Archives: Law Firm Technology

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Crowdsourcing Dispute Resolution on the Blockchain

An article in The Artificial Lawyer reports that Reuters Thomson has invited Kleros, a blockchain-based legal arbitration platform, to participate in its incubator program. The Kleros platform, described by its developers as “The dispute resolution layer for virtually everything,” facilitates the resolution of disputes arising from smart contracts anywhere in the world. In a white paper, … 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

Device Allows Users to “Think” Search Requests to their Computers

The futurist Ray Kurzweil reports that, thanks to a new “intelligence-augmentation device” invented by an MIT research group, users can “‘speak silently’ with a computer by just thinking.” The device, called AlterEgo, uses electrodes to gather “otherwise undetectable neuromuscular sub-vocalizations” and create data that can be “understood” by the user’s computer system. To activate the technology, … Continue Reading

Blockchain Choice:  Option A, have every lawyer in your firm read this; Option B, call the liquidator.

It is not charming to brag about one’s ignorance of technology. I’m sure you have heard some colleagues announce dismissively: “Technology is for young people. If I’m lucky, I will be able to retire from this profession without ever learning much about it.” With the advent of blockchain technology, that sentiment will damage your firm. … Continue Reading

Who would you have review your NDAs: A machine (AI) or a human?

An article in Artificial Lawyer reports that a challenge that pitted 20 highly qualified lawyers against a LawGeex artificial intelligence algorithm to identify risks in non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) resulted in a 94% accuracy rate for the AI vs. 86% for the humans. The article explains that “The study asked each lawyer to annotate five [never … 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

“Legal Tech as a Service” (LTaaS): When? Now.

Artificial Lawyer reports that the global law firm Allen & Overy, always on the forefront of law-related technology, has just released three new “legal and RegTech” apps through its growing online subscription service, aosphere. The new apps, created using the Neota Logic platform, offer tools to clients with cross-border legal issues in three specific areas: … 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

Failure to Encrypt Email Can Put Lawyers at Risk

An editorial in the Akron Legal News reminds lawyers of the urgency of securing their law-related email. In May, 2017, the American Bar Association issued Formal Opinion #477R, which suggests guidelines for “Securing Communication of Protected Client Information.” The ABA opinion points out that: A lawyer generally may transmit information relating to the representation of a client … Continue Reading

Social Media: The Biggest and Most Mysterious Phenomenon of our Time

There are some surprising statistics in the video I am posting here. Have you considered, for example, that “Today’s college students have never licked a stamp”? Did you know that “The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is grandparents”? Like much other information on the Internet, “Socialnomics 2017” – a 2.5 minute video by digital guru Erik Qualman – offers an … Continue Reading

Smart Contracts and Crowdsourced Juries

A new start-up company, appropriately named jury.online, is planning to crowdsource juries for the arbitration of contract disputes. The company, which is based in Estonia, describes itself as “The Future of Dispute Resolution,” although an article on Artificial Lawyer points out that its approach to jury selection raises a number of legal questions, among them: “Is a ruling by a group of anonymous jurors … Continue Reading

Bringing Blockchain Transactions into the Legal Domain

The Artificial Lawyer reports on a new system that is intended to ensure the legality of contracts based on tokens that are used on the Ethereum blockchain platform, rather than on established legal tender. Ethereum is “an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality” (Wikipedia). Its tokens, called “ether,” may be used like currency or represent other real-world … Continue Reading

Virtual Reality and the Law Firm

An article by George Khoury, Esq. on the FindLaw legal technology blog reports on digital advances that could ultimately lead to the existence of entire augmented- or virtual-reality law offices – where our colleagues appear as 3-D images and our documents seem to be suspended around us in thin air. Khoury invites us to imagine “showing up to court as a fully suited up lawyer … Continue Reading

Law Firm Senior Management Underrepresented at CLOC Conference

At its second annual conference in Las Vegas in May 2017, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) offered professional development sessions on a range of topics to more than 1000 attendees – twice the turnout of its first conference, which was held a year ago. CLOC describes itself as a “non-profit organization consisting of legal operations professionals providing education, … Continue Reading

The Legal Profession: Will It Be Caught in the Headlights?

On the blog site of the Montage Legal Group, Kandy Williams – an attorney in Orange County CA – evaluates the recently published report of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services and wonders whether the legal profession in the U.S. is “on the cusp of Uber-like disruption.” “Many of the Commission’s findings paint a bleak picture … Continue Reading

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
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