Legal Technology: Why the Legal Tech Boom is Just Getting Started — from nasdaq.com by Casey Flaherty and Jae Um of LexFusion; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource via his Lawtomatic Newsletter, Issue #136

Excerpt:

In quick succession, legal technology finally saw its first IPOs:

With private money pouring into legal tech startups and based on our own conversations inside the industry, we at LexFusion expect more IPOs on the horizon. Thus, a primer on legal tech as a category to watch. This Part I summarizes the legal market fundamentals driving unprecedented investment in enabling tech—much of which extends beyond the boundaries implied by “legal” as a descriptor.

A pivot point appears to be upon us. Considered unthinkable a decade ago, US states and Canadian provinces—following similar reforms in the UK and Australia that have resulted in the first publicly traded law firms—are rapidly creating regulatory sandboxes to expand current rules limiting (a) who can provide legal services and (b) who can own those businesses.

From DSC:
One can see why #AI will become key. “…the projected CAGR for global data volumes is 26%—to pt where ‘the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years.’ This data explosion complicates even standard legal matters.”

Gabe also mentioned the following Tweet, which is relevant for this posting:

 
 

The Disruption Of Legal Services Is Here — from forbes.com by John Arsneault

Excerpt:

For the first time in those 12 years, I am now convinced we are on the precipice of the promised disruption in legal. Not because anyone in the law firms are driving toward this — but because venture capital and tech innovators have finally turned their attention to the industry.

Legal services are a much smaller overall market than, say, retail, financial services or biotech. In the world of disruption and the promised gold rush for the companies that do the disrupting, size matters. Legal has just been low on the industry list. Its number is now up.

It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback that industry now. Easy to see how big of a threat Amazon was to those companies. But when you are being rewarded for doing what you have always done and what your predecessors always did, it’s easy to miss what is around the bend. By the time those companies’ executives realized Amazon was a direct competitor with a much better fulfillment model, it was too late.

 

ANALYSIS: Break Down Barriers to Legal Tech Usage With Training — from news.blooberlaw.com by Francis Boustany

Excerpt:

Many law firms and legal departments report barriers to using legal technology, and insufficient training may be a root cause. To help break down these barriers, organizations should consider creating more opportunities for their lawyers and staff to train on legal technology.

When asked to select what barriers to using legal technologies exist at their organizations, respondents to Bloomberg Law’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey indicated that the top obstacles are a lack of tech savvy, a lack of familiarity with available technology, and not enough time to learn the technology.


From DSC:
If it’s not already in place, all law schools should be offering curricula in this area from here on out.

 

Legal Tech’s Predictions for Legal Technology Innovation in 2022 — from legalreader.com by Smith Johnes

Excerpts:

  • By 2024, non-lawyer workers will replace 20% of generalist lawyers in legal departments.
  • Legal departments will have automated half of legal work connected to big corporate transactions by 2024.
  • Legal departments will triple their investment in legal technology by 2025.

From DSC:
What are the ramifications for law schools and legal departments if these legal tech-related predictions come true?

 

[CA] State Bar Proposes Allowing “Paraprofessionals” to Practice Law — from acbanet.org by Tiela Chalmers

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The [CA] State Bar currently has committees working on two proposals that would, if approved, have huge impact on the legal profession. Both committees are working on amending the legal regulatory system to address ways to expand the resources available to those needing legal help. One committee is looking particularly at tech solutions, including permitting Artificial Intelligence solutions that would automate answers to legal questions. But this blog post will focus on the one that is farther along in development – permitting “paraprofessionals” to practice some types of law, with various restrictions.

Also see:

California Paraprofessional Program Working Group — from calbar.ca.gov

Excerpt:

The State Bar’s recently published California Justice Gap Study: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Californians, found that 55 percent of Californians experience at least one civil legal problem in their household each year, and Californians received no or inadequate legal help for 85 percent of these problems. A lack of knowledge about what constitutes a legal issue and concerns about legal costs lead many Californians to deal with problems on their own rather than seek legal help. A thoughtfully designed and appropriately regulated paraprofessionals program is an important component of the solution to the access to legal services crisis in California by expanding the pool of available and affordable legal service providers.

 

US Justice Needs Data Reveals No Americans Unaffected by Justice Crisis — from legaltechmonitor.com by Logan Cornett

Excerpt:

It’s no secret that the United States is deeply embroiled in a justice crisis. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the U.S. ranks 30th out of the world’s 37 high-income countries on the civil justice factor and 22nd on the criminal justice factor. Numerous studies have shone light on aspects of the crisis—some focusing on how it impacts low-income Americans, others homing in on the crisis’s effects in specific geographic regions. Now, with the new report from IAALS’ and HiiL’s joint US Justice Needs project, we have data from more than 10,000 surveyed individuals that illuminates the contours of the justice crisis in this country.

 

New Study Reveals the Full Extent of the Access to Justice Crisis in America — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

“The findings of this survey,” says Dr. Martin Gramatikov, Measuring Justice Director at HiiL, “indicate what our research has historically shown—that oftentimes the more developed a nation is, the more justice needs exist in the population, and the greater the challenge of access to justice for all. While it is widely understood that there is an access to justice problem in the United States, the full extent of the justice crisis has been less clear, until now. With the results of this survey, and IAALS’ focus on evidence-based reform, we can begin to truly understand the scope of the problem, and work towards the changes needed to address this justice gap.”

On an annual basis, that translates to 55 million Americans who experience 260 million legal problems. A considerable proportion of these problems—120 million—are not resolved or are concluded in a manner which is perceived as unfair. This study shows that access to justice challenges are significant and pervasive.

 

Jeremiah 9:23-24 New International Version — from biblegateway.com

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

 

NLADA Welcomes DOJ’s Advice to Chief Justices to Ensure Fair Process to Keep Families in Their Homes — from nlada.org

Excerpts:

NLADA welcomes the Associate Attorney General’s letter urging Chief Justices and State Court Administrators to consider eviction diversion strategies that can help families avoid the disruption and damage that evictions cause. Together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium and the additional steps announced by the White House, this letter is an important tool in a package of federal resources to help our country and courts navigate this crisis.

The housing crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, disproportionally affects women and communities of color. More than 80 percent of people facing eviction are Black. We know that when families have access to counsel provided by civil legal aid attorneys, approximately 80 percent of families stay in their homes, and that rates of homelessness have had a direct correlation to coronavirus rates. These numbers represent men, women and children who are integral to communities across the country, and we are pleased by today’s actions to help families and communities struggling in our nation.

 

 

 

Career Tracker: Virtual firms hit an industry milestone as hires continue — from reuters.com by Sara Merken & Arriana Mclymore

Virtual law firm FisherBroyles announced Tuesday that it has cracked the Am Law 200, saying it’s the first non-traditional, so-called distributed law firm to rank among the top 200 highest-grossing U.S. firms.

The 300-partner firm said its annual gross revenue reached $113 million in 2020, adding that in the last year alone it added 51 new partners “almost entirely from Am Law 100 and 200 ranked firms.” It cited the role of the pandemic, which upended expectations about remote work, in spurring its growth and accelerating the adoption of its mostly cloud-based approach to legal services.

 
 

Unbundled law firms find success offering virtual legal services — from abajournal.com by Lyle Moran; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Law Shop by Skogerson McGinn in Van Meter, Iowa, provides unbundled legal services, which means it helps clients with specific legal tasks rather than assisting them with their entire cases or matters.

In the family law realm, its unbundled offerings include coaching self-represented litigants on filling out divorce forms and preparing child support worksheets.

By emphasizing this nontraditional approach, also known as limited-scope representation, The Law Shop has attracted inquiries from consumers across the state seeking affordable legal assistance.

 

Law Society votes to approve regulatory sandbox for innovative legal tech development — from lawtimesnews.com by Aidan Macnab

Excerpt:

At Convocation Thursday morning, the Law Society of Ontario passed a motion to launch a five-year regulatory sandbox pilot for innovative legal tech services.

The initiative recommended by the Law Society’s technology task force would open up a regulatory safe zone for innovative technological legal services. Participants will report to and be monitored by the Law Society, which will study the sandbox to inform policy and regulatory decision-making.

Rocket Lawyer Raises $223 Million To Meet Growing Demand For Its Services — from lawsitesblog.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

The online legal services provider Rocket Lawyer has raised $223 million in growth capital financing to help it meet what it says has been a strong and accelerating demand for its digital legal documents and advice.

Legal technology start-up JUSTLAW notches an impressive milestone — from einnews.com
Small business legal protection offering experiences rapid growth.

Excerpt:

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, April 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Launched in 2020 in the face of the worst pandemic in a century, legal tech startup JUSTLAW set out with the lofty vision to give ordinary Americans access to top attorneys on a 24/7 basis. It’s working. The number of small businesses enrolled in its small business legal protection plan just surpassed 1,000.

 

All Eyes on Utah: Launching the ‘First Nonlawyer-Owned’ Law Firm — from law.com by Alaina Lancaster
Daniel Wilde, an attorney for Law On Call, which claims to be the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the nation, says the entire country can benefit from the innovative business models coming out of Utah.

Excerpt:

[The week of April 5], a registered agent service provider announced that it launched the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the United States.

The move comes after the Utah Supreme Court approved a pilot program that would allow nonlawyers to provide certain legal services—a proposition that’s been kicked around in California, Arizona, Illinois and the District of Columbia. Under Northwest Registered Agent’s Law On Call model, clients can pay a $9 monthly subscription, where they can ring up lawyers directly. They can also hire Law on Call’s attorneys for legal work at discounted rates.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian