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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

Robots, Law, Regulation: “Unfortunately It’s Not a Conversation That’s Happening Anywhere …”

Thankfully I can begin by reporting that the statement above is not true. Sam Glover over at the Lawyerist (a blog he created in 2007 so he could “rant about bad legal software”) had a wonderful conversation with Ed Walters. Walters, in addition to being the CEO of Fastcase, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law where he’s recently been teaching a seminar called the Law of Robots. Glover chats with Walters about “Robot Lawyers and the Law of Robots” and “technology’s influence on the future of law.”* . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

The Best Things I Read in January 2015

Information overload! There are just too many posts, tweets and articles flying around in the Twitterverse and elsewhere on social media and the Web. None of us can even pretend keep up. And while there is a lot of spam, self-promotional crap and other junk out there, there are some real gems that get lost in the sheer volume of content thrown at us on a daily basis. The trick is finding the content that is really interesting or helpful to you in a practical way. Patience is required, hashtags and a bit of luck can help, and identifying good . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Reading, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Look to Your Left, Look to Your Right…

…One of you won’t be here next year.

Variations of that famous phrase, according to legend, are routinely directed at first year law students, though now mostly in jest. Many people have been credited as being the first to warn law students that at least 1 in 3 wouldn’t be able to handle the rigours of law school and would soon be seeking other pursuits, with records suggesting the first utterances came as early as the 1930s, if not earlier. If it were ever true for law students (Hint: I doubt it. And certainly not in living memory), it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

First Machine Learning Course for Law Students

Daniel Martin Katz and Michael J. Bommarito II are teaching a new course on machine learning this semester at the Michigan State University College of Law. The course is called ‘Legal Analytics‘ and Katz has shared an introduction to their course on Computational Legal Studies. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Eternal Sunshine of the Legal Mind

Many years ago, when I was still early in my career as a nuclear medicine technologist, I had a co-worker named “Jackie” (not her real name), who I still think of to this day.

“Jackie” was an incredible person. She was a breast cancer survivor. She had a quirky, yet fascinating personality. And she happened to be cross-trained in both nuclear medicine and other modalities. I did everything I could to learn from Jackie, and she was always kind, patient, and understanding – basically all of the qualities we wish we encountered when we were articling, but never would because . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Times New Roman, Coffee and Ditching Reason

One of my favourite things about being a lawyer is that legal work provides unending opportunities for problem solving.

As a youngster, I loved math best when we were focused on the solving word problems, and when algebra was introduced, I couldn’t get enough of it. Fast-forwarding to today…my legal practice consists primarily of hiring myself out to identify and analyze problems and propose a range of solutions.

I still love problem solving. That’s why two recent blog posts from SeyfarthLean Consulting CEO, Ken Grady caught my eye, both on this subject.

In The Arts of Coffee and Law, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

“Old Brain Thinking”

When I left a mid-sized firm to set up my own litigation practice three years ago, to describe my approach to civil litigation I used Seneca’s famous axiom which frames my business logo – “Truth hates delay”.

That message reverberates with new power through a decision released this month by Justice F. L. Myers in Letang v. Hertz Canada.

Myers J. refused a defendant’s request to adjourn a trial to permit discovery on 465 pages of documents produced by the plaintiff a month before trial.

The new productions suggested the plaintiff’s damages were $120,000 higher than the $3.5 million sought . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

U of T Watson Team 2nd in University Competition

Congratulations to the team from the University of Toronto for their second place finish in the first IBM Watson Cognitive Computing Competition. Their legal research application Ross “allows users to ask Watson legal questions related to their case work, speeding research and guiding lawyers to pertinent information to help their case.” You can get a feel for Ross in this short video demo from the competition.

First place, and the winners of $100,000 in seed funding, went to the University of Texas at Austin for CallScout which aims to provide easy access to information about social . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

The Root of All Growth

Do you ever get that feeling that the universe is trying to communicate some idea or message to you? I do. There are times I find myself besieged with a persistent theme through a range of sources, from my personal reading to blog posts to conversations I’m part of. While I don’t always notice until much later, every so often I snap to attention right away.

This week has been like that. Lately, I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the process of experimenting as a means to uncover a solution to a problem. This is, of course, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Let the Next Generation In

The idea that any of our law societies could sanction ABS – business structures that permit fee-sharing, multi-disciplinary practice, and ownership, management and investment by persons other than lawyers – has prompted vociferous debate about whether the legal profession should change. Benchers, legal ethicists, personal injury lawyers, and academics dominate the debate, with some arguing that if there’s no prospect of benefit to the public, we shouldn’t adopt ABS, versus others who argue that if the access to justice crisis continues, we shouldn’t maintain the status quo.

Often lost in the debate are the perspectives of those who stand to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Some Ground Rules for a Constructive ABS Discussion

As is apparent from the OTLA, and the many comments on my previous post, the upcoming Bencher elections in Ontario finally have an issue that has grabbed the attention of lawyers across the province: Alternative Business Structures.

While this issue may drive better voter participation in the April election, it has also greatly divided the profession in this province.

One can already see the huge generational rift among lawyers; those at the twilight of their careers fighting to retain a 19th Century business model, while younger lawyers want to move the profession into the 21st Century so as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Back to the Future of Lawyers

For the Generation X lawyers on this site, 2015 has special significance. This was the year that Marty McFly from Back to the Future II travelled to, specifically on October 21, 2015.

Many of us who saw this movie back in 1989 wondered how much of this fictional reality would actually come true. One prediction in particular is of interest to those of us who have ended up being lawyers,

Marty McFly: You said this had to do with my kids.

Doc: Look what happens to your son.

Marty McFly: [Reading the newspaper from 2015]

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice