Archives: Law Firm Innovation

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A Niche Law Firm Built on Blockchain

“Blockchain technology [has] captured the imaginations of startups, financial institutions and government agencies. Angela Angelovska-Wilson and Lewis Cohen are taking a gamble that the law is next.” So begins an article by Jason Tashea entitled “New firm looks to embrace blockchain technology ethos” that was published recently on the ABA Journal website. Tashea goes on to explain … Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence vs The Legal Profession: Can Both Survive?

In an article on the World Economic Forum’s publication Agenda, Paul Rawlinson – global chair at Baker McKenzie – explores a question that is much on the minds of those who have been watching the growing impact of technology on the legal profession: “Will lawyers become extinct in the age of automation?” Rawlinson acknowledges that today lawyers … Continue Reading

Former NZ Solicitor General Creates Online Divorce Property-Splitting Platform

  With an array of new legal apps and online services designed to address legal problems quickly and inexpensively, there is no doubt that we are seeing increasing disruption to how the law has traditionally been practiced. Many of the apps we have seen so far have been invented not by lawyers, but by business … Continue Reading

Keeping “Innovation” Meaningful

Early this week, law.com published a list of seven firms that its editors believe have “moved the needle on innovation in 2017.” The leading-edge advances highlighted in the article make for interesting reading, and I encourage you to check them out. They include: Bryan Cave’s encouragement of associates to propose new technology applications that could benefit law firm … Continue Reading

Should your Firm Be “Baking In” Legal AI?

The informative legal automation news site Artificial Lawyer reports that major international business firm Addleshaw Goddard (AG), based in the UK, has appointed Kerry Westland head of its new 150-member Innovation and Legal Technology team. The firm has been incorporating technology into its operations increasingly since 2010, when it established a group with responsibility for improving … Continue Reading

Listen to Microsoft’s Assistant GC for Two Minutes

Watch this video, featuring Lucy Bassli of Microsoft, which I ran across while researching a recent article about Addleshaw Goddard’s approach to legal technology. The topic: “Can a law firm drive innovation or is it up to in-house counsel to do this?” (Just click on the image.) First of all, note that two minutes is all … Continue Reading

Verrill Dana Wins “Service Provider of the Year Award” for Imaginative New Arctic Practice

Congratulations to the law firm of Verrill Dana LLP, which has received the 2017 Service Provider of the Year Award from the Maine International Trade Center. This is a superb example of a law firm looking at future legal needs in an entrepreneurial and imaginative way. This story is not about “the idea” but rather about “the execution … Continue Reading

A Fizzy New Niche for Law Practice?

A recent article in USA Today suggests that, in the same way that craft beers have transformed the face of beer production and sales in recent years, the manufacturing and retail landscape for soft drinks may be changing. Zlati Meyer writes, “[It  is] unique formulations that are at the heart of the growing segment of ‘craft soda,’ fizzy concoctions that … Continue Reading

Linklaters to Measure Teams Rather than Individuals: Exciting Model for Our Time

In a post at Legal Business, Matthew Field reports that Linklaters is about to “phase out individual partner metrics and annual assessments to focus on broader measures of team and firm performance.” The new performance-assessment strategy will focus on such areas as “client winning, business development, training and innovation,” Field says. Based in London, Linklaters … 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

My Recommendation for Your 2017 Resolution List: Know What Is Coming

RESOLVE TO KNOW WHAT IS COMING Resolve not to be caught unaware of evolving technology and process innovations applicable to your legal practice. To that end, have a small internal team conduct ongoing research and report to firm leadership monthly. The research should include legal solutions provided by organizations that are neither law firms nor legal departments. … 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

Will greed spell doom for the world’s largest law firms?

Legal-issues writer Elizabeth Olson tackled the subject of the legal profession’s generational divide in “Graying Firms Wrestle with Making Room for Younger Lawyers,” an article recently published in the New York Times. “If any discipline is a window into the debate about balancing short-term profits over long-term survival,” Olson wrote, “it is the legal profession, one of … 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

Change and the Law: Take Control of Your Own Future

In the most recent issue of Edge International Communique, I explored the issue of change in the legal profession, advising readers to take control of where their practices are going in a world where technology is altering not only how legal matters are carried out, but where and how they are accessed. My article begins: Today, … Continue Reading

Brainwriting Clobbers Brainstorming

In most law firms, brainstorming processes are dominated by power partners or simply those with force of personality. When this happens, the scope of the process is narrowed and many participants may be disenfranchised. If the goal of a brainstorming session is to tap the brain trust of all participants, then “brainwriting” might be a … Continue Reading

Does your Firm Need a Chief Experience Officer (CXO)?

Awareness among businesses of the importance of customer experience has never been greater. By considering how companies assess this experience and work to improve it –  such as the introduction of the chief experience officer (CXO) position to management teams – law firms can also improve their competitive advantage. Businesses increasingly recognize that if they … Continue Reading

Where Evolutionary Technology Meets Your Legal Practice

At first blush, you might ask what a bionic arm catching objects in mid-flight has to do with the practice of law. I assert: “Everything.” Who are the lawyers who represent these evolutionary products? Clearly, there will be lots of intellectual property involved, but I say that the list goes on. Here are just three … Continue Reading

Rethinking the Definition of “Law Firm”

Last fall, a 150-year-old British corporate services provider and legal publishing company transformed itself into a licensed law firm thanks to permissive UK legislation. Jordan’s Ltd. successfully applied for an Alternative Business Structure license from the Solicitors Regulation Authority, allowing the company to add a corporate law division to its ongoing range of services in support … Continue Reading

Valorem Lawfirm lives up to its “value” name

An article in this month’s Corporate Counsel Magazine has the spotlight on Valorem and for good reason.  Author Susan Hansen says: Valorem… now boasts a list of big, brand-name clients, including funeral industry giant Service Corporation International; national shoe retailer DSW Inc.; Veolia Water, a supplier of water and wastewater management services; and the online … Continue Reading
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