A momentous change in the legal industry garnering little attention — from forbes.com by Hendrik Pretorius

Excerpt:

The needed evolution in legal service delivery may receive a big push in the near future. Surprisingly, this issue seems to be flying under the radar for many in the legal industry.

The California Bar, through its Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, created in 2018, seeks to “identify possible regulatory changes to enhance the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and online legal service delivery models.”

A report commissioned by this task force stated that “[m]odifying the ethics rules to facilitate greater collaboration across law and other disciplines will (1) drive down costs; (2) improve access; (3) increase predictability and transparency of legal services; (4) aid the growth of new businesses; and (5) elevate the reputation of the legal profession.”

 

Herein lies one of the fundamental challenges within the legal industry: viewing the law as the delivery of a legal product, and understanding that this delivery needs to revolve around the user, not the lawyer. There is a real and growing divide between the current model of legal service delivery put forth by a traditional law firm model and what the public wants. Consumers have raised the bar based on what they are experiencing in interacting with other businesses in other industries.

I love what many of these legal tech companies are doing: They are applying standards from outside the entrenched legal industry and changing entire delivery models. This should be a real wake-up call. But how can law firms truly compete and play a role?

 

Reflections on “DIY Mindset Reshaping Education” [Schaffhauser]

DIY Mindset Reshaping Education — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

A do-it-yourself mindset is changing the face of education worldwide, according to new survey results. Learners are “patching together” their education from a “menu of options,” including self-teaching, short courses and bootcamps, and they believe that self-service instruction will become even more prevalent for lifelong learning. In the United Sates specifically, 84 percent of people said learning would become even more self-service the older they get.

Among those who have needed to reskill in the last two years to continue doing their jobs, 42 percent found information online and taught themselves and 41 percent took a course or training offered by their employers, a professional association or bootcamp, compared to just 28 percent who pursued a professional certification program, 25 percent who enrolled in a university-level degree program or 12 percent who did nothing.

If people had to learn something new for their career quickly, they said they would be more likely turn to a short training program (47 percent), followed by access to a free resource such as YouTube, Lynda.com or Khan Academy (33 percent). A smaller share (20 percent) would head to an accredited university or college.

 

From DSC:
This is why the prediction from Thomas Frey carries weight and why I’ve been tracking a new learning platform for the 21st century. Given:

  • The exponential pace of technological change occurring in many societies throughout the globe

  • That emerging technologies are game-changers in many industries
  • That people will need to learn about those emerging technologies and how to leverage/use them <– if they want to remain marketable/employed
  • That people need to reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively
  • That many people can’t afford the time nor the funding necessary these days to acquire a four-year higher ed degree
  • That running new courses, programs, etc. through committees, faculty senates, etc. takes a great deal of time…and time is something we no longer have (given this new pace of change)

…there needs to be a new, up-to-date, highly responsive, inexpensive learning-related platform for the 21st century. I call this learning platform of the future, “Learning from the Living [Class] Room.” And while it requires subject matter experts / humans in significant ways, AI and other technologies will be embedded throughout such a platform.

 



 

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

source

 

Addendum on 9/18/19:

For $400 per course, students will be able to gain access to course videos that are cinematically filmed and taught by “some of the brightest minds in academia.” Outlier.org students will also have access to problem sets, one-on-one tutoring and assessments proctored through artificial intelligence.

 

 

5 emerging tech trends impacting the enterprise — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpts:

Gartner’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle focuses specifically on new technologies (not previously highlighted in past Hype Cycles) that “show promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years.” The five most impactful trends to watch this year are:

  1. Sensing and mobility.
  2. Augmented human.
  3. Postclassical compute and comms.
  4. Digital ecosystems.
  5. Advanced AI and analytics.
 

Someone is always listening — from Future Today Institute

Excerpt:

Very Near-Futures Scenarios (2020 – 2022):

  • OptimisticBig tech and consumer device industries agree to a single set of standards to inform people when they are being listened to. Devices now emit an audible ping and/ or a visible light anytime they are actively recording sound. While they need to store data in order to improve natural language understanding and other important AI systems, consumers now have access to a portal and can see, listen to, and erase their data at any time. In addition, consumers can choose to opt-out of storing their data to help improve AI systems.
  • Pragmatic: Big tech and consumer device industries preserve the status quo, which leads to more cases of machine eavesdropping and erodes public trust. Federal agencies open investigations into eavesdropping practices, which leads to a drop in share prices and a concern that more advanced biometric technologies could face debilitating regulation.
  • CatastrophicBig tech and consumer device industries collect and store our conversations surreptitiously while developing new ways to monetize that data. They anonymize and sell it to developers wanting to create their own voice apps or to research institutions wanting to do studies using real-world conversation. Some platforms develop lucrative fee structures allowing others access to our voice data: business intelligence firms, market research agencies, polling agencies, political parties and individual law enforcement organizations. Consumers have little to no ability to see and understand how their voice data are being used and by whom. Opting out of collection systems is intentionally opaque. Trust erodes. Civil unrest grows.

Action Meter:

 

Watchlist:

  • Google; Apple; Amazon; Microsoft; Salesforce; BioCatch; CrossMatch; ThreatMetrix; Electronic Frontier Foundation; World Privacy Forum; American Civil Liberties Union; IBM; Baidu; Tencent; Alibaba; Facebook; Electronic Frontier Foundation; European Union; government agencies worldwide.

 

 

Microsoft President: Democracy Is At Stake. Regulate Big Tech — from npr.org by Aarti Shahani

Excerpts:

Regulate us. That’s the unexpected message from one of the country’s leading tech executives. Microsoft President Brad Smith argues that governments need to put some “guardrails” around engineers and the tech titans they serve.

If public leaders don’t, he says, the Internet giants will cannibalize the very fabric of this country.

“We need to work together; we need to work with governments to protect, frankly, something that is far more important than technology: democracy. It was here before us. It needs to be here and healthy after us,” Smith says.

“Almost no technology has gone so entirely unregulated, for so long, as digital technology,” Smith says.

 

Technology as Part of the Culture for Legal Professionals -- a Q&A with Mary Grush and Daniel Christian

 


Technology as Part of the Culture for Legal Professionals A Q&A with Daniel Christian — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Daniel Christian

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Mary Grush: Why should new technologies be part of a legal education?

Daniel Christian: I think it’s a critical point because our society, at least in the United States — and many other countries as well — is being faced with a dramatic influx of emerging technologies. Whether we are talking about artificial intelligence, blockchain, Bitcoin, chatbots, facial recognition, natural language processing, big data, the Internet of Things, advanced robotics — any of dozens of new technologies — this is the environment that we are increasingly living in, and being impacted by, day to day.

It is so important for our nation that legal professionals — lawyers, judges, attorney generals, state representatives, and legislators among them — be up to speed as much as possible on the technologies that surround us: What are the issues their clients and constituents face? It’s important that legal professionals regularly pulse check the relevant landscapes to be sure that they are aware of the technologies that are coming down the pike. To help facilitate this habit, technology should be part of the culture for those who choose a career in law. (And what better time to help people start to build that habit than within the law schools of our nation?)

 

There is a real need for the legal realm to catch up with some of these emerging technologies, because right now, there aren’t many options for people to pursue. If the lawyers, and the legislators, and the judges don’t get up to speed, the “wild wests” out there will continue until they do.

 


 

Podcast: Susan Patrick on Transforming Education Systems for Equitable High-Quality Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark & Susan Patrick

Excerpts:

5 Global Trends

  1. Ensuring education systems are fit for purpose.
  2. Modernizing educator workforce and professional learning.
  3. Innovating education for equity, prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion.
  4. Aligning pathways from early childhood, K-12, college and workforce.
  5. Redesigning schools based on the learning sciences.
    In Fit for Purpose, Patrick and colleagues said, “A school redesign informed by learning sciences puts student success at its center. It incorporates youth development theory, culturally responsive teaching, and evidence-based approaches.” She added, “We must ensure we are designing for equity using research on how students learn best, youth development theory and evidence-based approaches.”


From DSC:

Below are the comments that I relayed back to Tom and Susan on Twitter:

“We need to keep asking– how do we design a system fit for the world we live in?” I thought that this was a great point from Susan. I would just add that not only do we need to look around at the current landscapes, but also what’s coming down the pike (i.e. the world that we will be living in). With the new pace of exponential change, our graduates will need to be able to pivot/adapt frequently and quickly.

Also, watching my wife’s experiences over the last few years, only one of the three school systems offered solid training and development. The other two school systems needed to pay much more attention to their onboarding and training programs. They needed to be far more supportive — working to establish a more team-oriented teaching and learning environment. While the corporate world can learn from the K-12 world often times, this is where the K-12 world could learn a lot to learn from the corporate world.

 

Justice for Some — from theatlantic.com and the American Bar Association (ABA)

Excerpts:

Today in the United States, millions of people like Carol lack access to basic legal resources for a variety of reasons. They forgo legal action because they find the system too overwhelming, for example, or because they perceive it to be too expensive. Many simply do not know when they qualify for legal services in the first place. And it isn’t an issue that affects only the elderly. Middle-class Americans, recent college graduates, first-generation immigrants, and new parents can all experience barriers to accessing the legal resources they need.

This issue affects lawyers, too.

DEFENDANTS FACING JAIL TIME in criminal cases have a constitutional right to be provided an attorney, but many people are surprised to learn there is no equivalent guarantee for individuals in civil cases. Typically, defendants in such cases—including divorces, domestic violence orders, home foreclosures, evictions, wills, and immigration applications—are responsible for attaining their own legal representation. And therein lies the gap.

By one estimate from the Legal Services Corporation1, 86 percent of low-income people with civil legal problems received inadequate or no legal help in the past year. Between 2015 and 2018, roughly 80 percent to 90 percent of domestic relations cases in Philadelphia involved at least one self-represented party. In 2016, 75 percent of low-income rural households experienced a civil legal problem, but only 22 percent sought professional legal help. And in 2017, 90 percent of evicted tenants in New York City never made an appearance in court.

 

“Search results have a huge influence on what people trust,” Hagan says. “If Google tells someone that an answer to their legal question is the number-one hit, people assume that it’s correct, unaware that it may be based on laws in another state. We have seen people click on Australian legal advice even if they’re in California.”

 

“We know the most successful technological solutions to the access-to-justice gap involve collaboration with lawyers, with technologists, with entrepreneurs and, hopefully to an increasing extent, with consumers,” Rodriguez says. “The object of what we’re doing is to improve the ability of lawyers to provide representation, not to supplant their businesses.”

 

The Age of AI: How Will In-house Law Departments Run in 10 Years? — from accdocket.com by Elizabeth Colombo

Excerpt:

2029 may feel far away right now, but all of this makes me wonder what in-house law might look like in 10 years. What will in-house law be like in an age of artificial intelligence (AI)? This article will look at how in-house law may be different in 10 years, focusing largely on anticipated changes to contract review and negotiation, and the workplace.

 

Also see:
A Primer on Using Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession — from jolt.law.harvard.edu by Lauri Donahue (2018)

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

How Are Lawyers Using AI?
Lawyers are already using AI to do things like reviewing documents during litigation and due diligence, analyzing contracts to determine whether they meet pre-determined criteria, performing legal research, and predicting case outcomes.


Document Review

Analyzing Contracts

Legal Research

Predicting Results
Lawyers are often called upon to predict the future: If I bring this case, how likely is it that I’ll win — and how much will it cost me? Should I settle this case (or take a plea), or take my chances at trial? More experienced lawyers are often better at making accurate predictions, because they have more years of data to work with.

However, no lawyer has complete knowledge of all the relevant data.

Because AI can access more of the relevant data, it can be better than lawyers at predicting the outcomes of legal disputes and proceedings, and thus helping clients make decisions. For example, a London law firm used data on the outcomes of 600 cases over 12 months to create a model for the viability of personal injury cases. Indeed, trained on 200 years of Supreme Court records, an AI is already better than many human experts at predicting SCOTUS decisions.

 

Digital workplaces are the future for the legal industry — from abovethelaw.com by James Lo
The speed of business is accelerating, and digital workplaces are answering the demand for a better way to work, by providing a single platform to manage content, people, and applications. 

Excerpt:

The consumerisation of enterprise technology has led to an increasing expectation from lawyers, clients, and business users alike that the legal technology they are using in the workplace for collaboration, knowledge management, transaction management, and more should be as useful, intuitive, and user-friendly as what they are already using at home on a day-to-day basis.

