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

 


 

Blurring the lines between education and workforce — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
A proposition to ‘blur’ the boundaries between K-12, higher ed, and the workforce industry

Excerpts:

One idea that’s been gaining steam since last year is to break down barriers between high school, college and career to create a system that bridges all three.

The concept is called the “Big Blur.”

“What would it look like to change the typical, or what we think of as the conventional high school experience and instead design something that was built for the modern economy?” said Vargas.

Vargas said that JFF is arguing for new programs or institutions that serve students in grades 11 through 14 (grades 13 and 14 being the first two years of college, under our current configuration). The institutions would be co-designed with regional employers so that all students get work-based learning experiences and graduate — without tuition costs — with a post-secondary credential that has labor market value.

 

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.

 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

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.

 

Second Chance Pell helps deliver degrees to over 9,000 incarcerated students — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak

Excerpts:

“Some programs may start as a real passion of an individual faculty member,” she said. “But in order for them to be sustainable, programs need cross-college support. Students need things like academic advising and access to library services. We’re seeing more and more of that, which is terrific.”

The existence and funding of such programs benefits people both in and out of the prison system. Inmates who participate in correctional education programs are 28% less likely to return to prison after their release than those who don’t, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of research. And research suggests that offering postsecondary programs could reduce levels of violence in prison.

 

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:

 

Higher ed investments in student systems doubled last year, report finds — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Dive Brief:

  • Higher education investments in student technology systems doubled in 2021 compared to the year before, marking the largest annual increase over the past decade, according to a new report from the Tambellini Group, a technology research and advisory firm.
  • However, many college leaders are hesitant to invest in modern cloud student systems because most of these products still lack the functionalities institutions seek. The Tambellini Group based its findings on technology spending by more than 3,600 U.S. institutions.
  • Vendors are adding new tools and enhancements to their student technology systems to respond to increased pressures on colleges to improve their enrollment, retention and other student success metrics. That includes by providing engagement analytics and automated alerts.

Also from highereddive.com:

 

Will Learning Move into the Metaverse? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Pamela Hogle

Excerpt:

In its 2022 Tech Trends report, the Future Today Institute predicts that, “The future of work will become more digitally immersive as companies deploy virtual meeting platforms, digital experiences, and mixed reality worlds.”

Learning leaders are likely to spearhead the integration of their organizations’ workers into a metaverse, whether by providing training in using the tools that make a metaverse possible or through developing training and performance support resources that learners will use in an immersive environment.

Advantages of moving some workplace collaboration and learning into a metaverse include ease of scaling and globalization. The Tech Trends report mentions personalization at scale and easy multilingual translation as advantages of “synthetic media”—algorithmically generated digital content, which could proliferate in metaverses.

Also see:

Future Institute Today -- Tech Trends 2022


Also from learningsolutionsmag.com, see:

Manage Diverse Learning Ecosystems with Federated Governance

Excerpt:

So, over time, the L&D departments eventually go back to calling their own shots.

What does this mean for the learning ecosystem? If each L&D team chooses its own learning platforms, maintenance and support will be a nightmare. Each L&D department may be happy with the autonomy but learners have no patience for navigating multiple LMSs or going to several systems to get their training records.

Creating common infrastructure among dispersed groups
Here you have the problem: How can groups that have no accountability to each other share a common infrastructure?

 

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. 

 

ED and ISTE Launch Initiative to Improve Tech Proficiency of New Teachers to Increase Digital Equity — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall

Excerpt:

The International Society for Technology in Education and the U.S. Department of Education today launched an initiative to help educator preparation programs update their curriculum and methods to ensure new teachers enter the workforce with the digital learning skills needed to lead equitable learning in modern tech-enabled classrooms, according to a news release.

 

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.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian