AI-related tools and tips dominate ’60 in 60′ Techshow session — from abajournal.com by Danielle Braff

Four days of seminars, lectures and demonstrations at the 39th annual ABA Techshow boiled down to Saturday morning’s grand finale, where panelists rounded up their favorite tech tips and apps. The underlying theme: artificial intelligence.

“It’s an amazing tool, but it’s kind of scary, so watch out,” said Cynthia Thomas, the Techshow co-chair, and owner of PLMC & Associates, talking about the new tool from OpenAI, Sora, which takes text and turns it into video.

Other panelists during the traditional Techshow closer, “60 sites, 60 tips and gadgets and gizmos,” highlighted a wide of AI-enabled or augmented tools to help users perform a large range of tasks, including quickly sift through user reviews for products, generate content, or keep up-to-date on the latest AI tools. For those looking for a non-AI tips and tools, they also suggested several devices, websites, tips and apps that have helped them with their practice and with life in general.


ABA Techshow 2024: Ethics in the Age of Legal Technology — from bnnbreaking.com by Rafia Tasleem

ABA Techshow 2024 stressed the importance of ethics in legal technology adoption. Ethics lawyer Stuart I. Teicher warned of the potential data breaches and urged attorneys to be proactive in understanding and supervising new tools. Education and oversight are key to maintaining data protection and integrity.


Startup Alley Competition Proves It Continues To Be All About AI — from abovethelaw.com by Joe Patrice

Though it might be more accurate to call TECHSHOW an industry showcase because with each passing year it seems that more and more of the show involves other tech companies looking to scoop up enterprising new companies. A tone that’s set by the conference’s opening event: the annual Startup Alley pitch competition.

This year, 15 companies presented. If you were taking a shot every time someone mentioned “AI” then my condolences because you are now dead. If you included “machine learning” or “large language model” then you’ve died, come back as a zombie, and been killed again.


Here Are the Winners of ABA Techshow’s 8th Annual Startup Alley Pitch Competition — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Here were the companies that won the top three spots:

  1. AltFee, a product that helps law firms replace the billable hour with fixed-fee pricing.
  2. Skribe.ai, an alternative to traditional court reporting that promises “a better way to take testimony.”
  3. Paxton AI, an AI legal assistant.

Class action firms ask US federal courts to encourage virtual testimony — from reuters.com by Nate Raymond

Summary:

  • Lawyers at Hagens Berman are leading charge to change rules
  • Proposal asks judiciary to ‘effectuate a long overdue modernization’ of rules

 

Better Call GPT, Comparing Large Language Models Against Lawyers — from arxiv.org by Lauren Martin, Nick Whitehouse, Stephanie Yiu, Lizzie Catterson, & Rivindu Perera; via Azeem Azhar and Chantal Smith

This paper presents a groundbreaking comparison between Large Language Models (LLMs) and traditional legal contract reviewers—Junior Lawyers and Legal Process Outsourcers (LPOs). We dissect whether LLMs can outperform humans in accuracy, speed, and cost-efficiency during contract review. Our empirical analysis benchmarks LLMs against a ground truth set by Senior Lawyers, uncovering that advanced models match or exceed human accuracy in determining legal issues. In speed, LLMs complete reviews in mere seconds, eclipsing the hours required by their human counterparts. Cost-wise, LLMs operate at a fraction of the price, offering a staggering 99.97 percent reduction in cost over traditional methods. These results are not just statistics—they signal a seismic shift in legal practice. LLMs stand poised to disrupt the legal industry, enhancing accessibility and efficiency of legal services. Our research asserts that the era of LLM dominance in legal contract review is upon us, challenging the status quo and calling for a reimagined future of legal workflows.


Unraveling the Legal Tech Ecosystem: How People, Processes, and Tech Work Together — from legaltalknetwork.com by Colin Levy, JoAnn Hathaway, and Molly Ranns

Technology can help you solve problems in your law firm, connect with clients, save time and money, and so much more. But, how do you know what tech will work best for your practice? Molly Ranns and JoAnn Hathaway talk with Colin Levy about understanding and utilizing technology, common mistakes in choosing new tools, and ways to overcome tech-related fear and anxiety.


Legalweek Roundup: Top Takeaways for Litigation Teams — from jdsupra.com

Every time we attend Legalweek, we have a unique opportunity to tap into the collective knowledge of hundreds of legal professionals. This year at Legalweek 2024 we talked with peers in a wide variety of roles, from litigation support professionals and lawyers to partners and heads of innovation. Throughout the sessions and discussions,  we started to notice a few common themes, interesting trends, and helpful insights.

Here’s the best of what we learned.


 

15 legal Substacks worth your time — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
It’s my great pleasure to return the compliment of a Substack Recommendation and direct your attention to these terrific legal newsletters.

In alphabetical order, they are:

  1. Daniel’s in-house legal newsletter, by Daniel Van Binsbergen, CEO at Lexoo, London. “One useful insight, idea or framework for in-house lawyers, every week.”
    —> Recommended post: Receiving feedback hurts
  2. Durant’s Rants, by Erin Durant, litigator, founder of Durant Barristers, Russell, ON. “Hot takes from an Ontario law firm. Home of the tea for subscribers.”
    —> Recommended post: Where have all the mid-career lawyers gone?
  3. GeoLegal Notes, by Sean West, Co-Founder Hence Technologies, Santa Monica, CA. “Bridging the gap between global affairs and legal practice; helping equip legal leaders to thrive against a backdrop of increasing global complexity.”
    —> Recommended post: Law and Politics of Supply Chains for Goods, AI and Knowledge

In addition…please also take a moment to click through and check out these ten other excellent newsletters:


Lawyering in the Age of Artificial Intelligence — from papers.ssrn.com and the University of Minnesota Law School by Jonathan H. Choi, Amy Monahan, & Daniel Schwarcz; via Tom Barrett

Abstract
We conducted the first randomized controlled trial to study the effect of AI assistance on human legal analysis. We randomly assigned law school students to complete realistic legal tasks either with or without the assistance of GPT-4. We tracked how long the students took on each task and blind-graded the results. We found that access to GPT-4 only slightly and inconsistently improved the quality of participants’ legal analysis but induced large and consistent increases in speed. AI assistance improved the quality of output unevenly—where it was useful at all, the lowest-skilled participants saw the largest improvements. On the other hand, AI assistance saved participants roughly the same amount of time regardless of their baseline speed. In follow up surveys, participants reported increased satisfaction from using AI to complete legal tasks and correctly predicted the tasks for which GPT-4 were most helpful. These results have important descriptive and normative implications for the future of lawyering. Descriptively, they suggest that AI assistance can significantly improve productivity and satisfaction, and that they can be selectively employed by lawyers in areas where they are most useful. Because these tools have an equalizing effect on performance, they may also promote equality in a famously unequal profession. Normatively, our findings suggest that law schools, lawyers, judges, and clients should affirmatively embrace AI tools and plan for a future in which they will become widespread.


Legal Week 2024 Special Part One: Joey Seeber of Level Legal — from geeklawblog.com by Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

Welcome to the first of a few special Legal Week 2024 edition episodes of “The Geek in Review,” where we looked for innovative and creative ideas on the road and recorded live from the bustling environment of the 2024 Legal Week conference in New York.

Marlene Gebauer notes the transformation of Legal Week into a thought leadership conference, with a special mention of keynote speaker Bryan Cranston’s impactful talk on storytelling, branding, and the thoughtful application of AI in both the acting world and the legal tech space.


LegalWeek 2024 Special Part Two: Mollie Nichols and Mark Noel from Redgrave Data — from geeklawblog.com by Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

In the second of a special series of interviews from Legal Week 2024 , co-hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer welcomed Mollie Nichols, CEO, and Mark Noel, Chief Information and Technology Officer of Redgrave Data. Nichols and Noel discuss Redgrave Data’s mission to cut through the hype of legal tech innovations, particularly generative AI. Nichols emphasized the company’s focus on delivering custom solutions that meet clients’ actual needs and highlighted the importance of educating the legal community on effectively integrating new technologies into their practices.

Mark Noel emphasized the strategic addition of data scientists to their team, enabling Redgrave Data to develop and advise on cutting-edge technologies. He stressed the importance of applying generative AI judiciously, pointing out its limitations and the potential for misuse if not properly vetted. Noel and Nichols shared insights on navigating the legal tech landscape, emphasizing efficiency, data management, and the careful evaluation of tech solutions.


LexisNexis Report: What Every C Suite Leader Needs to Know about Legal AI — from deweybstrategic.com by  Jean O’Grady

Today LexisNexis Legal & Professional, released results from a survey of senior leadership at top U.S. law firms and legal professionals at Fortune 1000 companies. The survey 2024 Investing in Legal Innovation Survey: The Rise of GenAI at Top Firms & Corporations  explores  the business impact of generative AI technology on the legal industry.

I can’t recall any prior technology that has simultaneously trigged both of breathless enthusiasm and panicked resistance . While the technology shows game changing promise, there are significant ethical, client relations, security and intellectual property concerns which still need to be addressed. The C-Suite survey charts the issues of concern where are impeding adoption of GenAI.


GenAI for Law Is Like Google Maps (for Lawyers) — from elevate.law by Pratik Patel

These days, whenever a customer asks me for my view of generative AI for law and where and how they should be using it, I reply with a simple analogy: Think ‘Google Maps for lawyers’.

Analogising generative AI for law to mapping technology begins with thinking about legal matters as journeys. A similar conceptualisation appears in a recent article by Justin Turman, legal systems and processes manager at Stryker, with legal work as flight paths. Either way, you have a desired destination (winning a lawsuit, closing a deal, finalising a contract, etc.) and many possible ‘routes’ reflecting various strategic and tactical decisions along the way. At various junctures, it is helpful to get intelligence and directions on how to proceed. And, as with driving (or flying), circumstances are subject to change along the way – newly discovered facts, shifts in goals, etc.


Law Student’s Gen AI Product, Lexplug, Makes Briefing Cases A Breeze — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Based on that bathroom-break induced inspiration, Neal went on to develop — and this week launch — Lexplug, a site developed for law students “to make interacting with cases more accessible, efficient, and engaging.”

Search, Query and Simplify Case BriefsAt its core, Lexplug is a library of case briefs, all created by Neal using GPT-4. So far, he has created 7,000 briefs, and hopes to have 50,000 by the end of the year. To decide which cases to prioritize, he collected a variety of syllabi for basic law school courses such as constitutional law and torts and extracted the key cases. He also has the full text of every briefed case.


The Justice Gap in Legal Tech: A Tale of Two Conferences and the Implications for A2J — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

But there is another, related, kind of justice gap in this country. It is the funding gap between those who are developing legal technology to better meet the legal needs of low-income Americans and those who are developing legal tech to serve large law firms and corporate legal departments.

At Legalweek, the focus of the conference is almost exclusively on tech for large law firms and corporate legal departments. The sponsors and exhibitors are focused on products for e-discovery, contract lifecycle management, large firm financial and business management, and the like. The programs, similarly, focus on data privacy, e-discovery, information governance, contract technology, and large-scale litigation.

The exhibit hall spans three floors, the booths are big and bright, and the vendors seemingly all throw parties that are over the top, or quite literally near the top, at venues such as the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center, with freely flowing alcohol and plenty of food.

By contrast, at the ITC conference, the attendees come mostly from the ranks of legal aid offices, pro-bono programs, court self-help staff, and the like. The programs focus on how understaffed legal aid offices and understaffed courts and understaffed community programs can use technology to help meet the influx of low-income people seeking legal help.

The juxtaposition of the glitziness of one conference and the modesty of the other speaks to the larger issue of inequity in legal tech – and specifically financial inequity.

 

From DSC:
How does this sentence hit you? I read it in a fictional book recently and it gave me pause.

…we don’t have a justice system in this country. We have a legal system.


Innovative New Project Launches to Increase Access to Justice for the Overlooked Middle Class — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

An important addition to the national access to justice landscape, the Above the Line Network (ATLN) has launched today to tackle the daunting challenges that middle-class Americans face when seeking legal help that doesn’t break the bank. While most organized access to justice efforts rightly focus on low-income and poor people who are especially vulnerable, we can never achieve our nation’s ideal of equal justice for all when middle-class people—who make up more than 50% of the nation’s population— and small businesses struggle to find quality, affordable legal services. They are “above the line” of income eligibility for the free legal aid reserved for the poorest Americans, but they also struggle to find quality and affordable legal services in the current legal market.


Top legal tech trends for businesses to watch in 2024 — from verdict.co.uk by

  • Data protection: a new regulator, more reforms and continued enforcement
  • Online reforms and increased regulation

2024 in-house legal outlook series: GCs, CLOs ready for hard decisions — from legaldive.com by Lyle Moran and Robert Freedman
Legal leaders look at practical generative AI use cases and get tough on outside counsel spend, among other priorities this year.

General counsel and chief legal officers will do more work in-house with the help of tech investments, especially as more legal tech companies add generative AI and other types of artificial intelligence capabilities to the tools they offer in-house teams. At the same time, legal leaders will be exploring ways to reduce outside counsel costs, in part by giving work to smaller firms and reserving the most complex work for the largest firms.


Politico Launches AI-generated Bill Summaries Available to Politico Pro Subscribers — from politico.com by Melissa Cooke; via The Neuron

ARLINGTON, Va. – POLITICO, today announced the launch of a new, innovative feature allowing POLITICO Pro users to quickly review an AI-generated summary of Federal bills, rapidly accessing critical legislative context while benefiting from the in-depth analysis and insights that subscribers rely upon. POLITICO Pro is the leading subscription policy intelligence platform.


Legaltech is revolutionizing the way lawyers work — from verdict.co.uk by
Legaltech focuses on increasing work efficiency by addressing important but low-value or high-volume work to provide more time for lawyers to work on tasks requiring a higher skill set.

For example, in February 2023, Allen & Overy launched its generative AI platform, integrating Harvey (based on GPT-4 technology by OpenAI), into its global practice to help its lawyers with drafting legal documentation. In December 2023, Allen & Overy also created an AI contract negotiation tool, ContractMatrix, in partnership with Harvey. The firm estimates that the tool saves around seven hours when negotiating a contract. When discussing these innovations, David Wakeling, Head of the Markets Innovation Group at Allen & Overy explained that the firm’s goal was to “disrupt the legal market before someone disrupts us.”


 

 

Firms must continue to evolve to remain relevant — from lawyersweekly.com.au by Emma Musgrave
Law firms of all shapes and sizes must continue to reinvent themselves beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two senior leaders at Piper Alderman.

“So [it’s] not saying, ‘We’re going to roll out ChatGPT across the board and use that’; it’s finding some particular cases that might be useful,” he explained.

“We’ve had, for example, [instances] where lawyers have said, ‘We’ve got a bunch of documents we use on a regular basis or a bunch of devices we use on a regular basis. Can we put these into ChatGPT and see if we can [find a] better way of pulling data out of things?’ And so use cases like that where people are coming up with ideas and trying them out and seeing how they go and [questioning whether] we roll this out more widely? I think that’s the approach that seems to be the best.”


Is Legal Technology the Future of Legal Services? — from lawfuel.com by Kelli Hall

Impact of Legal Technology on the Legal Industry

  • Virtual simulations and unrecognizable deep-fakes
  • eDiscovery investigations and the potential for cyberattacks
  • Enhancing efficiency, but potential risk for data leakage
  • Automation of administrative tasks and rapid data research

Revolutionizing Law Firm Strategies With AI And SEO — from abovethelaw.com by Annette Choti
Explore how AI and SEO are transforming law firm strategies, from automated keyword research to predictive SEO and voice recognition technology.

AI and SEO are two powerful technologies transforming the digital world for legal offices. AI can enhance SEO strategies, offering a competitive edge in search engine rankings. AI can streamline your content creation process. Learn about machine learning’s role in enhancing content optimization, contributing to more targeted and effective marketing efforts.


Navigating Gen AI In Legal: Insights From CES And A Dash Of Tequila Thinking — from abovethelaw.com by Stephen Embry
What should be our true north in making decisions about how to use technology?

Embracing Gen AI in Legal
So in all the Gen AI smoke and handwringing, lets first identify what we excel at as lawyers. What only we as lawyers are qualified to do. Then, when it comes to technology and the flavor of the day, Gen AI, let’s look relentlessly at how we can eliminate the time we spend on anything else. Let technology free us up for the work only we can do.

That’s Satya Nadella’s advice. And Microsoft has done pretty well under his leadership.


From Gavels to Algorithms: Judge Xavier Rodriguez Discusses the Future of Law and AI — from jdsupra.com by

It’s a rare privilege to converse with a visionary like Judge Xavier Rodriguez, who has seamlessly blended the realms of justice, law, and technology. His journey from a medieval history enthusiast to a United States district court judge specializing in eDiscovery and AI is inspiring.

Judge Rodriguez provides an insightful perspective on the need for clear AI regulations. He delves into the technical aspects and underscores the potential of AI to democratize the legal system. He envisions AI as a transformative force capable of simplifying the complexities that often make legal services out of reach for many.

Judge Rodriguez champions a progressive approach to legal education, emphasizing the urgency of integrating technology competence into the curriculum. This foresight will prepare future lawyers for a world where AI tools are as commonplace as legal pads, fostering a sense of anticipation for the future of legal practice.


 

 

CES 2024: Unveiling The Future Of Legal Through Consumer Innovations — from abovethelaw.com by Stephen Embry
The ripple effects on the legal industry are real.

The Emerging Role of Smart TVs
Boothe and Comiskey claim that our TVs will become even smarter and better connected to the web and the internet. Our TVs will become an intelligent center for a variety of applications powered through our smartphone. TVs will be able to direct things like appliances and security cameras. Perhaps even more importantly, our TVs can become e-commerce centers, allowing us to speak with them and conduct business.

This increased TV capability means that the TV could become a more dominant mode of working and computing for lawyers. As TVs become more integrated with the internet and capable of functioning as communication hubs, they could potentially replace traditional computing devices in legal settings. With features like voice control and pattern recognition, TVs could serve as efficient tools for such things as document preparation and client meetings.

From DSC:
Now imagine the power of voice-enabled chatbots and the like. We could be videoconferencing (or holograming) with clients, and be able to access information at the same time. Language translation — like that in the Timekettle product — will be built in.

I also wonder how this type of functionality will play out in lifelong learning from our living rooms.

Learning from the Living AI-Based Class Room

 


Also, some other legaltech-related items:


Are Tomorrow’s Lawyers Prepared for Legal’s Tech Future? 4 Recent Trends Shaping Legal Education | Legaltech News — from law.com (behind paywall)

Legal Tech Predictions for 2024: Embracing a New Era of Innovation — from jdsupra.com

As we step into 2024, the legal industry continues to be reshaped by technological advancements. This year promises to bring new developments that could revolutionize how legal professionals work and interact with clients. Here are key predictions for legal tech in 2024:

Miss the Legaltech Week 2023 Year-in-Review Show? Here’s the Recording — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Last Friday was Legaltech Week’s year-end show, in which our panel of journalists and bloggers picked the year’s top stories in legal tech and innovation.

So what were the top stories? Well, if you missed it, no worries. Here’s the video:

 


On a somewhat related note, also see:

Building a lawyer support ecosystem — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
Pro sports teams invest serious resources to maximize the performance of their highly skilled, uniquely specialized professionals. Why don’t law firms do the same?

So my advice to law firms here is simple: Create more support for your lawyers and other professionals. Design and build ecosystems for the training, support, and personal and professional development of these highly skilled, uniquely specialized, and strategically critical human assets. Hire more full-time business coaches, skill trainers, and relationship managers. Spend money on these supportive measures now, or face massive bills down the road for the repair and replacement of the people you worked so hard to recruit.


How to Include Design Thinking and Project Management Principles in Legal Work (Katherine Porter, The Resourceful Lawyer) — from tlpodcast.com

Katherine discusses her unique approach to problem-solving in the legal field, which involves design thinking and project management principles. Katherine explains the importance of lawyers understanding client needs, the process of workflow mapping, and the challenges of implementing new processes in law firms.

Katherine also emphasizes that empathy and understanding the client journey is a must when designing effective legal services. In the end, she also gives some real world tips about where to begin working in project management principles into legal practice.


TEN THINGS: BEST BLOGS (AND OTHER MEDIA) FOR IN-HOUSE LAWYERS (2023 EDITION) — from tenthings.blog by

Like every year, I end 2023 with a blog featuring all the other people you should be reading (or listening to) as part of your day-to-day in-house life. For me, the hard part is choosing just a few to highlight. There are so many great content generators out there fighting for your (and my) attention. Unfortunately, I cannot list everyone (and I rarely repeat listing anyone I have listed in the past, i.e., I just assume you know they are still worth your time – they are!). [2] And, if you are interested in past winners, you can start by reading last year’s edition of “Best Blogs (and Other Media) for In-House Lawyers.” Instead, I try to list some new voices for you to check out. And, same as always, there is no particular order to my list (literally I am just typing as I find things in my Post-it notes, faulty memory, and Google Keep folders). Okay, where was I…? Right, enough yakking, let’s get on with the 2023 edition of Best Blogs and Other Media for In-House Counsel!


6 in-house legal trends to watch in 2024 — from legaldive.com from Lyle Moran and Robert Freedman
AI, labor, antitrust, bankruptcies, women GCs and cross-collaboration are among the headlines in-house counsel can expect this year.


 

 

Survey Results Predict Top Legal Technology Trends for 2024 — from jdsupra.com

In the 2023 Litigation Support Trend Survey, U.S. Legal Support asked lawyers and legal professionals what technology trends they observed in 2023, and how they expect their use of technology to change in 2024.

Now, the results are in—check out the findings below.

Topics included:

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence
  • Prevalence of Remote Depositions
  • Digital Reporting

Speaking of legaltech and/or how emerging technologies are impacting the legal realm, also see:

 

My 40 Most-Read Blog Posts This Year Tell A Story Of A Legal Industry Consumed With Generative AI — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Look over this list of my blog posts that were most popular this year, and there is no doubt about the topic that most captivated the legal industry. Of my 40 most-read posts of 2023, 30 directly involved generative AI and others implicated it.


What I’m watching for in 2024 — from alexofftherecord.com by Alex Su
My view of the legal ecosystem, and why I’m going to pay close attention to generative AI, new Biglaw offerings, and the rise of “independent” attorneys

Today, instead of sharing my predictions about what’s coming to the legal industry, I’ll share where I think the most action will take place next year. In short, it’s (1) generative AI; (2) Biglaw firms adding low-cost capabilities; and (3) strong bench talent among independent attorneys. Before I get into why, I’ll share some observations on the past, and the trends I’m seeing take place right now.


Navigating Ediscovery and AI in Legal Tech – 2023 Trends — from jdsupra.com

In 2023, the legal landscape has been significantly shaped by two key trends: the rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the advancements in ediscovery. These developments have not only transformed legal processes but also presented new challenges and opportunities for legal professionals. As we delve into this first part of our series, we examine the top blogs that have been at the forefront of these trends. These articles offer a window into the current state of legal tech, providing invaluable insights into how these technological advances are reshaping the practice of law.


The Metaverse: A new dimension for legal services — from connections.nortonrosefulbright.com by Lena Haffner

Some of the topics mentioned include:

  • Virtual law offices
  • Enhanced client communication
  • Virtual pitches
  • Client education and workshops
  • Virtual asset inspections and tours
  • Enhanced due diligence

The Digital Era: How Technology is Changing the Way We Hire a Lawyer — from medium.com by Hire 4

In the fast-paced world of the digital era, technology is revolutionizing almost every aspect of our lives, and the legal field is no exception. The traditional process to hire a lawyer, once dominated by word-of-mouth referrals and physical law firm visits, is undergoing a transformation. This shift is not just changing how clients find and interact with legal professionals, but also how legal services are delivered and experienced. In this blog, we delve into the ways technology is reshaping the landscape of hiring a lawyer.


Finding The Right Virtual Assistant For Your Legal Practice — from forbes.com by Raquel Gomes

A virtual assistant can perform administrative tasks for a firm, from client communication and appointment scheduling to legal research, contract management and accounting. Delegating these tasks can be an effective way to free up lawyers to do what they do best. Based on my work with virtual assistants, here are some of the potential benefits and also tips on how you can find a VA who best fits the needs of your practice.


Addendum on 1/2/24:

YEAR IN REVIEW: The top legal technology trends of 2023 — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

The changing mindset of lawyers toward technology
In 2023, there was a noticeable shift in the mindset of legal professionals. While its direct health impacts remain uncertain, the pandemic’s influence in accelerating technology adoption has been undeniable. Lawyers and judges, traditionally viewed as tech-averse, are now embracing tools like Zoom, iPads and smartwatches with surprising enthusiasm.

Post-pandemic, as lawyers returned to offices—often in a hybrid model—they displayed a newfound curiosity about technology. This change in attitude came at an opportune moment, coinciding with the introduction of new generative AI technologies in the legal field even as legal technology funding declined.


Addendum on 1/2/24:

US Supreme Court’s Roberts urges ‘caution’ as AI reshapes legal field — from reuters.com by John Kruzel

WASHINGTON, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Artificial intelligence represents a mixed blessing for the legal field, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in a year-end report published on Sunday, urging “caution and humility” as the evolving technology transforms how judges and lawyers go about their work.

Roberts struck an ambivalent tone in his 13-page report. He said AI had potential to increase access to justice for indigent litigants, revolutionize legal research and assist courts in resolving cases more quickly and cheaply while also pointing to privacy concerns and the current technology’s inability to replicate human discretion.

“I predict that human judges will be around for a while,” Roberts wrote. “But with equal confidence I predict that judicial work – particularly at the trial level – will be significantly affected by AI.”

 

Regarding this Tweet on X/Twitter:


To Unleash Legal Tech, Lawyers And Engineers Need To Talk — from forbes.com by Tanguy Chau

Here, I’ll explore some ways that engineers and lawyers see the world differently based on their strengths and experiences, and I’ll explain how they can better communicate to build better software products, especially in AI, for attorneys. Ideally, this will lead to happier lawyers and more satisfied clients.


Zuputo: Africa’s first women-led legal tech startup launches — from myjoyonline.com

A groundbreaking legal tech startup, Zuputo, is set to reshape the legal landscape across Africa by making legal services more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly.

Founded by Jessie Abugre and Nana Adwoa Amponsah-Mensah, this women-led venture has become synonymous with simplicity and efficiency in legal solutions.


 


New Resource Catalogs and Makes Searchable Nearly 600 GPTs Related to Law, Tax and Regulatory Issues — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

But if you are looking for a law-related GPT, a new site can help. Raymond Blyd, the Amsterdam-based cofounder of Legalpioneer, a site that lists law-related companies, and CEO of Legalcomplex, a company that tracks investments and market data, has uncovered nearly 600 law-related GPTs and made them searchable on a new resource he calls Legalpioneer Copilot.

Blyd (who recently changed the spelling of his last name from Blijd) told me that the GPTs he has found cover a range of legal, regulatory and tax issues, and could be useful for academics, professionals and businesses.


With Launch of New AI Features, LawToolBox Is First Legal App Approved for Use with Copilot for Microsoft 365 — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi


How It Works: AutoNDA, A Free Platform to Automate NDAs Under the Open Source oneNDA Standard — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

AutoNDA is designed for inhouse legal and business teams that need to streamline and centralize the NDA process. It enables self-serve access for your business teams and gives in-house teams control over outbound NDAs. It also stores and organizes all completed NDAs.


On LawNext: The Law Students Working to End Racism in the Legal System — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice?


From DSC:
As you can see from the above items, Mr. David Goodrich, a great human being and a fellow Instructional Designer, had a great comment and question regarding the source of my hope that AI — and other forms of legaltech — could significantly provide more access to justice here in America. Our civil justice system has some serious problems — involving such areas as housing, employment, healthcare, education, families, and more.

I’d like to respond to that question here.

First of all, I completely get what David is saying. I, too, have serious doubts that our horrible access to justice (#A2J) situation will get better. Why? Because:

  • Many people working within the legal field like it this way, as they are all but assured victory in most of the civil lawsuits out there.
  • The Bar Associations of most of the states do not support changes that would threaten their incomes/livelihoods. This is especially true in California and Florida.
  • The legal field in general is not composed, for the most part, of highly innovative people who make things happen for the benefit of others. For example, the American Bar Association is 20+ years behind in terms of providing the level of online-based learning opportunities that they should be offering. They very tightly control how legal education is delivered in the U.S.

Here are several areas that provide me with hope for our future


There are innovative individuals out there fighting for change.
And though some of these individuals don’t reside in the United States, their work still impacts many here in America. For examples, see:

There are innovative new companies, firms, and other types of organizations out there fighting for change. For examples:

There are innovative new tools and technologies out there such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) 
    • AI and machine learning remain pivotal in legaltech, especially for in-house lawyers who deal with vast quantities of contracts and complex legal matters. In 2024, these technologies will be integral for legal research, contract review, and the drafting of legal documents. Statistics from the Tech & the Law 2023 Report state more than three in five corporate legal departments (61%) have adopted generative AI in some capacity, with 7% actively using generative AI in their day-to-day work. With constant improvements to LLM (Large Language Models) by the big players, i.e. OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft (via OpenAI), 2024 will see more opportunities open and efficiencies gained for legal teams. (Source)
    • From drafting contracts to answering legal questions and summarising legal issues, AI is revolutionising the legal profession and although viewed with a sceptical eye by some law firms, is generally perceived to be capable of bringing huge benefits. (Source)
    • Legal bots like Harvey will assist lawyers with discovery.
  • Technology-assisted review (TAR) in e-discovery
  • Due to COVID 19, there were virtual courtrooms set up and just like with virtual/online-based learning within higher education, many judges, litigants, lawyers, and staff appreciated the time savings and productivity gains. Along these lines, see Richard Susskind’s work. [Richard] predicts a world of online courts, AI-based global legal businesses, disruptive legal technologies, liberalized markets, commoditization, alternative sourcing, simulated practice on the metaverse, and many new legal jobs. (Source)

There are innovative states out there fighting for change. For examples:

  • Utah in 2020 launched a pilot program that suspended ethics rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership of legal services providers and let non-lawyers apply for a waiver to offer certain legal services. (Source)
  • Arizona in 2021 changed its regulatory rules to allow for non-lawyer ownership. (Source)
  • Alaska with their Alaska Legal Services Corporation
  • …and others

And the last one — but certainly not the least one — is where my faith comes into play. I believe that the Triune God exists — The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit — and that the LORD is very active in our lives and throughout the globe. And one of the things the LORD values highly is JUSTICE. For examples:

  • Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice. Proverbs 29:26 NIV
  • These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; Zechariah 8:16 NIV
  • …and many others as can be seen below

The LORD values JUSTICE greatly!


So I believe that the LORD will actively help us provide greater access to justice in America.


Well…there you have it David. Thanks for your question/comment! I appreciate it!

 

7 legaltech trends to watch in 2024 — from lexology.com by Sacha Kirk

Legal technology, or ‘legaltech’, is transforming the legal sector by automating processes and enhancing the provision of legal services. As we approach 2024, several trends within this field are particularly worth keeping an eye on. These not only promise to streamline legal operations but will also help increase the in-house legal department’s visibility and value to the organisation.

Here are seven legaltech trends poised to make an impact in the coming year.

1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
AI and machine learning remain pivotal in legaltech, especially for in-house lawyers who deal with vast quantities of contracts and complex legal matters. In 2024, these technologies will be integral for legal research, contract review, and the drafting of legal documents. Statistics from the Tech & the Law 2023 Report state more than three in five corporate legal departments (61%) have adopted generative AI in some capacity, with 7% actively using generative AI in their day-to-day work. With constant improvements to LLM (Large Language Models) by the big players, i.e. OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft (via OpenAI), 2024 will see more opportunities open and efficiencies gained for legal teams.


Our top 5 legal technology trends predicted for 2024 — from legalfutures.co.uk

5. ID verification software
With identity fraud on the increase there is a growing demand from the Government for people to be identified with accuracy and they are proposing to pass legislation in February 2024 that will tighten the requirements for the professional organisations involved.  They will promote the use of technology to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions including mortgage fraud where according to Experian’s Report “the greatest jump in fraud cases has been seen …. with fraud increasing from around 41 cases to around 52 cases per 10,000 applications.”


Guest Post: The Year in Justice Tech: 2023 Report and News Roundup — from lawnext.com by Maya Markovich, executive director of the Justice Technology Association

In 2023, the justice tech ecosystem continued to grow rapidly, with a significant increase in solutions addressing access to justice-related challenges for consumers. Justice tech caught the interest of both impact investors, as well as those seeking opportunities to fund the disruption of antiquated systems via technology.


Consulting Giants See AI Shaving Years Off the Path to Partner — from bloomberg.com by Irina Anghel

  • To make it to partner level typically takes at least a decade
  • AI seen freeing up junior staffers to do more meaningful work

Consulting giants and law firms are looking to artificial intelligence to speed up the time it takes junior staffers to make it to the prestigious partner level as the technology eliminates vast swaths of the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that typically filled up their first few years on the job.


Stock Up 10% in December; Unveils Groundbreaking Initiatives — from in.investing.com by Aayush Khanna (India)

Excerpt from DSC — and I’m not out to give legal or investing advice. I just really appreciated the list of legaltech-related innovations:

In the LegalTech realm, QiLegal emerges as a robust cloud-based platform, aiming to digitize the legal framework. Envisaged to propel the justice system with Virtual Courts, Online Dispute Resolution, and AI-enabled Drafting, QiLegal responds to the estimated USD 100 billion global LegalTech market.


The essential role of creator and customer collaboration in legal tech — from legaldive.com by Relativity (sponsored content; emphasis below from DSC)

However, with these high stakes and wide margins for error in hand, the accuracy, defensibility, and reliability of that AI is subject to intense professional and judicial scrutiny. And for good reason: anything less than the thoughtful, intentional development of specifically fit-for-purpose AI applications in this realm can contribute to the loss of millions of dollars, the livelihoods of countless individuals, and deeply damaging miscarriages of justice.


Generative AI and the small law firm: The value of legal domain expertise — from thomsonreuters.com by Mark Haddad
In our new blog series, we continue to discuss how small law firms can leverage their natural advantages with generative artificial intelligence to compete at a higher level

Gen AI presents unprecedented opportunities for small law firms to compete.

The idea that legal Gen AI means turning over legal decision-making to a machine overlooks the importance of the data portion of the Venn diagram above. A properly trained and targeted Gen AI application for legal use will build on the work of lawyers in the form of cases, statutes, briefs and memoranda, how-to guides, contracts, client advisories, templates — all the esoteric and robust data that results from lawyers’ expertise and knowledge.

All law firms, even smaller ones, have an opportunity to leverage their own data assets against competitors at scale once their lawyers identify and curate the appropriate critical data sets from within their firm and embed them within the AI solution. This proprietary data can be combined with larger pools of data from authoritative external sources like trusted legal content sources to further strengthen the responses that the Gen AI tool provides.


AAA® Launches New AAAi Lab Offering Products, Education, Guidance & News Resources — from prnewswire.com by American Arbitration Assocation
Latest Technology Innovation Seeks to Support AAA Users, Arbitrators & Broader Legal Community with Incorporating Generative AI into ADR Processes

NEW YORKDec. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The American Arbitration Association® (AAA) and its international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR®), announces the launch of the AAAi Lab, a web center supporting AAA users, arbitrators, in-house counsel and law firms with policy guidance, educational webinars and tools for embracing generative AI in alternative dispute resolution.


ANALYSIS: Most M&A Attorneys Would Use AI for Due Diligence — from news.bloomberglaw.com by Abena Opong-Fosu

Artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated almost every facet of daily life. For M&A lawyers, exposure to AI and machine learning tools likely comes from deals involving the buying and selling of AI companies as well as through the software the lawyers use on a daily basis.

Most deal lawyers who responded to a recent Bloomberg Law survey said that they’re open to using AI at some point in dealmaking.

 

Can new AI help to level up the scales of justice? — from gtlaw.com.au by Peter Waters, Jason Oliver, and David Baddeley

So asks a recent study by two academics from Stanford Law School, David Freeman Engstrom and Nora Freeman Engstrom, on the potential impact of AI on the civil litigation landscape in the US.

It is against this landscape, the study observes, that champions of legal tech have suggested that there is an opportunity for legal tech to “democratise” litigation and put litigation’s “haves” and “have nots” on a more equal footing, by arming smaller firms and sole practitioners with the tools necessary to do battle against their better resourced opponents, and cutting the cost of legal services, putting lawyers within reach of a wider swathe of people.

But is this a real opportunity, and will AI be key to its realisation?

However, while AI may reduce the justice gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” of litigation, it could also exacerbate existing inequalities.

From DSC:
While this article approaches things from the lawyer’s viewpoint, I’d like to see this question and the use of AI from the common man’s/woman’s viewpoint. Why? In order to provide FAR GREATER access to justice (#A2J) for those who can’t afford a lawyer as they head into the civil law courtrooms.

  • Should I take my case to court? Do I have a chance to win this case? If so, how?
  • What forms do I need to complete if I’m going to go to court?
  • When and how do I address the judge?
  • What does my landlord have to do?
  • How do I prevent myself from falling into a debt-collection mess and/or what options do I have to get out of this mess?
  • Are there any lawyers in my area who would take my case on a pro bono basis?
  • …and judges and lawyers — as well as former litigants — could add many more questions (and answers) to this list

Bottom line:
It is my hope that technology can help increase access to justice.


Also relevant/see:

Virtual Justice? Exploring AI’s impact on legal accessibility — from nortonrosefulbright.com by Chris Owen and Mary-Frances Murphy

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A number of products are already under development, or have been launched. One example is a project that Norton Rose Fulbright is working on, together with not-for-profit legal service Justice Connect. The scope is to develop an automated natural language processing AI model that seeks to interpret the ‘everyday’ language used by clients in order to identify the client’s legal issues and correctly diagnose their legal problem. This tool is aimed at addressing the struggles that individuals often face in deciphering legal jargon and understanding the nature of their legal issue and the type of lawyer, or legal support, they need to resolve that problem.

 

Thomson Reuters’ AI debut signals a new era of widespread AI integration in legaltech — from nydailyrecord.com by Nicole Black

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that legal technology companies have joined the fray. Since early 2023, over one hundred announcements from legal technology companies have emerged, detailing plans to incorporate generative AI functionality into their products. Although most products are stillfirm;eta, rest assured that regardless of the software platforms used in your firm, you can expect that generative AI will soon be seamlessly integrated into the tools that are part of the daily workflows of legal professionals in your firm.

Proof in point: Wednesday’s generative AI announcements from Thomson Reuters offer strong evidence that we’re entering a new era of widespread AI integration. For Thomson Reuter’s legal customers, the integrated generative AI experience will soon be a reality and readily accessible across several different products. This newfound capability largely stems from leveraging CoCounsel, a generative AI legal assistant tool acquired by Thomson Reuters as part of the acquisition of Casetext for $650 million, which was completed in August.

Ironcrow AI’s LLM Sandbox: Setting an Industry Standard — from mccrus.com by McCoy Russell; with thanks to Mr. Justin Wagner out on LinkedIn for this resource

As an innovative firm, McCoy Russell has been at the forefront of patent law with its development and use of proprietary AI software via its software arm Ironcrow AI. Recently, Ironcrow has invested substantial efforts to create a specialized AI LLM Sandbox as a key tool for patent professionals.

Ironcrow is excited to announce a groundbreaking achievement in the field of AI/ML for Patent Law professionals – Ironcrow’s specialized AI LLM Sandbox has achieved a score above the 70% threshold required to pass the patent bar exam, using a test set of questions. While other researchers have developed tools to pass a state bar exam, none have attempted to pass the specialized patent bar exam administered by the USPTO.

This remarkable feat showcases the innovation by the Ironcrow and McCoy Russell partnership and the ability of the LLM Sandbox’s “Interrogate” feature to answer questions based on the knowledge of the patent procedure. The Sandbox can provide well-cited answers along with relevant excerpts from the MPEP, etc., to its users. This unique feature sets Ironcrow AI’s LLM Sandbox apart from other systems in the market.

 

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian