Earlier this month, EY, the mega accounting firm and one of the Big 4 accounting firms, announced plans to spin off into two separate businesses. One business would be devoted exclusively to providing audits to EY clients. The other business would be devoted to providing a variety of consulting services to EY’s business clients. The

As I have discussed before, the legal profession, especially the law firm end of it, can’t be thought of as a monolithic marketplace. Instead, today’s legal marketplace is composed of various segments. These segments have business models and goals that are so different that they might be thought of as distinct businesses entirely. Marketers and vendors need to understand that different the sizes and types of law firms are have fundamentally different motivations and concerns. They also need to know where all law firms are similar. And various surveys can help in this understanding.

Toward the end of this year’s ILTA conference, for example, ILTA released an Executive Summary of its annual technology survey. This tech survey, along with those done by the ABA and ALM, forms the basis of much of our law firm knowledge when it comes to tech. The ILTA survey respondents tend to be from larger firms and are people who work in the legal tech field as opposed to practicing lawyers.

Continue Reading ILTA 2022 Tech Executive Summary: Law Firms’ Tech Approaches Vary By Size

I just got back from this year’s annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association (commonly referred to as ILTA). The Show, held at National Harbor near Washington DC,  was the first in-person ILTA conference since 2022 and may be the biggest post- pandemic legal tech show. It was great to see so many people and be more or less back to normal. And ILTA, by and large, pulled off a great show, although to some extent, the Show, like the legal tech market itself, was a study in contrasts. But it may have provided a look into the future of the legal tech market.

Here are my impressions.

Continue Reading ILTACon 2022: a Few Glitches, a Look at the Future. And A REALLY BIG SHOW

It’s often said that privacy is dead. Indeed, most of us don’t think much about privacy anymore as we opt for convenience. But recent events suggest that the loss of privacy can have dire implications for all of us. Particularly since the government and others have the ability to know everything, and I mean everything about us.

I have written before about the potential ability of law enforcement, prosecutors, and others to obtain highly personal information about you. And about what you are doing. Indeed a recent unconfirmed report out of Nebraska suggests that that is precisely what is starting to happen.

Continue Reading Facebook Knows Everything About You. And Is Willing To Share

There has been a noticeable trend in legal tech the past few years toward more AI, more machine learning and, perhaps as a result, more user friendly legal tech. More user friendly tech means more hands on tech usage by lawyers and legal professionals. Which is a good thing.

I just got back from 3 days at AALL (American Association of Law Librarians) 2022 conference where these trends—as well as others–were evident. (This was the first in-person conference for AALL in a couple of years). My fellow Legaltech Week panelist,  Zach Warren summarized the conference very well in his recent article. But here are my impressions.

First, for the most part, the conference seemed to be a back to normal event. Like Zach, I don’t know the exact attendance numbers. But session attendance was about what you would expect. The exhibit hall looked pretty much normal, and the vendor parties were well attended and lavish.

Continue Reading AALL2022: AI, Machine Learning, User Friendly Tech. And Next Generation LexisNexis+

The 2022 AALL Conference opened yesterday on a solid note of collaboration and cooperation.

The 2022 AALL Conference kicked off yesterday, July 16 in Denver. It’s the first time the groups have gotten together since 2019. Perhaps appropriately, the keynote speaker was Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is the first woman Chief of the California Supreme Court and an engaging and charismatic speaker.

The Chief Justice talked a lot about access to justice and the way courts are viewed in today’s society society. She also talked about how to deal with the new realities growing out of the pandemic. But more than that, she talked about collaboration and consensus building, collegiality among those who disagree, and leadership. She struck the right and appropriate note for the Conference.

Continue Reading AALL 2022: It’s All About Good Manners

When it comes to diversity in the legal profession, we often focus on the federal judiciary, law firms, and in-house legal departments. But where most legal work gets done and lay people have the most contact with the law is in state courts. And the diversity scorecard in state courts often gets ignored. But the Brennan Center of Justice has, since 2019, focused on just this issue, at least for the highest courts in each state. The Center recently updated its State Supreme Court Diversity. The update results, unfortunately, were consistent with prior years and, in a word, are appalling.
The Study was based on data shared by Professor Greg Goelzhauser at Utah State University. It is based on detailed demographic and professional information from a number of sources. These sources include biographical statements, obituaries, newspaper articles, and listed membership in affinity organizations.

Continue Reading State Courts and Diversity: A Sad Picture

All too often, we think of the legal market, especially for law firms, as being composed of BigLaw or at least lawyers that bill by the hour.

The truth is, though, that today’s legal marketplace is composed of various segments. These segments have business models and goals that are so different that they might as well be thought of as separate types of businesses entirely.

The trend toward increase diversification and segmentation in legal was brought home to me in a couple of conversations this week. The first was with Kris Satunkas. Satunkas is the Director of Strategic Consulting for CounselLink.

Continue Reading The Legal Market: Continued Diversification and Segmentation

Lost in the acrimonious abortion debate in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court ruling are fundamental and downright scary questions. What does the brave new world of privacy? What privacy protections are there, or what should there be now that abortion is illegal in so many states? A brave new world that may terrify tech companies and ultimately all of us.

A recent report from Reuters entitled U.S. Tech Industry Frets About Handing Data to States Prosecuting Abortion sets out the issue. When you go online and search the web, there is a record created of your search history– and the sites to which you go. There is also geolocation data generated.

Continue Reading Privacy Just Took On a Whole New Meaning

I had an interesting discussion recently with Peter Baumann. Peter is the CEO and founder of data privacy and governance software provider ActiveNav. According to its website, ActiveNav, founded in 2008, helps “privacy and compliance teams quickly identify, inventory and map sensitive data.”

Peter’s present goal is to develop solutions that address what he calls the “elephant in the room .”That is businesses having and maintaining too much unstructured that they really shouldn’t.

Continue Reading Law Firms and Unstructured Data: A Disaster Waiting to Happen?