Archives: Law Firm Technology

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Cybersecurity Essential to Law Firms

In an article on law-firm cybersecurity that appeared in LawTech News  in June 2017, Ian Lopez said: “According to a recent report from IT security provider LogicForce, hacking attempts were made on over 200 U.S. law firms between 2016 and 2017, 40 percent of which didn’t even know that they had been breached.” Lopez also repeated a warning … Continue Reading

Gary Kasparov: “Work with – Don’t Fear – Intelligent Machines”

In a humorous and entertaining, but also thought-provoking, TED Talk, Gary Kasparov recounts his historic confrontation with IBM’s “Deep Blue” in 1997: the never-to-be-forgotten day when the world champion chess player was beaten at his own game by a computer. Kasparov goes on to talk about the value of the capacities – such as passion and the ability … Continue Reading

New Software Interprets Commercial Loan Agreements in Seconds

Bloomberg Markets reports that new software from JPMorgan Chase & Company has reduced the amount of time that lawyers and loan officers need to invest in interpreting loan contracts from tens of thousands of hours to mere seconds. Bloomberg writer Hugh Son points out that the COIN (COntract INtelligence) initiative is just one of many currently in development that … Continue Reading

How Do Lawyers Work? How Do You Work?

The Lawyerist has introduced an interesting series of profiles of individual lawyers called “How Do Lawyers Work?” Not only do I find it intriguing to look into the work lives of other legal practitioners and discover what digital tools and programs they find most useful to their practices, it is also a fun exercise to answer The Lawyerist‘s questions yourself, … Continue Reading

“Chat Bot” Offers Free Legal Advice to Refugees

The Telegraph reports that a university student has developed a way to provide free legal advice via Facebook Messenger to refugees who are looking for asylum in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Joshua Browder, who has been named a Forbes’ “Thirty Under Thirty” for his entrepreneurial prowess, first attracted attention last year for the legal-assistance bot DoNotPay, which has helped overturn … Continue Reading

ROSS Intelligence Update: How IBM Watson App Helps U.S. Lawyers with Legal Research

A recent article from Medium’s Cognitive Business section explains how ROSS Intelligence, an IBM Watson app, conducts searches to help U.S. lawyers answer legal questions. The article explains that a question in plain English from a lawyer is what triggers the search by ROSS. The application then goes to work to “[read] through the entire body of law … Continue Reading

J+O Firm: Where Start-Ups Utilize Legal Counsel in New Ways

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.  ~ Steve Jobs Rachel Johnson and Christina Oshan spent the beginning of their careers at large firms. They noticed that startups and emerging growth companies engaged with their legal teams using a different … Continue Reading

Manage Space as Well as Time to Increase Productivity

An article entitled “10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing your Work Life” by David Lavenda, published appropriately early in the new year by Entrepreneur, offers ten tips on improving your work-life productivity. Lavenda points out that all of us have too many things demanding our time and attention, and we need to establish protocols, habits and mindsets … Continue Reading

Complacency about artificial intelligence: A silent law-firm killer?

It is tempting for law firm leaders to assume that what they do is simply far too sophisticated to be seriously threatened by artificial intelligence. Anyone feeling complacent on this subject would do well to read a recent Guardian article entitled, “World’s largest hedge fund to replace managers with artificial intelligence”  – and then extrapolate to our profession. I grant you that Bridgewater Associates – the hedge … Continue Reading

The Successful Lawyer – Now Available on your Computer, Tablet or Smartphone

The Second Edition of The Successful Lawyer: Powerful Strategies for Transforming Your Practice is now available in both paperback and Kindle versions. Among the kudos the first edition of this book attracted was one from Tom Peters, the highly acclaimed writer on business-management practice and author of In Search of Excellence, who described The Successful Lawyer … Continue Reading

Law Firms Can’t Afford to Underestimate IT

The most recent issue of PwC UK’s Annual Law Firms’ Survey 2016 is out, and legal journalist Neil Rose has written an excellent and comprehensive summary of its findings. “The Big Law Firm of the Future: AI, Digital Robots and Blockchain” (Legal Futures, Oct. 24, 2016) contains enough disturbing findings and predictions that it is likely to send most readers to the original report to have … Continue Reading

Taking Your iPad to the Office

Readers of this blog who are fans of Apple products may be interested in a 27-page report entitled The Lawyer’s Guide to a Well-Appointed iPad (Third Edition), recently published by TechnoLawyer. The report is free, and although it is necessary to sign onto the site to download the PDF, doing so also gives you access to other reports and newsletters in … Continue Reading

Alternative Legal Providers: A Warning to Law Firms

Friedrich Blase, Global Director in Legal Managed Services at Thomson Reuters, is warning traditional law firms – especially the larger ones – of the potential threat to their existence of alternative legal providers, including the growing range of legal-market ventures and forms of disruptive technology. Blase believes that alternative legal providers could present an “existential threat” to law firms as early as 2020. Blase says that large firms … Continue Reading

AmLaw 100 firms embrace IBM’s ROSS (based on Jeopardy-winning Watson)

The website Futurism.com has announced that the first “artificially intelligent attorney,” ROSS, will be employed by the law firm BakerHostetler “to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers.” I have recently learned that another AmLaw 100 firm, Latham and Watkins, has also signed up, as has Wisconsin-based von Breisen & Roper. … Continue Reading

Predictive Coding: Document Searches for the Courtroom

A recent decision by the UK High Court means that litigation lawyers in Great Britain will now be allowed to present evidence based on automated searches of documents, rather than traditional searches conducted by human beings. This decision follows similar ones in the US and Ireland, and it can only be a matter of time before Canada, Australia and other countries … Continue Reading

Tech competence not enough — need mastery

In an article in Bloomberg BNA, Adam Ziegler – a lawyer who manages technology projects for Harvard Law School’s Library Innovation Lab – argues that mere competence in technology related to the law is not enough for those who purport to serve the best interests of their clients. Instead, he suggests that mastery of relevant technology should be the goal. In explaining what “tech excellence” might look … Continue Reading

Report warns that traditionally structured law firms could fall behind within a decade

A February 2016 “Insight Report” from Deloitte takes a close look at the future of the practice of law in the UK, and urges firms to make plans immediately to prepare for changes that are likely to upend the entire profession within a decade. “Indeed, by around 2020,” says the report, “we expect a tipping point for firms which will impact … Continue Reading

“Big data” and the future of legal technology

In a recent article in The Lawyerist, lawyer and legal writer Lisa Needham argues that when it comes to technology and the legal profession, “We think we know what we need, but we really don’t.” Her contention is that we are wasting effort on inventing and refining existing apps and software, while ignoring major opportunities inherent in … Continue Reading

A Virtual Legal Assistant for GCs from Riverview Law

The battle to outfit lawyers with useful virtual assistants is heating up. A few weeks ago we reported on the evolution of IBM Einstein for use in legal settings. Now, Riverview Law, one of the largest legal-services and private practice law firms in the world, has introduced a new virtual legal assistant named KIM (the name … Continue Reading

Working from a virtual desk

A YouTube video from a company named Switch demonstrates how business people and professionals are increasingly able to do more of their work remotely or at various different sites interchangeably – releasing them from the historic shackles of an office desk. For better or worse, it is hard not to agree with the core message of this video: We know that today, … Continue Reading

Your Near-Future Legal Assistant: the Robot

Fresh from defeating its human opponents on Jeopardy, IBM Watson has now begun to demonstrate its artificial-intelligence capacities in the real world. Watson and its counterparts are already being used in such fields as medicine, education, security and defense intelligence, and now work is underway to develop “brand new baby versions of Watson” that will be suitable for use in legal settings. At a … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: A Growing Area of Practice

In June, Bloomberg BNA reported that Akerman had become the latest law firm to venture deeply into the field of data security and information governance when it established an 18-person group specializing in data law. Martin Tully, co-chair of the new Akerman group, told Bloombeg that “while the breaches at Target make national headlines, smaller breaches occur on … Continue Reading
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