LawSites

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

Proud to report that a book to which I contributed has been selected by the American Association of Law Libraries for its 2020 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award. Ellyssa Kroski, director of information technology and marketing at The New York Law Institute, won the award as author and editor for the book, Law Librarianship in the Age of AI, published by the American Library Association. It was one of two books selected this year for the award, along with Business and Legal Aspects of Sports and Entertainment (BLASE), edited by Ed Edmonds, professor emeritus of law…
Somewhere in the rafters of legal blogging, someone needs to retire the jersey of legal blogger number one, Walter Olson. After 21 years of blogging at Overlawyered, a blog dedicated to chronicling the high cost of the legal system, Olson announced today that he will cease publishing May 31. Back in 2007, curious to identify the first legal blogger, I rummaged through the archives of the longest-running legal blogs that I could identify. Olson came up as oldest, having launched Overlawyer on July 1, 1999, two-to-three years before a steady trickle of other legal blogs began appearing. (I…
It is one of the most-common email scams targeting law firms. An email arrives from an overseas company asking to hire you for a quick-and-easy matter, often collection of a debt or sale of equipment. If the attorney agrees, a check arrives from the purported debtor or purchaser. The attorney deposits it in trust and then disburses the funds to the supposed client’s overseas bank account. By the time the check is discovered to be fraudulent, the funds are lost. In 2015, a prominent Boston law firm, Sarrouf Law LLP, fell victim to this scam, losing $311,500 after depositing a…
As we’ve done for the past two weeks, we will be back tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern time with the live Legaltech Week journalist roundtable — a live video panel of leading legaltech and legal innovation journalists discussing the week’s top stories. It’s free to watch, but registration is required. Meanwhile, if you missed last week’s show, you can can either listen to the audio podcast or watch the full video. Here’s the podcast: Here’s the video: [embedded content]…
I noted last week the launch of the 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. Each week, we’ll highlight one of the library’s resources. This week’s featured resource: The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Legal Case Management Software. Description: In this guide to corporate legal case management software, we’ll provide the ultimate know-how for choosing a platform that best meets your needs and the benefits your office stands to gain. Topics covered: How legal case management software can help you and…
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies say that updating underperforming or legacy enterprise software is a priority for them in 2020, according to a survey being released today. Their main objective in purchasing new enterprise software, more than 60% of them say, is to improve productivity, as opposed to reducing costs (20%) or increasing reporting capabilities (17%). Click for full size. Conducted by the document productivity software company DocsCorp, the survey polled 500 U.S. project managers during March, when businesses were already responding to the escalating coronavirus crisis. The findings suggest, the company says, that…
Mark Harris is sounding an alarm – or, as he puts it, staging an intervention – for corporate counsel. Harris and Alec Guettel, the original founders 20 years ago of alternative legal services provider Axiom and, since last year, the CEO and CTO of contract management company company Knowable, have taken the unusual step of posting an open letter that they describe as an unsolicited intervention for general counsel. Businesses are about to confront a tidal wave of urgent questions from suppliers, customers, partners, employees, and others, they warn, the answers to which are buried in thousands…
Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal… Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.…
I wrote previously about the online legal innovation and technology certificate program run by Suffolk University Law School — a series of six courses, delivered online, that teach lawyers and other legal professionals how to deliver their services more effectively and efficiently in a rapidly changing marketplace. The program’s summer session starts May 26, and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be helping teach one of the summer-session courses, 21st Century Legal Services, along with Jordan Furlong. This course covers critical market insights and strategic and tactical recommendations for operating a law firm or legal services business. The…
The spate of ransomware attacks against law firms continues, with at least two more firms hit this week and another firm, which I reported last week, now being asked to pay ransom of a sky-high $42 million or else have its celebrity clients’ privileged files released online. I’d reported here last week of the ransomware attack against a New York City law firm that represents superstar musicians such as Lady Gaga, Elton John and Madonna. Although I did not then name the firm, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, has since confirmed the attack and said a vast trove of information…
As the global pandemic has forced lawyers and clients into working from home, many law firms have realized that standard ways of closing deals and signing documents are no longer viable. That point was driven home recently when Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, said that its U.S. real estate practice would now use the cloud platform Litera Transact to manage complex financing and lending deals for one of the largest bank-based financial services companies in the U.S. Before the pandemic hit, Dentons had already been in the process of transitioning to Litera Transact, Litera CEO Avaneesh Marwaha told…
California could become the next state, after Utah, to establish a regulatory sandbox to explore new methods of delivering legal services, after the State Bar of California Board of Trustees voted 9-2 yesterday to form a working group to explore the development of such a sandbox. The working group will be charged with exploring the development of a regulatory sandbox to evaluate possible changes to existing laws and rules that may inhibit the development of innovative legal service delivery systems. These may include consumer-facing technology that provides legal advice and services directly to clients, as well as other delivery…
SirionLabs, developer of AI-powered enterprise contract lifecycle management technology, said yesterday it has raised $44 million in a Series C round, bringing its total capital raised to date to $66 million. Yesterday, I reported on three other contract review and management companies that had financing rounds totalling $26 million, so this brings to $92 million the amount invested in corporate contracts technology in a single day. The investment in SirionLabs was led by Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital. Earlier investment rounds in the company were led by Sequoia Capital India. SirionLabs was founded in 2012 by Ajay Agrawal
Last week, we tried an experiment — a live video panel of leading legaltech journalists coming together for an open, roundtable discussion of the week in review. The experiment worked well in that we had a fairly robust discussion of the week’s top legaltech stories in front of a live webinar audience. It would have even been better if someone who shall go unnamed had remembered to turn on the record button, since the idea was to later distribute it as a podcast. Well, we’re going to try it again. This Friday, May 15, at 3 p.m. ET. You are…
For my weekly Law Insights program on Litera TV, tomorrow I will interview Judy Perry Martinez, the president of the American Bar Association. Our conversation will be streamed live tomorrow, May 14, at 9:30 a.m. CDT / 3:30 p.m. BST at Litera TV. A lawyer who has made public service a part of her career from the very start, Martinez assumed the presidency of the 400,000-member ABA last August. Never could she have anticipated how the year would turn out. Yet the ABA responded quickly, appointing a Coronavirus Task Force and implementing various other initiatives. Tune in…
We may all be working from home, but that doesn’t mean investment money isn’t flowing into legaltech — and particularly into legaltech for commercial contracts. This week, three companies, all providers of technology for contract review or management, announced financing rounds, raising a total of $26 million among them. LawGeex: $20 Million The largest of the rounds involved the AI contract review company LawGeex, which said yesterday that it had closed a $20 million round of financing, bringing its total funding to $45 million. The round was led by Corner Ventures, a Palo Alto, Calif., venture capital fund…