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:

 

‘A very big deal.’ Nonlawyer licensing plan clears hurdle in California — from reuters.com by Karen Sloan; with thanks to Law 2030’s October 2021 newsletter from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School

Excerpt:

(Reuters) – California is on track to become the largest state to let specially trained nonlawyers offer legal advice in limited settings, such as employment and consumer debt.

The State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees on Thursday gave its preliminary blessing to a proposed “paraprofessional” program by voting to gather public comment on the plan. The public will have 110 days to weigh in on the proposal, which if adopted has the potential to jumpstart the fledgling movement behind legal paraprofessionals, or limited license legal professionals, as they are sometimes called.

 

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.

 

UMass Goes Big Online, Launching ‘UMass Global’ — from wgbh.org by Kirk Carapezza; with thanks to Michael Horn for this resource

Excerpt:

The University of Massachusetts system is launching “UMass Global” — a new online college focused solely on adult learners — whose long-term, strategic goals President Marty Meehan listed two years ago in his annual address.

“Addressing the workforce skills gap. Meeting employer demand. Improving economic mobility for Massachusetts residents. And ensuring that the University of Massachusetts continues to thrive for generations to come,” Meehan said.

 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

Could Coursera become as prestigious as Harvard? This expert thinks so. — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

Big changes are coming to higher education, and those changes will be bigger and more disruptive than many college leaders realize as online education grows in both size and prestige.

That’s the view of Arthur Levine, in a new book called “The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future,” which he co-wrote with Scott Van Pelt, a lecturer and associate director of the Communication Program for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

As more students turn to these degrees for their credentials, they may come to see these corporate platforms as the provider of learning rather than worry about which college is the one behind the scenes doing the teaching, Levine says.

 

From DSC:
My answer to the question “Is Accreditation a Barrier to Innovation?” would be “Yes, it is.” But admittedly, maybe that’s because I work for a law school these days…and in the legal education realm (as controlled by the American Bar Association), there is YET to be a fully 100% online-based Juris Doctor (JD) degree that I’m aware of. There are some schools that have applied for “variances,” but we’re talking 20+ years after institutions of higher education introduced online-based learning! Those programs who have applied for variances are under an incredible amount of scrutiny by the American Bar Association, that’s for sure. So the legal realm is NOT doing well with innovation.

But in regards to other areas of higher ed and its accrediting bodies…I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me that the run-up in the price of higher education over the last several decades had nothing to do with HE’s accrediting bodies and either their support of — or their lack of support of — those organizations who were trying to introduce something new.

But along these lines, I’d like to hear from folks like:

  • Burck Smith from Straighterline on his perspectives and his company’s experiences with the various accrediting bodies that Straighterline has had to deal with. His insights here would carry a significant impact/weight for me.
  • Or perhaps someone like James DeVaney from University of Michingan’s Center for Academic Innovation or Joshua Kim who writes about higher education and edtech/online learning
  • Or folks like Mary Grush or Rhea Kelly at CampusTechnology.com
  • Surveying organizations who could speak for a massive group of students/learners/employees
  • …and/or other folks who are either trying to innovate within the existing systems, have heard from both sides of the table here, and/or have tried and failed to innovate within the existing structures

We’ll see if institutions of traditional higher education can reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and survive (especially colleges and universities…not so much the community colleges). The accreditation bodies will have a large part in whether this happens…or not.

Along these lines…let’s see what happens to the growth of alternatives to those types of institutions as well.

 

OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 

The Importance of Using a Legal Videographer in Remote Proceedings — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Dave DaSilva

Excerpt:

Depositions and trials have changed drastically in recent years, as have the jurors who hear cases. The analog days of reading deposition testimony into the trial record have increasingly given way to video clips of witness testimony.

While videography was once a luxury, it’s now a necessity if you want to present the best case for your client. The importance of videography has only increased in the past year as depositions went remote during the pandemic. Professional legal videographers are not only integral to creating the best possible evidence, they’re essential for preserving your case record in a secure and admissible way.

Also see:

 
 

Scaling HyFlex for the Post-Pandemic Campus — from er.educause.edu by Jennifer Rider and Ayla Moore

Excerpt:

Setting up HyFlex courses on any campus requires thoughtful planning, careful analysis, continual assessment, and faculty support. But is HyFlex something that higher education institutions can and should permanently adopt in a post-pandemic world?

 

Fort Lewis College's USDA Grant Proposal

 

The Tomorrow Room on campus is a space where new technology will be showcased so that faculty can become familiar with the room design and technology before teaching in a HyFlex classroom.

 

The Future of Work series from PBS can be seen here online

DIGITAL SERIES – FUTURE OF WORK: THE NEXT GENERATION

Excerpt:

The working landscape in the United States has rapidly changed in the last 30 years. The one job-for-life model is vanishing and younger workers are trading in stability and security for flexibility and autonomy. GBH and PBS Digital Studios present the Future of Work digital series, a six-part docuseries chronicling six mid-career adults as they navigate the rapidly changing work landscape covering topics such as debt, the gig economy, remote working, career identity, and more.

 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian