TechLaw Crossroads

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On May 8, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics issued its formal Opinion 511 entitled Confidentiality Obligations of Lawyers Posting to Listservs. As Bob Ambrogi rightly pointed out in his recent post on the Opinion, it seems odd that the ABA would issue an opinion now about a technology that has been around since the late 90s. For Bob, it
Continue Reading ABA’s Opinion 511 and Its Impact on Legal Ethics in the AI Era: A Wake Up Call?

Don’t tell me about your effort. Show me your results. Tim Fargo

 I have recently attended several legal tech conferences and other lawyer meetings, which were dominated by Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) discussions and presentations.

Despite the rapid advancement of GenAI and AI technologies, the content at these events is pretty repetitive. Most of the presentations center on the dangers
Continue Reading From Theory to Practice: The Need for Real-World GenAI Demonstrations For Lawyers and Legal Professionals

It goes without saying that one of the most critical functions of a law firm is to train its associates adequately. But time constraints and a lack of consistency, as I have previously discussed, make good, sound training of associates problematic in many firms. However, large language models and GenAI, even open models, may offer potential solutions. Provided, of
Continue Reading Revolutionizing Law Firm Training with AI: The Power of Large Language Models

It seems like every day, there is a new vendor survey about what’s happening in the legal marketplace. Sometimes, these are designed to reveal a result that the vendor thinks will help sell its products. Sometimes, they offer beneficial and, in some cases, remarkably candid insights.

Thomson Reuters’ GenAI Study

Thomson Reuters released its 2024 Generative AI in Professional Services
Continue Reading Lawyers’ GenAI Hesitancy: Insights from the 2024 GenAI Professional Services Survey

Working with outside counsel is like getting thrown in a pit of rattlesnakes and hoping one won’t bite you. Anonymous

Axiom, the 14,000-person alternative legal service provider, launched in 2000, together with Wakefield Research, recently conducted and published a Study of U.S. in-house counsel. They conducted a 15-minute Survey online in January and February of this year. Some
Continue Reading Law Firms on Notice: Adapt to In-House Counsel’s Concerns in the Wake of Axiom’s 2023 Findings. Or Else

The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

Mark Twain

More and more law firms are opting to require lawyers and certainly associates to be in the office at least four days a week. At some point, this may convert to five-days in the office. Most of the time, management
Continue Reading The Cost of Tradition: Unpacking Law Firms’ Return-to-Work Policies

A loophole in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service terms of use could expose privileged information to third-party review. Lawyers need to undertake reasonable diligent vetting of vendors and their terms. Reliance on vendor assurances alone is not enough. But what is?

Last week, I ran across a good piece of reporting by Cassandre Coyer and Isha Marathe in law.com. The
Continue Reading Navigating Legal Tech: Can Lawyers Trust Gen AI Vendor Confidentiality Assurances?

The lack of lawyers in rural areas has attracted much attention lately. Rural pockets with few or no lawyers living there, the so-called legal deserts, are on the upswing.

According to some surveys, 14% of the population lives in rural areas, but only 2% of lawyers do. A 2020 ABA study found that 40% of all counties in the US
Continue Reading Serving the Underserved: Innovative Solutions Needed to Solve the Rural America’s Lawyer Drought

There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil. Walter Lippmann

As most of you know, I frequently attend conferences–both legal tech related and those related to technology in general, like CES. I do this because I am interested in the field and because I like to think what I write as
Continue Reading Integrity Over Access. Why I Said No Thanks to a Conference’s Demand for Positive Coverage

On our recent LegalTech Week Journalists Roundtable, we went into a discussion about the increased emphasis of late on so-called midsize law firms. In particular, we talked about their needs when it comes to things like technology.

Certainly, more attention has recently been paid to this group of law firms. Clio provided a Survey entitled Legal Trends for Midsize
Continue Reading Beyond Size: Navigating the Complexities of Modern Legal Practices

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”Charles
Continue Reading From Big Law to Small Firms: A Tale of Two Cities in Embracing Legal AI

I just got back from LegalWeek 2024 in New York City. LegalWeek is the annual legal tech conference put on by ALM and directed at big law firms and clients. There were lots of exhibitors, lots of parties, and fancy dinners. It’s glitzy and sales and marketing oriented.

This year, as expected, the educational sessions, discussions, and marketing were dominated
Continue Reading Innovative Vendors at LegalWeek 2024: A Focus on Customer-Centric Solutions

Back in the 1970s, there was a television commercial featuring jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald with a wine glass, a recording studio, and a recordable audio cassette made by a company called Memorex. The pitch was that the audio recording of Ella’s voice could break the wine glass, just like her live voice. The tagline was, “Is it live or Memorex?”
Continue Reading Is it Real or Is It Fake? The Emerging Challenges of Authenticating Digital Evidence in Courtrooms