Working with outside counsel is like getting thrown in a pit of rattlesnakes and hoping one won’t bite you. Anonymous

Axiom, the 14,000-person alternative legal service provider, launched in 2000, together with Wakefield Research, recently conducted and published a Study of U.S. in-house counsel. They conducted a 15-minute Survey online in January and

The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

Mark Twain

More and more law firms are opting to require lawyers and certainly associates to be in the office at least four days a week. At some point, this may convert to five-days in the office. Most of the time, management declares that those lawyers (read associates) who don’t comply could see their compensation reduced. (A pretty strong suggestion is that five days is better than 4 for advancement). Continue Reading The Cost of Tradition: Unpacking Law Firms’ Return-to-Work Policies

A loophole in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service terms of use could expose privileged information to third-party review. Lawyers need to undertake reasonable diligent vetting of vendors and their terms. Reliance on vendor assurances alone is not enough. But what is?

Last week, I ran across a good piece of reporting by Cassandre Coyer and Isha Marathe in law.com. The report highlighted an important issue.

Legal tech vendors have aggressively marketed Gen AI products over the last 18 months. To a vendor, they all assure potential customers that the inquiries and responses are protected, that they will not be used to train the system, and that third parties will not have access to confidential materials. In short, trust us. But can lawyers rely on these assurances, and to what extent? Do they need to do more?Continue Reading Navigating Legal Tech: Can Lawyers Trust Gen AI Vendor Confidentiality Assurances?

The lack of lawyers in rural areas has attracted much attention lately. Rural pockets with few or no lawyers living there, the so-called legal deserts, are on the upswing.

According to some surveys, 14% of the population lives in rural areas, but only 2% of lawyers do. A 2020 ABA study found that 40% of all counties in the US have fewer than one lawyer for every 1000 residents. Fifty-two counties have no lawyers, and another 182 have only one or two.Continue Reading Serving the Underserved: Innovative Solutions Needed to Solve the Rural America’s Lawyer Drought

There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil. Walter Lippmann

As most of you know, I frequently attend conferences–both legal tech related and those related to technology in general, like CES. I do this because I am interested in the field and because I like to think what I write as a former practicing lawyer is valuable. The latter idea, of course, carries the responsibility to be candid and to “call em as I see em”. I have tried to do that since I started blogging some seven years ago.Continue Reading Integrity Over Access. Why I Said No Thanks to a Conference’s Demand for Positive Coverage

We best be careful, or we will find ourselves in a closet talking to ourselves too much.

Once upon a time, I had a good client who was fond of saying, “We best be careful, or we will find ourselves in a closet talking to ourselves too much.” Meaning, of course, that you get into trouble if you don’t get diverse viewpoints from people who perhaps see the problem and the world differently than you.

My client’s wisdom was recently brought home to me in connection with the Gen AI hoopla. The last two months have been a whirlwind of conferences for me. During that time, I attended three technology conferences. One was CES, which was generally directed toward consumer electronics and technology. The other two, LegalWeek and ABA TechShow, were both directed at legal technology in particular. Continue Reading Gen AI in Law: A Lawyer Reality Check

“If you want to show up and be seen in your life, you’re going to get your ass kicked.”

Brene Brown

I recently finished a book by Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn entitled Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric that Matters. The book talks a lot about ideas and their power. The authors go to great lengths to explore ways to nurture ideas, how to work in teams to enhance ideas, and how to turn ideas into reality. They also talk about how organizations and leaders can act to nurture ideas instead of quashing them and the creativity that creates them. It’s that creativity that is essential to a vibrant, innovative enterprise.Continue Reading ABA TechShow: The Power (and Agony) of Ideas

On our recent LegalTech Week Journalists Roundtable, we went into a discussion about the increased emphasis of late on so-called midsize law firms. In particular, we talked about their needs when it comes to things like technology.

Certainly, more attention has recently been paid to this group of law firms. Clio provided a Survey entitled Legal Trends for Midsize Law Firms that focused on midsized law firms. Clio recently announced it planned to aggressively market to midsize firms in the future. An outfit called Actionstep recently released its 2024 US Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report. Thompson Reuters recently published its State of the Legal Market Report, which deals in part with midsize law firms.Continue Reading Beyond Size: Navigating the Complexities of Modern Legal Practices

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Two recent studies, one by LexisNexis and one by LawPay-MyCase, looked at the use of AI and Gen AI at two ends of the legal market. The LexisNexis study, entitled 2024 Investing in Legal Innovation Survey, looked at very large law firms and businesses. LexisNexis talked to 266 managing partners and c-suite leaders at AmLaw 200 law firms. LexisNexis also spoke to 50 legal professionals at Fortune 1000 companies and large law firms outside the AmLaw 200. The survey was done between December 6, 2023, and January 9, 2024, so it’s pretty recent.Continue Reading From Big Law to Small Firms: A Tale of Two Cities in Embracing Legal AI

I just got back from LegalWeek 2024 in New York City. LegalWeek is the annual legal tech conference put on by ALM and directed at big law firms and clients. There were lots of exhibitors, lots of parties, and fancy dinners. It’s glitzy and sales and marketing oriented.

This year, as expected, the educational sessions, discussions, and marketing were dominated by generative AI. There were ample predictions about how it will transform the legal profession. The standard refrain was that Gen AI will enable lawyers to spend more time on high level thinking.Continue Reading Innovative Vendors at LegalWeek 2024: A Focus on Customer-Centric Solutions