Digital workplaces are answering the demand for a better way to work, by providing a single platform to manage content, people, and applications. As law firms review their technology strategy for the next three to five years, there is an opportunity to create digital workplaces that will match how lawyers will want to work in the future. Within a digital workplace, a lawyer will have access to relevant data and content, collaborate with both clients and colleagues, share knowledge, and solve problems, all in real-time, from anywhere.

At the same time, clients are expecting firms to be using data, artificial intelligence and other technologies to predict outcomes, reduce costs, improve transparency and ultimately add value. 

 

The Adaptable Organization Series: Part 5: The Ecosystem — from capitalhblog.deloitte.com; posted by Don Miller and Tiffany McDowell

Excerpt:

In an Adaptable Organization, understanding the external environment becomes a continuous activity that fuels constant efforts to evolve the business.

Encouraging people to constantly sense the external environment helps people inside the organization to be open about what they are seeing and how they believe it will impact the organization.

It is a stark contrast to the “set it and forget it” strategy and organizational design that traditionally occurred every three to five years.

Yet this expansive system can easily become misaligned and requires a greater purpose to remain connected.

A shared purpose connects the ecosystem; defines success through the eyes of customers, stakeholders and society; and helps motivate people to succeed. Not only are Adaptable Organizations able to respond quickly to changes, but they also take their role as a social enterprise seriously, moving away from being solely a “business enterprise.” These organizations aim to engage and connect with the hearts and minds of their workers, customers, communities, and societies-at-large. Adaptable Organizations are grounded in social purpose and bring teams on a journey while responding to changes with agility, speed, and ease.

A shared purpose holds the ecosystem together. Direction is given from the shared purpose and not from an organizational hierarchy. By bringing a purpose statement to life and connecting the dots for workers through storytelling and meaningful narratives, workers are more likely to commit to the organization’s strategy and execution.

 


A Financial Crisis — Student Loan Debt — from freedomdebtrelief.com by Micahel Micheletti; with thanks to Aimée Bennett (APR, Principal, Fagan Business Communications, Inc.) for this resource

Key findings

1)  Impact of student loan debt on stress, day-to-day life (college attendees/grads)

  • 67% of respondents said the cost of their college education has caused them to feel overwhelmed.
  • 47% said their college education cost has contributed to mental or emotional health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression).
  • 38% said the cost has caused them to lose sleep at night.
  • 49% said the cost of their college education has impacted their choice of where to live.
  • 42% said it impacted their choice of careers or jobs.

2)  Impact of student loan debt on finances (college attendees/grads)

  • 59% respondents said they can’t save any money because of the cost of their college education.
  • 45% said they can’t go on vacation because of college costs.
  • 32% said they are carrying credit card debt because of college costs.
  • 48% said they have been unable to pay off (or down), or have delayed paying off (or down), other types of debt because of the cost of college.
  • 47% have been unable to, or have delayed contributing to, saving for emergencies.
  • 43% believe their college education cost has impacted their retirement age.

3) Willing to make sacrifices to eliminate student loan debt (college attendees/grads)

  • 52% of respondents said they would take a job with a salary less than what they expected if the company paid off their student debt.
  • 27% said they would be willing to commit a maximum of five years to a company if they paid off their student loans; 28% said they would be willing to commit more than five years.

4) Impact of child’s student loan debt on parents

  • 20% of parents said their child’s college education cost has contributed to mental or emotional health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression) of their own.
  • 20% of parents said their child’s college education cost has caused them to lose sleep at night.
  • 40% of parents believe their child’s college education cost has impacted their retirement age; 41% said the cost has impacted their overall retirement plan.
  • 42% said they had given up saving for retirement; 42% gave up going on vacation.

 

Additional survey findings

1) Student loan debt reforms

  • 54% of students said they feel that student loan debt should be forgiven by the federal government.
  • 63% of students, and 52% of parents, said they would support expanding student loan forgiveness for those in public service (e.g., teachers, government employees, first responders, military service).
  • 54% of students, and 42% of parents, said they would support free or subsidized tuition for low-income households.
  • 53% of students, and 50% of parents, said they would support tax breaks for companies that offer student-loan repayment programs.

