LawSites

A blog covering legal technology, legal ethics and innovation in law.

A third state could soon join the two that require technology training as part of a lawyer’s obligation to undergo continuing legal education. Two states currently require mandatory tech CLE. In 2016, Florida became the first state to do so, when it adopted a rule requiring lawyers to complete three hours of CLE every three years “in approved technology programs.” In 2018, North Carolina followed suit, requiring all lawyers there to complete one hour per year of CLE devoted to technology training. One other state has given what I described at the time as a “tepid nod” to tech…
In April I reported on the release by the Global Legal Tech Report of its report on Australia, the first in a planned series of regional reports on legal tech worldwide, which will culminate in a global report in November. Now, the GLTR has released reports covering Asia and New Zealand. When considered alongside the Australia report, they provide an overview of the state of legal tech across the Asia-Pacific region. Taken together, the GLTR’s reports on Asia, Australia and New Zealand show that the majority of legal tech companies in the region are providers of integrated solutions rather than…
Last week Carolyn Elefant joined me as we kicked off a new series on behalf of LexBlog of live conversations with leading legal bloggers. Tomorrow the series continues with a live interview with Jim Walker, publisher of Cruise Law News, a maritime-law blog where the motto is, “Everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know.” No doubt, there’s been a lot they don’t want you to know of late, providing plenty to write about for Walker, a Miami lawyer who has been involved in maritime litigation since 1983 and who has been blogging about it since 2009. The…
In a year of so many challenges and difficulties, an unexpected highlight for me has been the opportunity to participate as a host on Litera TV, a daily live stream of interviews, educational programs, and tips around legal tech and legal practice produced by the document technology company Litera. Every Wednesday morning since April 8, I’ve had the honor of having Zoom coffee with a who’s who of legal industry leaders, sitting down with them for free-flowing, half-hour conversations about technology, innovation and the impact of the pandemic. This week, Litera TV is marking its 300th episode, and…
The first major foothold for the use of artificial intelligence software in the legal profession was in the area of e-discovery, where tools variously referred to as technology-assisted review or predictive coding helped lawyers find relevant documents within huge data collections more quickly and at lower cost. Now, this same software is being deployed to medical researchers to help them sift through collections of thousands of clinical studies to find those that are most relevant to the battle against COVID-19. In one case, e-discovery pioneers Maura R. Grossman and Gordon V. Cormack are using the Continuous Active Learning TAR protocol…
In 2015, the husband-and-wife team of James Jones Jr. and Kristina Jones founded Court Buddy, a service that matches consumers with vetted lawyers at affordable prices. Last November, the couple stepped aside from the business to pursue other interests. In their time running the company, they had raised $7.1 million and won numerous awards and honors. Achieving success as a legal tech startup is notable in itself, but James and Kristina Jones also were among the few Black founders in an industry with a striking diversity problem. One survey of the legal tech industry found that only 2.3% of…
A new design rolled out yesterday for the website of the U.S. Courts Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) program, the site’s first major update in a decade. The site, which can be found at pacer.uscourts.gov, provides information about the PACER service and is the portal to PACER applications. It is run by the Administrative Office (AO) of the U.S. Courts. The AO said that it undertook the upgrade in response to feedback from users and as part of the judiciary’s ongoing effort to improve public access. The updated website also will allow the AO to collect additional analytical…
Last week on my live-streaming legal program Law Insights on Litera TV, I interviewed Melissa Speidel, director of business transformation at the law firm K&L Gates. Her job, Melissa says, is to “take care of the business” — to manage and find solutions throughout the firm and also to engage with clients to help them with developing and implementing solutions. You can watch our full half-hour interview below. [embedded content]…
It is rare that I get to report on a new legal research tool. Even so-called startups in legal research, such as Casetext and ROSS, have been in business since 2014 or earlier. But today I have news of a new entrant in the field, BuzzyCite. BuzzyCite is a free and easy-to-use case law research tool that taps into the vast collection of Harvard Law School’s Caselaw Access Project. As I reported in 2018, the Caselaw Access Project (CAP) was a massive undertaking that culminated in the digitization of virtually all U.S. federal and state case law,…
For our weekly, live legaltech journalists’ roundtable tomorrow, we’re going to do something slightly different — make it an AMA (ask me anything) episode. In addition to our usual round-up of the week’s top stories in legaltech, we’ll take your questions about how we do what we do. Want to know how we pick our stories, or how to pitch us on a story, or more about our publications? Here’s your chance. Tomorrow’s line-up of panelists is still a work in progress, but confirmed are: Free to attend but registration is required.…
Join me tomorrow as I kick off a new series on behalf of LexBlog, This Week in Legal Blogging, starting with a conversation with one of the leading bloggers in the legal profession, Carolyn Elefant, founder of MyShingle.com. Each week, we’ll feature conversations with legal bloggers about their blogging stories — how and why they started blogging, how they built and engaged with their audience, and what it has meant to them personally and professionally. Carolyn launched her blog 18 years ago and is known worldwide as both the voice of and a resource for solo and…
Last month, I wrote about the launch by SixFifty, the technology subsidiary of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, of the Return-to-Work Toolset, a tool to help U.S. businesses safely transition their employees back to work as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders expire. Now, SixFifty is releasing another tool in a similar vein, only this one is designed to help religious leaders evaluate whether they are prepared to safely resume in-person meetings and services with their members. Available free for use by church leaders, the new Return-to-Worship Readiness Assessment walks them through a series of 25 questions…
The U.K. legal technology company Apperio, whose platform provides corporate legal departments with greater transparency into their legal spend through automated tracking, management and analysis, says it is “vigorously” expanding its sales operation into the United States. The company says it is targeting sales to legal departments within corporations that have legal spend of $5 million or more and legal departments within private equity investment firms. “The Apperio team is very excited to expand assertively into the American legal market,” Nicholas d’Adhemar, a former lawyer who is CEO and founder of Apperio, said in a statement. “Our client…
Each week, we’re highlighting one of the resources from our recently launched LawSites Resource Center, a library of downloadable content such as ebooks, white papers, case studies and more from experts and vendors in the legal industry. This week’s featured resource: How Top Lawyers are Winning Cases in Today’s Competitive Environment. Description: Download this free datasheet to see how legal analytics are helping successful lawyers make data-driven decisions on which to build their legal strategies and grow their business. Publisher: Lex Machina.…
Sociologist Rebecca Sandefur is one of the world’s leading scholars on access to justice. Professor at the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, she is also a faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation, where she founded and leads the Access to Justice Research Initiative. In 2018, she was named a recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant” for her work promoting an evidence-based approach to increasing access to justice for low-income communities.  In the wake of Washington state’s decision to sunset its pioneering Limited License Legal Technicians program, I ask Sandefur about that program, which…
What is the “new normal” for U.S. bankruptcy courts in the era of COVID-19? I am moderating a panel today at 1 Eastern time that will explore that question from the perspectives of a judge, a clerk, a practitioner, and a technologist. Produced by the American Bankruptcy Institute, The Bankruptcy Court and COVID-19 will look at changes in the process and practice of bankruptcy courts across the U.S. We’ll discuss how courts have adapted to the crisis and used technology to keep their dockets moving. We’ll also consider what’s ahead, as bankruptcy courts prepare to handle an anticipated influx of…