TechLaw Crossroads

Exploring the intersection of technology and the law.

Blog Authors

Latest from TechLaw Crossroads

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X   Last week, the Future Trials Working Group of the New York Commission to Reimagine the Future of Courts rendered a comprehensive Report. And it’s chock full of sound analysis and imagining about where Courts, at least in New York, may be going. The Report identifies the critical issues and challenges evolving technology poses for our court systems. (A tip of the hat to my friend Matt Cairns for sending me the Report   The Commission itself was formed in June 2020 by New York Chief Judge…
If you’re looking for a post about legal tech and innovation like those which usually appear here, you will be sorely disappointed. This post has nothing to do with legal tech, tech in general, or innovation. No gentle reader, this post is about something else entirely. It’s about a celebration and hope for the future.   If you’re wondering why I’m straying from the usual fare, it’s because I can. As then-candidate Ronald Reagan once said when a debate moderator tried to silence him, “I paid for this mike.” Got to hand it to Ronnie, regardless of what you thought of…
It makes perfect sense for business people to lead practice groups, law firms and even corporate legal departments. But lawyers are held back by hubris and an antiquated business structure.     Kate Tompkins is the Practice Group Leader of Latrobe GPM’s Intellectual Property Group. And she is not a practicing lawyer; she doesn’t even have a JD.   Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert recently interviewed Tompkins on their Geek In Review Podcast. If you don’t subscribe to this podcast, I strongly recommend it. It’s always interesting and enlightening.   At the beginning of the podcast, Gebauer laid…
According to a recent article by Gregg Wirth in Thompson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, the notion of the fancy traditional downtown office of law firms is fundamentally changing. And with it ultimately, in my view, the nature of the profession. Three immediate factors are driving this change: partners are embracing remote work, the trickle-down effect on the use of technology, and a new emphasis on cutting costs. All three of these factors will change how lawyers view tech and working from a central.     First, some facts. Wirth cites research by Sherry Cushman of the real estate firm Cushman
The traditional law firm. Composed of partners: the firm owners who toiled in the associate vineyards for several years and who were ultimately rewarded with the brass ring. A partnership, a piece of the ownership of the firm. A piece of security that tied you to the firm and your partners. On the other side were the associates—those who worked hard toward partnership and the security it brought.   But this model and accompanying culture is changing before our eyes, especially in Big Law (if it hasn’t already). More and more, law firms are moving away from the idyllic cultural-centric…
As we all are doing more and more online, it pays to make sure our online image is the best it can be. Most pros would suggest getting a webcam or an HD camera instead of using the standard camera that comes with your laptop or computer. But these can be hard to find and, get a good one, expensive. But I recently came across a good and inexpensive substitute. It’s called iGlasses, and it’s downloadable software that will work with your Mac’s existing camera. This software contains several lighting adjustments that can make you look better. These include…
LAS VEGAS, January 4, 2021 —LAWCLERK, the leading online marketplace for freelance lawyers, announced the rollout of a subscription based program to boost the working relationship between busy attorneys and a nationwide network of talented freelance lawyers.    I continue to be amazed by how many legal product and service providers don’t seem to grasp the need for simple, intuitive products and services. Products and services that address real pain points of their customers in the legal space. Those who supply consumer products and services get this. And let’s face it, there is a world of difference between…
It’s early January, which for me means CES, the giant consumer electronics show.  (CES used to Stand for Consumer Electronics Show but now it’s just CES). CES calls itself the world’s largest and most important tech event, where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands, and network   Each year I go to CES and come back energized and optimistic. Each year I try to summarize what I learned and how those lessons might apply to legal.   So what’s new and different this year? I won’t begin to try to talk about all the products introduced…
Let me say at the outset: I am a big fan of online court proceedings. It allows greater participation. It reduces costs. It reduces disruption for everyone. It moves the wheels of justice. But online proceedings also offer the opportunity for greater public access to and transparency of our court system than ever before.   Remember that we have the idea in this country that court proceedings are by and large open to the public. Open online proceedings allow everyone and anyone to observe and comment on judicial proceedings. What could that mean? What could that do? And while this…
Last week, I had a chance to talk to Dan Broderick, CEO and co-founder of BlackBoiler, the contract automation and AI company. We talked about the recent patents secured by BlackBoiler and more importantly Dan’s views where in house legal departments may be headed.  I have written about the BlackBoiler product more than once;I am always impressed by Dan’s knowledge about automation, AI, and the legal tech market.   I called Dan since, on the heels of its Series A funding, BlackBoiler announced last week it was recently issued its 6th and 7th patents for its AI-assisted contract…
Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.  Rime of the Ancient Mariner   Data is a lot like the above line about the ocean from the 1834 Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There is data everywhere that would help us to make better decisions if only we could get to it. Some of this data is public and accessible. But much of the data from which lawyers could most benefit is locked away in private silos in aw firms and businesses’ files.  The inability to access this data creates a real gap in attorney understanding and knowledge. Bridging this…
Earlier this week, I saw an article by Dan Roe with Legal.com about how contingency fees were on the rise in business and commercial litigation since the beginning of the pandemic.   But lest some think this means BigLaw may be getting ready to stride into a lucrative new area that frees them from the tyranny of the billable hour and downward rate pressure, think again.   Most of BigLaw, whose business models are primarily  based on the billable hour, is not wired to deal with a different business model. The contingency fee model (and for that matter, alternative fee…
There are lots of contract preparation automation tools out there these days as clients and (maybe) a few outside lawyers seek to make this whole contract drafting  process more efficient. In the past, I have written about Blackbolier’s automation tools. Others in the market include Juro and Spotdraft.   I recently came across a new entry into this competitive space made by a company called Avvoka. Avvoka is a startup that automates contract drafting, analysis, collaboration, and management tasks. The difference with the Avvoka product is that it’s designed to enable anyone in a business to at…
Many have speculated what the legal world will look like if and when the pandemic lets up. Some believe we will continue with the virtual world with more and more court proceedings and arbitrations being online. Others think we will go back to the physical in-person world for most activities. But a sizable number believe we will have a hybrid world. This means some participants will be physically present in a courtroom or conference room while others will be online. This hybrid approach reduces risk on the one hand and enhances convenience on the other. But hybrid may be the…
 Economic uncertainty is forcing businesses to take a hard look at spending including legal spend. In today’s Guest Post, Aaron Pierce, General Manager of LexisNexis CounselLink, talks about the results of the recent LexisNexis CounselLink 2020 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report and analytical tools that are available and being used to manage legal spend. Law firms best be prepared to be scrutinized like never before.  *****************************************************************   Legal departments are facing multiple challenges now, as the COVID pandemic continues and businesses across many sectors are struggling.    With so much uncertainty in the economy, it is critical for legal departments to engage in meticulous…
I’ve been re-reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. I know there are criticisms of the book, but Isaacson is a good writer/storyteller. I realized Jobs engineered a return of Apple to dominance by doing two things really well. He forced the organization to make decisions quickly without endless debate.Second, the organization was decentralized. There weren’t silos or profit centers. These attributes let Apple get ahead even though it made mistakes along the way.   Of course, Apple was able to do these things because Jobs forced the whole organization to work together for the good of the whole…