2) Expected length of time to pay off student loan debt

3) Lack of knowledge of loan terms, types – among both college attendees/grads and parents

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 


From DSC:
This type of thing makes me wonder about the future of the legal profession as well. For example, here’s a relevant quote from The Uberization of Legal Technology by Felix Shipkevich:

In an age when there’s an app for everything, whether it’s to book air travel, rent a car, sell products or start a business, there wasn’t an app that could simply and easily connect you with legal counsel. Giving consumers a tool to book free consultations is the future of law, and the heart of attorney business development. 

Consumers have historically had little access to attorneys for a variety of reasons. First, unlike for doctors and mechanics, there is no annual legal checkup (though perhaps there should be). Consumers may be intimidated by not knowing costs upfront or even knowing if they have a case worth discussing. Assuming that every American will have at least three legal questions annually, there’s an untapped market of over a billion potential legal inquiries every year.


 

And by the way, as legal-related matters aren’t taught much in K-16, that’s an interesting idea:

First, unlike for doctors and mechanics, there is no annual legal checkup (though perhaps there should be).

 


 

 

After 40 Years of Constant Change, What’s Next for the Legal Industry?  — from law.com by Dan Packel
Few could have anticipated the dramatic shift in scope and scale the industry has undergone since The American Lawyer’s founding 40 years ago. We asked some of the law’s brightest thinkers what we can expect over the next 10.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Technology and Upheaval
While it’s easy to conclude that the technological revolution that’s already been unleashed will continue to drive transformation over the next 10 years, it’s harder to pinpoint how.

Expect more and more tasks to become subject to automation—not just contracts and e-discovery but also areas like trademarks and due diligence for mergers, for starters.

Technology and artificial intelligence on their own are noteworthy, but what’s more compelling is the impact they will have on how firms are structured.

“Everything that can be taken out of the hands of subject-matter experts and handed over to the process experts and technologists will be,” says Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Chairman and CEO Mitch Zuklie. “There will be far fewer associates sitting in rooms with documents and more strategic partnerships among law firms and legal tech providers.”

This transition could help chip away at the supremacy of the billable hour.

Not only will technology move up the value chain for litigation, it will also emerge as a greater player on the deal side. Jae Um, director of pricing strategy at Baker McKenzie, expects to see a much greater focus on compliance and regulatory technology in the next five years.

As AI solutions, which depend upon machine learning, are slowly deployed in the marketplace, their efficacy will inevitably grow.

 

How about a little wild speculation to wrap this up?  With more nonlawyer specialists finding professional homes in law firms, it’s a short leap to hybrids between law firms and professional services operations. Imagine consultants and accountants working together with lawyers and technologists to solve clients’ increasingly complex problems. And what about a high-profile merger between a Big Four firm and a global law firm? I wouldn’t rule it out.

 

 

Why GCs Aren’t Buying What Legal Tech Is Selling and Why It Matters for Firms — from law.com by Zach Warren and Gina Passarella Cipriani
Legal technology companies have to get out of their own way in vying for law department adoption, and buyers need to know what they want.

Excerpt:

The legal technology industry has some significant hurdles to overcome in its increased push to sell into legal departments, general counsel say. And GCs admit that they are part of the problem.

On the one hand, technology companies aren’t doing themselves any favors by flooding the market with, at times, dozens of the same offerings, few of which solve specific problems the in-house community has, GCs say. But at the same time, general counsel admit to being distracted, budget-constrained and often unfamiliar with the capabilities of the products they are being pitched.

“It’s overwhelming,” says HUB International chief legal officer John Albright. “There are hundreds of these vendors, and most of them you’ve never heard of.”

As Albright sees it, the legal technology industry is “heavily fragmented,” with vendors selling solutions to a discrete issue that doesn’t necessarily solve the full problem he has or fit into the larger organization’s information systems.

 

Also see:

  • Artificial Intelligence Further Exacerbates Inequality In Discrimination Lawsuits — from forbes.com by Patricia Barnes
    Excerpt:
    The legal system just keeps getting more and more unequal for American workers who are victims of employment discrimination, wage and hour theft, etc. The newest development is that America’s top employers and the law firms that represent them are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to automate their responses to workers’ legal claims, thereby increasing efficiency while cutting costs.
 

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