Lots of talk these days for the need for lawyers to be emphatic. To work on practicing empathy. To be more emphatic toward others. Usually, this is couched in terms of being able to better serve and relate to clients, and their needs and concerns, all of which is true enough. But there’s another more practical side to empathy for lawyers that’s also pretty valuable.

 

I stumbled upon this recently when a good friend said to me, “not sure how you were so successful as a lawyer, you’re such a nice guy.” (She was a little less direct than that, but I got the thrust). Ignoring for the moment that the idea that being a good/successful lawyer requires you to be an asshole, her comment did get me thinking about why I was so successful for so long while still being thought of as a reasonably nice person (well, at least by most). Continue Reading Empathy for Lawyers: It’s Not Just Touchy-Feely

Sometime ago, I wondered whether and to what extent plaintiffs’ lawyers, most of whom work on a contingency basis as opposed to by the hour, were adopting technology. After all, it would make sense that any technology that would reduce time spent on a task should be appealing to those who use a business model with which the less time you spend on a project, the more you make.

It has since occurred to me that litigation data analytics would be particularly appealing to contingency fee lawyers since it would enable them to better assess exposure and likely results and the time needed to get to an end resolution. I have written before about the power of these kinds of analytics. Continue Reading Litigation Analytics: Not Just For Defense Firms Anymore

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are two of the most respected legal tech commentators around. They are ten times smarter and 100 times more well known than I.  (Or maybe its 100 times smarter and 10 times more well known. In any event, you get my point). So disagreeing with them may be the dumbest thing I have another done. But here goes. Continue Reading You Disagree With Kennedy & Mighell? Are You Out of Your Mind?

Many of your know that I’m a big fan of Nicole Abboud’s podcast, GenY Lawyer. It’s supposedly designed for millennials but you wouldn’t know it by me. It’s really about life and coping with day to day problems, big and small, we all face in the legal profession (no matter what your role) and life itself. Continue Reading As Soon As I Publish This, I’m Going To Stop Worrying About It



Yesterday, ALM released its financial summary for the AmLaw 200.  (The AmLaw 200 consists of firms whose gross revenue is lower than that of the top 100 firms but above that of firms 200 and down. I previously discussed ALM’s findings concerning the financial picture of the AmLaw 100).  ALM summarized the results yesterday in a webinar held by Gina Passarella, Editor in Chief of the American Lawyer, Ben Seal, an ALM Managing Editor, and Nick Bruch, ALM analyst.

The results: like Sergio Leone’s old spaghetti western film, the financial status of the AmLaw 200 can best be described as some good, some bad and some really ugly. Continue Reading The AmLaw 200: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Some of you may have noticed the blog has a new logo on the About page, and the description of the blog has changed a bit.

Here’s the back story to the changes. As most of you know, I practiced law for some 30+ years before leaving to become a full-time blogger. At first, I wasn’t really sure where I or the blog was going, but I was reasonably sure I would figure it out. So if you look at some of the articles, you will see subjects meandering from tech, to change management, to innovation and even substantive legal discussions along the way. Continue Reading TechLaw Crossroads: No Bullshit

I’m in Las Vegas this week for the annual CLOC conference at the Bellagio Hotel. CLOC (which stands for the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) is a network of businesses devoted to advancing in house legal operations. As its name implies, it’s membership and benefits have traditional been open only to corporations. Not law firms. And that may be about to change. Maybe. Well maybe sort of.

CLOC and its conference have grown substantially over the past 4 years; the conference is rapidly becoming a “must go” not only for legal ops people but for anyone in legal tech and innovation space. But with growth and notoriety comes new and thorny issues that CLOC is now grappling with, issues that are bubbling up just as CLOC has named a new President, Mary O’Carroll. Continue Reading CLOC’s 2019 Growing Pains

 

TechLaw Crossroads is happy to announce a new partnership with ediscovery service provider PageOne to sponsor a series of Roundtables to discuss burning issues in the ediscovery space. The idea is to bring together Lit Tech support personal, litigators (yes lawyers are invited ) and paralegals, among others, to talk about what’s working and to network in a relaxed setting.
Lunch will be provided and we plan to offer an agenda in advance. We also welcome participants to submit topics to us as they arise.
We all have good ideas and can learn from one another in a rapidly evolving space. We ask only that you come with the mindset that (a) there are no bad ideas and (b) all egos will be left at the door. We also ask that you come prepare to offer ideas and thoughts and if you like, even some humor. PageOne has been doing these for some time and by combining efforts within TechLaw Crossroads, we hope to broaden the appeal and converasation.
The next roundtable will be at the offices of Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Indianapolis on May 29th. We plan to discuss the following topics:
*Emojis.   How is your firm handling them in discovery?   Tech to identify them correctly?
*Cell phone discovery / Social Media Capturing.  (FRE 902(13) and FRE 902 (14))?
*Best CyberSecurity Practices / ways your firm is protecting itself from bad actors?
*Selling A.I., Analytics, Predictive Coding to your clients…best practices and what’s working?
*Moving client data to cloud—Infrastructure / SAAS…what’s everyone doing?
Of course, Chatham House Rules will apply. Interested? Want an invitation? Contact me at sembry@techlawcrossroads.com or Rich Smith of PageOne at rsmith@pageonelegal.com
We look forward to your thoughts and ideas!

Not long ago, I climbed on my soapbox about the lack of diversity among speakers at a recent technology conference I attended. Here’s the picture that prompted that post.

 

At the risk of revisiting this, I have had three recent experiences that brought to mind related issues of women, how men treat and view them and more particularly what the legal profession is or should be doing about our embarrassing women and diversity problem. Continue Reading A ManPic Worth a Thousand Words: Women and Law

Yesterday, the AmLaw 100 Annual Financial Survey came out, and it offers an interesting picture of where the bigs are and perhaps where the industry is going.

I also listened to an ALM webinar yesterday in which there was a fascinating discussion about the findings among Nick Bruch, am ALM analyst, Dan Packel, an ALM reporter and Gina Passarella, Editor-in-Chief of The American Lawyer. One of the big topics of discussion by the panel: what happens if and when there is a recession.

Here are some takeaways from the data and the discussion and then some of my predictions. Continue Reading The AmLaw 100 Annual Financials: A Glass Half Full or Half Empty?