The Best Lawyer You Can Be. A Guide to Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness By Stewart Levine

Stewart Levine’s new book reminds of the Whole Earth Catalogue written a number of years ago by another Stewart-Stewart Brand. For those too young to remember, the Whole Earth Catalogue  was magazine and product catalog published several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. While it was directed mainly to a non mainstream, sort of countercultural audience, it did contain all sorts of product information, how to instructions and  other valuable information. The goal of the Catalogue was to introduce those who were interested to some unique tools and information on topics not well addressed other places. Its theme was “access to tools” and that’s by and large what it delivered.
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Sometime ago, I read an article about a former biglaw litigator, Kathleen Dooley, who left biglaw to go in-house for Hu-manity.co. Hu-manity.co is dedicated to enabling individuals to claim legal ownership of their inherent human data as property (i.e., doing good for the world).

Since I, too, was a former biglaw litigator who recently left for something else, I reached out to her to see what prompted her to make the change and how she went about it. I found her to be a fascinating person who gave her change process a lot of thought. Here is my interview of her in which she candidly talks about her change, what she’s doing now and the state of women in law. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did doing it.


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Why do some law firms give away content while others wallow in silos?

For most of this week I have been attending the annual trade show of the International Legal Technology Association or ILTA for short. Like most trade shows, ILTA offers a very large and interesting exhibit hall with hundreds of vendors displaying their wares.
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Today’s morning keynote at ILTA was a topic near and dear to the heart of most legal industry observers and pundits: the so called Dramatic Shifts in Legal Services. A panel of esteemed luminaries including John Elbasan of Wilkie Farr, Zabrina Jenkins, Starbucks in house counsel, Dan Linna of Northwestern University, Jeffery Schwartz of Hinshaw and last but certainly not least for reasons that will become apparent below, John Fernandez of Dentons. Unrepresented on the panel, ironically, was anyone actively practicing with a law firm which, in and of itself, is emblematic of the continuing gap between those of us who believe there is a better way to provide legal services and those who provide them.
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Here we sit on the virtual eve of the 2018 International Legal Technology Association annual conference.  ILTA, as most readers probably know, is primarily made up of large law firms and better known legal technology vendors and the conferance, along with ABA techShow and LegalWeek are the largest legal tech events.

Once again, I plan on attending and look forward to learning, networking and seeking out vendors in the legal tech space. But I wonder about the future of big conferences like this one. All of these conferences are spectacles, expensive to put on, expensive to attend, and expensive to travel to. In many instances, the bang for the buck can certainly be questioned, especially when there may be other alternatives for the same content at less cost. 
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Standard innovation theory tells us that we move from an early adoption phase to mainstream very quickly. This is in part true because our  behaviors are influenced by our peers, how widespread we think the use of a particular product is and how well known the provider of the product is to us. This is particularly the case where the product saves time, is easy to use and produces a better result. And all this is especially true in the legal profession.

If true, then Thomson Reuters’ new Westlaw products announced today may be the event that takes AI and data analytics into the mainstream for the legal profession.
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Microsoft Build 2018, Microsoft’s developer conference, kicked off today in Seattle with a keynote from its CEO, Satya Nadella. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Nadella’s keynote was that he didn’t mention Microsoft Windows, Office or Outlook until he was over an hour into the almost 2 hour speech.

Instead, Nadella talked mainly about how Microsoft is going more online and offering all sorts of different application and operating system integrations.
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