The Great Resignation: The toll taken on the legal field and what comes next — from abajournal.com by Thomas MacDonald

Excerpt:

The pandemic has reshaped thinking around the value of work. The Thomson Reuters Stellar Performance: Skills and Progression Mid-Year Survey uncovered three specific priorities legal professionals are factoring into their career decisions.

  • Balance: Young professionals are more in tune with work-life balance and place a higher value on mental well-being, leisure and other activities outside of work than previous generations.
  • Family: A higher percentage of the professional workforce are mothers. Likewise, men are taking a more active role in child-rearing than previous generations, as younger professionals juggle more domestic responsibilities across the board.
  • The Long Game: Many Generation X and millennial employees have long since conceded that their retirement will likely come much later in life than their elder counterparts. The prospect of working for an extra decade—or more—has tempered the enthusiasm for grinding away during their formative years.

Also relevant/see the following articles:

8 Legal Experts on the Future of the Billable Hour — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Are you still billing by the hour? The reality is that most lawyers are and plenty will still be using it in the year 2032. However, many legal experts agree: the billable hour is under pressure, forcing lawyers to investigate other billing methods as well.

Laura Rosseel, Senior Associate at Cambrian, explains clearly why the billable hour is a topic for discussion: ‘There are countless arguments against working with billable hours. Invoicing based on billable hours puts the risk of both unpredictability in the scope of work as well as potential inefficiency on the client, instead of the law firm that is providing the service.

‘It does not differentiate based on the value of the task at hand, the urgency, or the time of day (or night), with which the task is carried out. Additionally, it is a performance metric for lawyers that favours working more over working better, and the relentless pressure is causing junior and mid-level lawyers to leave their firms.’

Digital exhaustion: Redefining work-life balance — from enterprisersproject.com by Irvin Bishop Jr.
Is your team suffering from the digital exhaustion that so often comes with remote and hybrid work? Consider these strategies to ease the stress

As workers continue to create and collaborate in digital spaces, one of the best things we can do as leaders is to let go. Let go of preconceived schedules, of always knowing what someone is working on, of dictating when and how a project should be accomplished – in effect, let go of micromanagement. Instead, focus on hiring productive, competent workers and trust them to do their jobs. Don’t manage tasks – gauge results. Use benchmarks and deadlines to assess effectiveness and success.

What did we learn at the CLOC Conference? — from zachabramowitz.substack.com by Zach Abramowitz
QR Codes, Outside Counsel Startups Make Great Shirts and Standing Out in a Sea of CLM

Some of the tools/products/vendors Zach mentioned were:

 

How Can a University Help Your Leadership Development Program? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Gaylen Paulson

Excerpt:

For L&D or HR departments, executive education offers a solution for upskilling employees and improving the effectiveness of company leaders. Programs are highly flexible and can target the development needs of a few individuals, a large project team, or a pipeline of future leaders. With additional flexibility on duration, location, and competency areas, executive education can deliver a range of solutions customized to your organization’s specific needs.

4 questions to ask when considering a leadership development program:

Also from learningsolutionsmag.com see:

How to Get Started with Chunking & Sequencing eLearning Design — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Madeleine MacDonald, Shweta Shukla, Lisa A. Giacumo

Also for Training / L&D Departments, see:

Using VR to enhance your DEI training — from chieflearningofficer.com by Scott Stachiw

Excerpt:

VR provides a vehicle with which several specific DEI issues can be dealt in particularly enlightening ways, such as:

  • Unconscious bias.
  • Microaggressions.
  • Showing empathy.
  • Acting as an ally.
 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 

China is about to regulate AI—and the world is watching — from wired.com by Jennifer Conrad
Sweeping rules will cover algorithms that set prices, control search results, recommend videos, and filter content.

Excerpt:

Some provisions aim to address complaints about online services. Under the rules, for instance, companies will be prohibited from using personal characteristics to offer users different prices for a product; they also will be required to notify users, and allow them to opt out, when algorithms are used to make recommendations.

Companies that violate the rules could face fines, be barred from enrolling new users, have their business licenses pulled, or see their websites or apps shut down.

Some elements of the new regulations may prove difficult or impossible to enforce. It can be technically challenging to police the behavior of an algorithm that is continually changing due to new input, for instance.

 

Education Needs a Reset. We Can Start by Listening to Our Teachers. — from edsurge.com by Elissa Vanaver

Excerpts:

What too few politicians and parents are talking about, though, is the dire state of the career pipeline for teachers, the ones we’ll be depending on to lead the post-pandemic learning recovery in our classrooms over the next few years—not to mention for the next generation.

Valuing teachers is the systemic path to centering students. In order to move the needle, we must go beyond what teachers need to do to address root causes that require cultural and systemic change. Here are a few things it will take:

  1. Understanding that teaching and learning are inherently relational and the power relationships have on student and teacher success.
  2. Centering the joy of learning and making classrooms a place students and teachers want to be.
  3. Creating an empowered teaching culture to advocate for children and encouraging creativity that optimizes engagement.
  4. Fostering culturally responsive methods through continuous mentoring by exceptional, experienced educators.
  5. Developing partnerships with quality teacher preparation programs for coherent and supportive career pathways.

From DSC:
When I used to work in customer service and also in technical support at Baxter Healthcare, I always thought that management should be listening closely to those employees who were on the front lines — i.e., those of us who were in regular contact with Baxter’s customers. Similarly, the teachers are on the front lines within education. We need to give them a huge say in what happens in the future of the preK-12 learning ecosystems. We also need the students’ voices to be heard big time.

Also popular last month from edsure.com, see:

 

Native American Students Can Now Attend U. of California Tuition-Free — from chronicle.com by Abbi Ross

Excerpt:

Native American students who are California residents will no longer have to pay tuition or fees at one of the nation’s largest public-university systems — a decision that some say is a long-overdue acknowledgment of past harms.

The University of California system said this week that all in-state students who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes will have tuition and fees — about $14,000 each year — waived starting this fall. Then, on Wednesday, one of California’s recognized tribes announced a $2.5 million scholarship fund that will cover tuition and fees for in-state students from unrecognized tribes.

From DSC:
Given the atrocities that have occurred within our nation in the past, this is an excellent step in the right direction.

 

New portal connects employers with neurodivergent job seekers — from protocol.com by Sarah Roach
Google, Dell and others are contributing to the Neurodiversity Career Connector.

Excerpt:

Microsoft, Google, Dell and a handful of other tech companies are helping to roll out a career portal for neurodivergent job seekers.

The Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable and Disability:IN introduced the Neurodiversity Career Connector, a platform for neurodivergent job candidates to find employers, the organizations announced today. Almost 50 companies that are part of the Roundtable, including Ford and SAP, are contributing to the portal.

 

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

From DSC:
A family member struggles with spelling — big time. This causes her major amounts of anxiety in school.

Another family member had some learning disabilities and reflects back on school with some bad memories.

Another family member struggles with social graces and learns at a much different pace than her peers — the move to her education being (predominantly) done via homeschooling has helped significantly.

A friend of mine has Dyslexia. He recently said that school was hell for him.

Another person I know doesn’t understand his daughter’s learning disabilities — at all. He’s asking a fish to climb the tree and yells at his daughter when she doesn’t produce like the other kids do. Her school is for college-bound learners, and there’s always pressure to maintain the school’s “blue-ribbon” status (i.e., sorry if you don’t fit in…but please board the train anyway, as it’s about to depart).

These people and stories about their educations got me to reflect on all the people who went through the school systems in the United States (over the last few decades) that didn’t work well for them. In fact, not only did the systems not work well for them, they were the sources of a great deal of pain, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and embarrassment.  Instead of being a place of wonder or joy, school was a painful, constant struggle to get through.

For those who can keep up or even excel at the pace that the trains travel at, school isn’t that much of a problem. There are likely different levels of engagement involved here, but school is manageable and it doesn’t cause nearly the stress for someone who struggles with it.

For those with learning disabilities, I’d like to apologize to you on behalf of all the people who legislated or created rigid, one-size-fits-all school systems that didn’t understand and/or meet your needs. (Why we allow legislators — who aren’t the ones on the front lines — to control so much of what happens in our school systems is beyond me.) I’d like to apologize on behalf of all of the teachers, administrators, and staff who just accept the systems as they are.

Please help us reinvent our school systems. Help us develop the future of education. Help us develop a more personalized, customized approach. For those who are working to provide that, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To everyone working within Pre-K through 12th grade, help us offer: More voice. More choice. More control. The status quo has to go. School should not be a constant source of pain and anxiety.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 

 

5 Tips for Educators From The Superintendent of the Year — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Superintendent of the Year Curtis Cain advises educators to keep alive the spirit of innovation that emerged during the pandemic and to remember how important the work they do is.

Superintendent of the Year Curtis Cain

Excerpt:

Keep Alive the Spirit of Innovation 
“The brain, once stretched, never returns to its initial size,” says Cain of the ways that schools have changed. His advice to staff in his district and beyond is to keep alive the spirit of innovation that was born in the pandemic.

“The needs of students have absolutely become more complex and more nuanced. And in many ways more urgent than they have been in the past,” he says. “So we’re going to have to keep having the ability to demonstrate a willingness to sit at the table, to problem solve.”

 

Day in the Life: Blind or Visually Impaired Professionals — from inclusionhub.com by Jeffrey Howard
While blind or visually impaired professionals still encounter inaccessibility and exclusionary hiring practices, some companies are adopting more inclusive protocols including remote work options and other accommodations.

Excerpt:

“It’s the same as someone asking for a second or third monitor,” continues Preston-Watson. “I’m asking for a screen reader. You’re asking for these accommodations. I’m just asking for the tools to do my job. People in different roles need different tools to do their jobs. And that’s the same thing for disabled workers.”

 

Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court

From DSC:
I realize I’m late with this, but I did insert it in my 4-7-22 posting and wanted to report it here as well. This is great news for the United States. I hope it is a major shot in the arm for diversifying the legal field.

 

Law firms are entering the metaverse, here’s why — from web3law.center by Meagan Cline

Excerpt:

Lawyers and law firms are increasingly exploring web3 and the metaverse. The technology is here and likely will only become a greater part of our society. Therefore, lawyers must at least consider how their operations may need to evolve to meet the growing demand for web3 literate legal services.

 

In this episode, David Aird talks;

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Social Mobility in Legal IT
  • Security Matters and Cyber-threats
  • Technology as the Answer
  • Artificial Intelligence and the Future

HUGE NEWS!

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON
TO SERVE ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

This Week’s Latest Additions to the LawNext Legal Technology Directory — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

This Week’s Latest Additions to the LawNext Legal Technology Directory -- by Bob Ambrogi

Photo Geotagging for Lawyers — from legaltechmonitor.com by Jim Calloway

How to automate your law office — from lawtechnologytoday.org

New Microsoft Study Reveals Work Changes: We Aren’t Going Back — from legaltechmonitor.com by Stephen Embry

Top Five Benefits of a Virtual Law Practice 

Reimagining Law: Embracing the Power of ‘No’ (Part 1) — from legaltechmonitor.com by 2civility

Reimagining Law: Embracing the Power of ‘No’ (Part 2) — from legaltechmonitor.com by 2civility

JUSTICE IN A CHANGING WORLD 2021 | ANNUAL REPORT — from iaals.du.edu

Another State Adopts Duty of Technology Competence for Lawyers, Bringing Total to 40 — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

IAALS Launches Allied Legal Professionals in an Effort to Increase Access to Quality Legal Services and Help Reduce Barriers to Representation — from iaals.du.edu by Kelsey Montague

Excerpt:

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announced today that it is launching Allied Legal Professionals. With generous support from the Sturm Family Foundation, this project seeks to help standardize a new tier of legal professionals nationally—to increase the options for accessible and affordable legal help for the public.

Up and down the income scale, the legal needs of people in this country are going unmet. The inability to afford a lawyer, among other factors, has led to ballooning rates of self-representation in our justice system, with over 70 percent of civil and family cases including a party without a lawyer. People in these situations are not only facing life-altering challenges such as child custody hearings or landlord/tenant issues alone—they also face disproportionately bad outcomes in their cases.

Addendums on 4/8/22:

 

Per Johann Neem, the innovations that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

The University in Ruins — from chronicle.com by Johann N. Neem
The “innovations” that promise to save higher ed are a farce.

From DSC:
First of all,
I appreciated Johann Neem mentioning and/or discussing several books in one posting:

  • Ronald G. Musto’s The Attack on Higher Education (2021)
  • Arthur Levine’s and Scott J. Van Pelt’s The Great Upheaval (2021)
  • Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins (1996)
  • Ronald J. Daniels’ What Universities Owe Democracy (2021)

And as a disclosure here, I have not read those books. 

Below are excerpts with some of my comments:

It’s already happening. Today, we walk among the ruins of an institution that once had a larger purpose. It’s not clear what role universities should play in society, and to what or to whom they are accountable, other than their corporate interests.

To some, that’s not a problem, at least according to Arthur Levine and Scott J. Van Pelt in The Great Upheaval (2021). They see higher education undergoing the same transformation that reshaped the music, film, and newspaper industries. Rather than place-based education overseen by tenured professors, they anticipate “the rise of anytime, anyplace, consumer-driven content and source agnostic, unbundled, personalized education paid for by subscription.”

Between Musto’s existential fears of disruption and Levine and Van Pelt’s embrace of it lies a third path. It takes the form of a wager — outlined by Ronald J. Daniels in What Universities Owe Democracy (2021) — that universities can and should continue to matter because of their importance in civic democratic life.

The article covers how the learning ecosystems within higher education have morphed from their religious roots to being an apparatus of the nation-state to then becoming a relatively independent bureaucratic system to other things and to where we are today.

Along the journey discussing these things, one of the things that caught my eye was this statement:

Hopkins, in this sense, lived up to its founding president Daniel Coit Gilman’s 19th-century aspiration that universities be places that acquire, conserve, refine, and distribute knowledge.

From DSC:
While I completely agree with that aspiration, I think more institutions of higher education could follow what John Hopkins University did with their efforts concerning the Covid-19 situation, as Neem mentioned. Generally speaking, institutions of higher education are not distributing knowledge to the levels that Gilman envisioned years ago.

In fact, these days those working within K12 are doing a whole lot better at sharing information with society than those who work within higher education are. For example, when I search Twitter for K12 educators who share content on Twitter, they are out there all over the place — and many with tens of thousands of followers. They share information with parents, families, fellow educators, students, school boards, and others. Yet this is not the case for those working in higher education. Faculty members normally:

  • aren’t out on Twitter
  • don’t blog
  • don’t have a podcast
  • don’t write for society at large. Instead, their expertise is often locked up — existing behind paywalls in academic journals. In other words, they talk to each other.

Later on…

As Daniels intuits, without a larger purpose to hold them fast, there is nothing to prevent universities from being buffeted by winds until they have lost direction. That is what Readings foresaw: Globalization liberates universities from national fetters, but at the risk of ruin.

From DSC:
While globalization may have something to do with universities becoming unanchored from their original purposes, globalization isn’t at the top of my mind when I reflect upon what’s been happening with colleges and universities these last few decades.

To see but one area of massive change, let’s take a brief look at college sports. There are now multimillion-dollar stadium projects, enormous coaches’ salaries, and numerous situations where tax-paying citizens can’t even watch sporting events without tons of advertisements being thrown into their faces every few seconds. Personally speaking, on numerous occasions, I couldn’t even access the games at all — as I wasn’t paying for the subscriptions to the appropriate providers.

Also, as another example of becoming anchored — and going back to the 1980’s — I attended Northwestern University for my undergraduate degree in Economics. While I have several wonderful lifelong friends from that experience for whom I’m deeply grateful, even back then NU had already moved far away from its motto which is based on Philippians 4:8.

Instead, please allow me to tell you what that learning community taught me and strongly encouraged me to think about:

  • You are only successful if you have the corner office, drive the higher numbered BMW’s, and have many people reporting to you.
  • If you make a lot of money.
  • You are supposed to compete against others vs. being in relationships with others. As but one example here, our test scores were published — by our Social Security numbers — outside our professors’ offices for all to see how we measured up to our classmates.

In fact, I’m not even sure that I would use the word “community” at all when I reflect upon my years at Northwestern. Instead, a WIIFM approach was encouraged (i.e., What’s In It For Me? where you are supposed to look out for #1). It took me years to unlearn some of those “lessons” and “learnings.”

But I realize that that’s not the case with all learning communities.

As Neem alluded to, I love the idea that an institution of higher education can — and often does — impact students’ hearts as well as minds. That was the focus at Calvin College (now Calvin University). Our oldest daughter went there and she was profoundly and positively influenced by her experiences there. In that context, students were encouraged to be in relationships with one another. There was plenty of hugging, praying for one another, etc. going on in that setting. There truly was community there.

***

Neem doesn’t think much of Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives. He claims there’s nothing new in their book. He seems to discard the arguments being made about the cost of higher ed and, like many others, clings to the intellectual roots/purpose of higher ed.

While I’m not against intellect or pursuing knowledge — in fact, I’m all for it — I just have a problem when the price of doing so continues to become out of reach for soooooo many people.

Personally, I’ve tried to lower the cost of obtaining a degree within higher education for many years…but I was/we were only successful in doing so for a few years (and that was during a pilot of online-based learning). Yohan Na and I created the graphic below in 2008 for example — as I was trying to raise awareness of the dangers of the status quo:
.

.

So from a cost/access perspective, Levine’s and Van Pelt’s perspectives here sound pretty good to me. It appears to be much more affordable and realistic for the masses. Otherwise, the image/reality of the ivory tower is maintained…allowing “intellectuals” to continue to live and operate within their own sphere/hive/tribe.

Also, we need an AI-backed system of presenting which skills are needed and then how to get them. The ways things are set up today, institutions of traditional higher education have not been able to deal with the current pace of change out there.

As a final comment here…
The changing directions/purposes of institutions of higher education present a good example of why I entitled this blog Learning Ecosystems — as the systems that we use to learn and grow in are constantly morphing:

  • People come and go
  • Tools and vendors come and go
  • Purposes, focuses, and/or mission statements change
  • Our sources of information (i.e., our streams of content) come and go
  • Etc.
 

Learning Disorders and Law School: Strategies and Resources — from onlinemasteroflegalstudies.com with thanks to Allegra Balmadier for these resources

Excerpt:

Law schools across the country with all kinds of students and faculty could fairly be described by a single word: rigor. Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree programs are traditionally known for copious amounts of required reading and semester-end exams that count for a student’s whole grade. A legal education is an intensive course of study that would challenge any student.

A student with a learning disorder or disability (LD) may struggle for a particular reason—not for lack of effort but because of the conventional structure of class, assignments and tests. LDs can cause difficulty with processing information, a problem that is exacerbated when universities and colleges fail to offer support.

However, with appropriate strategies, students with LDs can succeed in law school and in the legal profession. Learn more about learning disorders and find resources below.

 

Technology Trends for 2022 — from oreilly.com
What O’Reilly Learning Platform Usage Tells Us About Where the Industry Is Headed

Excerpt:

It’s been a year since our last report on the O’Reilly learning platform. Last year we cautioned against a “horse race” view of technology. That caution is worth remembering: focus on the horse race and the flashy news and you’ll miss the real stories. While new technologies may appear on the scene suddenly, the long, slow process of making things that work rarely attracts as much attention. We start with an explosion of fantastic achievements that seem like science fiction—imagine, GPT-3 can write stories!—but that burst of activity is followed by the process of putting that science fiction into production, of turning it into real products that work reliably, consistently, and fairly. AI is making that transition now; we can see it in our data. But what other transitions are in progress? What developments represent new ways of thinking, and what do those ways of thinking mean? What are the bigger changes shaping the future of software development and software architecture? This report is about those transitions.

O’Reilly Answers
We’re very excited about O’Reilly Answers, the newest product on the platform. Answers is an intelligent search that takes users directly to relevant content, whether that’s a paragraph from a book, a snippet of a video, or a block of code that answers a question. Rather than searching for an appropriate book or video and skimming through it, you can ask a specific question like “How do you flatten a list of lists in Python?” (a question I’ve asked several times). 

Also see:


Also see:


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian