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Archive for the ‘Legal Technology’ Columns

Dipping Your Toes in the Automation Pool: 3 Dead Simple Tech Tools for Lawyers to Try

You can’t swing a dead cat around practice management and legal tech circles without hitting somebody talking about ChatGPT. And I know a lot of lawyers have developed a bone-deep fatigue of hearing about all things AI over the past few weeks.

I’ll admit, I am really interested in (and a bit worried about) what feels like the beginning of a sharp upward trajectory of AI’s presence in the professional lives of lawyers. Growing up watching sci fi movies in the 80s left me with a healthy concern of what will happen eventually with AI, but I also don’t think . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Practice of Law

Considering the Time Element in Law

Law is a unique and important dataset: to a large degree it is a record of governance. It also tends to be conservative, so people can know what is likely to happen in the future based on what has happened in the past. Structurally, it has elements in common with other large text-based collections, such as aggregations of literary works. However, socially it has more in common with other high stakes bodies of information like medical research, with concerns like privacy and direct impact on people’s lives being necessary considerations. These attributes combine to make law as data a strange . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

Digital Detoxing: A Lawyer’s Best Friend

The Authors Are Detox Veterans

While that heading might seem a little silly, it is absolutely true that fighting digital addiction is a true battle. It took us a long time to realize how deep our addiction was – and winning our battle against the “drug-like” compulsion to be online was not an easy victory.

So . . . if you know you need a digital detox, we hope that what follows with be useful to you. And take heart, there are many of us who have now graduated from addiction to a MUCH healthier way of living!

The History

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

Navigating the Adoption of New Technologies

The end of the year is a time when we frequently think about what has happened in the past and what will come in the future. One of the things that is often considered in this context is technological changes. With the benefit of hindsight it is easy to point to organizations that missed opportunities to adopt technologies at optimal times and worry that we are making similar mistakes in our own organizations.

The decisions associated with technology adoption are complex and involve many considerations. At the same time, they are necessarily made in the absence of perfect information. After . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Interview With Clio’s “Lawyer in Residence” Joshua Lenon

Clio’s “Lawyer in Residence”

Delighted to be granted an interview with Clio’s “Lawyer in Residence” Joshua Lenon, co-author Sharon Nelson asked Lenon to describe his duties as his title seemed a bit obscure. He laughed, no doubt having heard this query many times before.

As he described it, he does a veritable hodgepodge of jobs – all of which need a lawyer, but often requiring him to work with different groups. Clio has a wide range of professionals, officers, business development folks, IT and cybersecurity specialists, programmers, trainers, customer support professionals, etc. All of them need the benefit of Lenon’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Looking Forward: Forecasting Technology Developments in the Legal System, Redux

It’s about two years since my first forecast column for Slaw, and as the future is always rising to meet us, I thought I would do an updated version as we approach 2023. Some of my forecasts have stayed the same, some have moved from medium or long term to near or medium term, some are new, and some have been removed, but the forecast isn’t very different than the first one I wrote. As before, I’m interested to see any comments you may have on my predictions or things you think I’ve missed.

Here is my revised forecast . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

ILTACON 2022: the Legal Tech Conference Roars Back

Not since the pandemic began have we seen a live legal tech conference with more than 3000 people onsite, the third largest ILTACON ever. There was no virtual option. So back they came in droves, clearly pumped up at the thought of seeing one another in person. There were also over 160 exhibitors, a good number of them first time exhibitors.

How Was This ILTACON Different?

Overwhelmingly, attendees were talking about the pandemic and how it forced law firm IT departments to support working from home and major changes to workflows. According to ILTA’s 2022 Technology Survey, cloud adoption was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Case for Algorithmic Skepticism in Law

Algorithms have become ubiquitous in our society, yet they are widely misunderstood. Many of these misunderstandings arise from widespread lack of understanding of the technical basis for what algorithms are and how they function, but even experts often don’t understand how they work, only that they do in many situations. This lack of understanding means that there are both rational and irrational calls for caution as they are adopted further. To balance the benefits from technology adoption and caution, we need to approach these issues carefully and consider what algorithms are being used for and what underlying technology and data . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

The Danger of Unstructured Data in Law Firms

Unstructured Data – A Problem That’s Been Around for a Long Time

Recently, authors Simek and Nelson had the opportunity to talk to guest Peter Baumann on their Legal Talk Network Digital Detectives podcast. Baumann is the CEO and founder of ActiveNav, a leading data privacy and governance software provider.

As far back as 2008, Baumann was observing the exponential growth of data and specifically unstructured data, the data that sits outside of databases. He noted that today, “the best technology, the best doors and locks and alarm systems won’t stop the bad actors getting into your network. I think . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Physical Security in a Transformed World

It has been several years since we wrote on the topic of physical security, but it seems like a good topic now that so many law firms are changing how lawyers work. While there are some law firms demanding that all their lawyers return to work, more and more law firms have settled into a hybrid workplace environment. Many cybersecurity topics are sexier, but maintaining physical security is more critical now than ever.

Old-fashioned Physical Security

Pre-pandemic, we thought about conventional physical security (which some law firms still do not have). We had self-locking doors, security cameras, alarm systems, locked . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

And Now the Driverless Keyboard

We appear to have crossed another great divide in artificial intelligence. It is not just the constant shuffle of driverless cars in my Silicon Valley neighborhood on their endless driving lessons. Nor is it the machine learning gains in diagnostic accuracy that exceed those so expertly trained in radiology and dermatology. Those are visual advances in machine learning. This time it’s language.

Steven Johnson, in a marvelously well-done article in the New York Times Magazine, sets out what machine learning is making of writing. It is the driverless car equivalent of the keyboard. Just feed in your destination and it . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

Did the LSO Hold Back Court Modernization and Performance?

According to the meta description on its website, “[t]he Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct (“Rules”) express the high ethical ideals of lawyers, and specify the bases on which they may be disciplined.” To date, and unlike in other jurisdictions[1], this has not included any requirements for basic technological competence. Thus, the current Rules are entirely devoid of the terms ‘computer,’ ‘technology’ or ‘data.’ While the internet is mentioned, it appears only twice, and then, only in relation to advertising. Could this omission, or the failure of the Law Society to test new licensees on technological . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Technology