital Age — from by Yuri Vanetik
Covid-19 forced businesses and social interactions to rely on technology because of social distancing rules exacerbated by fear. The legal industry, being no exception, was forced to embrace technology, shedding unnecessary ritual and processes. The result became a more efficient industry, where client interests trump anachronistic conventions.

Excerpt:

Much has changed in the world of commerce since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The legal industry, a notorious stalwart, made a substantial leap, foregoing antiquated ritual-driven practices for technology-driven efficiency.

Technology and focus on the client, rather than wasteful processes, has become the new benchmark for lawyers who understand their business clients’ result-oriented expectations. The vast implementation of technology is the driving force in this pandemic paradigm. This modernization isn’t a mere facelift, but a restructuring of legal practice, including a major shift from a lawyer-centric to client-centric business dynamic.

Also relevant/see:

 

Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court

From DSC:
I realize I’m late with this, but I did insert it in my 4-7-22 posting and wanted to report it here as well. This is great news for the United States. I hope it is a major shot in the arm for diversifying the legal field.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian