Delta Model Lawyer: Lawyer Competencies for the Computational Age — from law.mit.edu by Caitlin “Cat” Moon
Technology changes the ways that people interact with one another. As a result, the roles and competencies required for many professions are evolving. Law is no exception. Cat Moon offers the Delta Model as a tool for legal professionals to understand how adapt to these changes.

Excerpt:

The [law] schools must begin training the profession to cope with and understand computers. […] Minimizing the pain and problems which may be caused by computer-created unknowns is a responsibility of the profession.

 

The future of law and computational technologies: Two sides of the same coin — from law.mit.edu by Daniel Linna
Law and computation are often thought of as being two distinct fields. Increasingly, that is not the case. Dan Linna explores the ways a computational approach could help address some of the biggest challenges facing the legal industry.

Excerpt:

The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (“AI”) introduces opportunities to improve legal processes and facilitate social progress. At the same time, AI presents an original set of inherent risks and potential harms. From a Law and Computational Technologies perspective, these circumstances can be broadly separated into two categories. First, we can consider the ethics, regulations, and laws that apply to technology. Second, we can consider the use of technology to improve the delivery of legal services, justice systems, and the law itself. Each category presents an unprecedented opportunity to use significant technological advancements to preserve and expand the rule of law.

For basic legal needs, access to legal services might come in the form of smartphones or other devices that are capable of providing users with an inventory of their legal rights and obligations, as well as providing insights and solutions to common legal problems. Better yet, AI and pattern matching technologies can help catalyze the development of proactive approaches to identify potential legal problems and prevent them from arising, or at least mitigate their risk.

We risk squandering abundant opportunities to improve society with computational technologies if we fail to proactively create frameworks to embed ethics, regulation, and law into our processes by design and default.

To move forward, technologists and lawyers must radically expand current notions of interdisciplinary collaboration. Lawyers must learn about technology, and technologists must learn about the law.

 

 

Technology is increasingly being used to provide legal services, which demands a new breed of innovative lawyer for the 21st century. Law schools are launching specialist LL.M.s in response, giving students computing skills — from llm-guide.com by Seb Murray

Excerpts:

Junior lawyers at Big Law firms have long been expected to work grueling hours on manual and repetitive tasks like reviewing documents and doing due diligence. Increasingly, such work is being undertaken by machines – which can be faster, cheaper and more accurately than humans. This is the world of legal technology – the use of technology to provide legal services.

The top law schools recognize the need to train not just excellent lawyers but tech-savvy ones too, who understand the application of technology and its impact on the legal market. They are creating specialist courses for those who want to be more involved with the technology used to deliver legal advice.

“Technology is changing the way we live, work and interact,” says Alejandro Touriño, co-director of the course. “This new reality demands a new breed of lawyers who can adapt to the emerging paradigm. An innovative lawyer in the 21st century needs not only to be excellent in law, but also in the sector where their clients operate and the technologies they deal with.” 

The rapid growth in Legal Tech LL.M. offerings reflects a need in the professional world. Indeed, law firms know they need to become digital businesses in order to attract and retain clients and prospective employees.

 

From DSC:
In case it’s helpful or interesting, a person interested in a legal career needs to first get a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree, then pass the Bar. At that point, if they want to expand their knowledge in a certain area or areas, they can move on to getting an LL.M. Degree if they choose to.

As in the world of higher ed and also in the corporate training area, I have it that the legal field will need to move more towards the use of teams of specialists. There will be several members of the team NOT having law degrees. For example, technologists, programmers, user experience designers, etc. should be teaming up with lawyers more and more these days.

 

Going to court without a lawyer is new normal for U.S. litigants — from msn.com by Gwen Everett

Excerpt:

A fair shot at justice is a bedrock value of the American legal system, yet litigants who represent themselves against attorneys are unlikely to win their cases or settle on beneficial terms, according to Bonnie Hough, an attorney at the Judicial Council of California, the rule-making arm of the state’s court system. This reinforces the reality that America is split into two camps — the haves and the have-no-lawyers.

 

 

 

 

INSIGHT: Permanent verification — the best blockchain use case for lawyers — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Holly Urban

Excerpt:

In the legal sphere, many articles have addressed the ways blockchain systems can be used for “smart contracts,” financial transactions like with Bitcoin or Facebook’s Libra, or other more complex scenarios.

However, a frequently overlooked use case for blockchain in the legal industry is actually much more commonplace—the ability to use blockchain technology as a means to allow permanent verification of legally significant documents and data.

Using blockchain technology, lawyers can prevent fraud, alteration, or forgery of documents, contracts and other legal instruments, copyrighted materials, photographic or video evidence, and much more.

Traditional document verification methods relied almost exclusively on the slow, costly, and insecure use of third party verifiers. The advent of blockchain technology is primed to make these outmoded verification methods a thing of the past.

 

TECHREPORT 2019: Practice Management — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Alexander Paykin

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center surveyed a sample size of 53,252 attorneys regarding the technology and software both available and utilized in their firms. This TECHREPORT analyzes both the responses of these attorneys on a variety of technological developments and changes occurring in the legal industry and the existing trepidation to adopt certain technologies.

The world continues to shift towards a more technological focus, while the legal industry has not followed suit in many aspects. The use of practice management systems has not seen any real growth throughout the last four years despite high satisfaction ratings. There still remains a need for an all-inclusive practice management system that would not require firms to purchase a variety of different programs for specific tasks, and the switching costs of practice management systems remain a concern for many firms—particularly solo and large firms.

Overall, technology continues to be developed for the legal industry in abundance, however, in many sectors of the industry, various sized firms are hesitant to adopt these advancements, leading to steady or declining growth rates for much of these technologies. The size of the firm also has a large influence on the technologies a firm may adopt, and this makes it hard to predict what technologies may appeal to what firms.

Most law technology is still fairly new, and it has quite far to go before being developed enough to displace traditional ways of accomplishing tasks that many firms value now. There still exists a desire for more and newer technologies that will make this switch easier, and without the feasibility to switch to these software programs more efficiently and effectively, the legal industry will still wait to adapt to the evolving technological world around us.

 

Fill up on Legal Podcasts — from abovethelaw.com by Legal Talk Network
Bring productivity and entertainment to the table this Thanksgiving.

Excerpt:

If you’re looking for tips on handling stress in the profession, tune in for candid conversations about addiction and stress. Or if you’re interested in different kinds of system reform, tune in to hear about the experiences of lawyers fighting for death row and criminal justice reform. Or if you’re curious about current events, catch the funny and thoughtful takes of other legal professionals as they share their two cents. So while you sweat over the oven, pull up Legal Talk Network on your favorite podcast app and enjoy informational and engaging legal content designed with the busy lawyer in mind.

From DSC:
Podcasts are another example of tapping into the “streams of content” that are ever flowing by us.

 

How AI can help you be a better litigator— from law.com by Susan L. Shin
Litigators should be aware of some of the powerful AI and machine learning tools, which can quickly access and analyze large amounts of data and help us make better informed strategic decisions and improve the quality of our advocacy.

Excerpt:

Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in the e-discovery space for more than 10 years, AI is now capable of more complex litigation tasks, such as legal research, drafting pleadings, and predicting judicial decisions, in a fraction of the time it would take a human lawyer to do the same tasks. If AI can help lawyers and law firms more quickly process and analyze large amounts of data, and in turn, make the litigation process less expensive, faster and more efficient, why have litigators been so slow to adopt the newest technologies and capabilities? Understanding and demystifying what AI can and cannot do (i.e., it can help automate the more mundane, repetitive legal tasks and analyze large amounts of data, but it cannot negotiate, advocate, or provide sophisticated legal advice) might help litigators not fear, but rather, embrace AI as a way to access larger pools of data, make more informed strategic choices in their advocacy, and provide better and more efficient legal services to clients.

 

A face-scanning algorithm increasingly decides whether you deserve the job — from washingtonpost.com by Drew Harwell
HireVue claims it uses artificial intelligence to decide who’s best for a job. Outside experts call it ‘profoundly disturbing.’

Excerpt:

An artificial intelligence hiring system has become a powerful gatekeeper for some of America’s most prominent employers, reshaping how companies assess their workforce — and how prospective employees prove their worth.

Designed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue, the system uses candidates’ computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before ranking them against other applicants based on an automatically generated “employability” score.

 

The system, they argue, will assume a critical role in helping decide a person’s career. But they doubt it even knows what it’s looking for: Just what does the perfect employee look and sound like, anyway?

“It’s a profoundly disturbing development that we have proprietary technology that claims to differentiate between a productive worker and a worker who isn’t fit, based on their facial movements, their tone of voice, their mannerisms,” said Meredith Whittaker, a co-founder of the AI Now Institute, a research center in New York.

 

From DSC:
If you haven’t been screened out by an algorithm from an Applicant Tracking System recently, then you haven’t been looking for a job in the last few years. If that’s the case:

  • Then you might not be very interested in this posting.
  • You will be very surprised in the future, when you do need to search for a new job.

Because the truth is, it’s very difficult to get the eyes of a human being to even look at your resume and/or to meet you in person. The above posting/article should disturb you even more. I don’t think that the programmers have programmed everything inside an experienced HR professional’s mind.

 

Also see:

  • In case after case, courts reshape the rules around AI — from muckrock.com
    AI Now Institute recommends improvements and highlights key AI litigation
    Excerpt:
    When undercover officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office bought crack cocaine from someone in 2015, they couldn’t actually identify the seller. Less than a year later, though, Willie Allen Lynch was sentenced to 8 years in prison, picked through a facial recognition system. He’s still fighting in court over how the technology was used, and his case and others like it could ultimately shape the use of algorithms going forward, according to a new report.
 

Law librarians & the future of law firms — from aallnet.org by Jordan Furlong

Excerpt:

Law firms that want to win the highest-value, most complex work from clients will need more than just smart lawyers. They will need powerful knowledge engines to augment and amplify the skills of those lawyers, while also constituting capital assets that accrue in size and value every year. Law libraries and legal information professionals hold the key to assembling and growing such engines, and they are, therefore, the key to the future sustainability and competitiveness of the firms themselves.

 

Discover legal tech by checking out techindex.law.stanford.edu

 

Per their website:

This database is built on a growing community of legal technology companies worldwide. Our Twitter stream gives you a real time glance of what the companies in our database are sharing.

 

There are major issues with AI. This article shows how far the legal realm is in wrestling with emerging technologies.

What happens when employers can read your facial expressions? — from nytimes.com by Evan Selinger and Woodrow Hartzog
The benefits do not come close to outweighing the risks.

Excerpts:

The essential and unavoidable risks of deploying these tools are becoming apparent. A majority of Americans have functionally been put in a perpetual police lineup simply for getting a driver’s license: Their D.M.V. images are turned into faceprints for government tracking with few limits. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are using facial recognition technology to scan state driver’s license databases without citizens’ knowing. Detroit aspires to use facial recognition for round-the-clock monitoring. Americans are losing due-process protections, and even law-abiding citizens cannot confidently engage in free association, free movement and free speech without fear of being tracked.

 “Notice and choice” has been an abysmal failure. Social media companies, airlines and retailers overhype the short-term benefits of facial recognition while using unreadable privacy policiesClose X and vague disclaimers that make it hard to understand how the technology endangers users’ privacy and freedom.

 

From DSC:
This article illustrates how far behind the legal realm is in the United States when we look at where our society is at with wrestling with emerging technologies. Dealing with this relatively new *exponential* pace of change is very difficult for many of our institutions to deal with (higher education and the legal realm come to my mind here).

 

 

2019 Legal Trends Report — from clio.com

Excerpts:

Get access to the legal industry’s first longitudinal analysis on how law firms succeed—and how they struggle. You’ll also get critical insights into how today’s legal consumer shops for legal services.

This year’s report also includes results from our in-depth analysis of law firm responsiveness, where we put firms to the test with 1,000 emails and 500 phone calls.

 

Clio's Legal Trends Report for 2019

 

Also see:

 

 

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