They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Matthew 23:4

Like so many things, whether you love or hate remote work depends on how you look at it. Do you look at the remote work phenomenon and

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Want to be a successful lawyer? Think Jimmy Buffett. Wait…what???

Like many of you, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jimmy Buffett last week. He was a phenomenal artist and a cultural icon. He was a singer, a writer, and an author, among other things. His music, in many ways, was the music of my life. He gave us more than 40 years of songs and stories of happiness, sadness, distant places, and, of course, adventure. Whenever I hear one of his songs, I am reminded of vacations, the beach, cruises, and good times.Continue Reading Wasted Away In Margaritaville: A Lesson for Lawyer Marketing

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According to various reports, a recent survey from Wells Fargo’s Legal Specialty Group revealed some surprises. It’s been reported for the first six months of 2023, the legal headcount is up 3.9%, but billable hours are down. Significantly down. Wells Fargo surveyed over 130 law firms, including 68 AmLaw 100 firms. The Specialty Group frequently tracks and analyses law firm data and trends.Continue Reading The Decline of Billable Hours and the Unproductive Partner Dilemma

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Every time I turn around, there’s another astounding and confounding assault on our rights. This time, it was the Fifth Circuit stepping in to ensure that our right against unreasonable search and seizure stops cold at the border.

On August 15, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a remarkable and scary decision limiting the rights of US citizens coming back into the country. Malik v. DHS. The upshot of the holding: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has an unrestricted ability to seize your phone. The DHS can also wipe your phone of all the data, and then keep both the phone and data. Continue Reading Your Constitutional Protection Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure? It Ends at the Border

The effect will be to handicap DEI efforts, at the cost of business independence and even if sound business reasons exist for inclusion.

The American Alliance for Equal Rights last week sued two law firms, Perkins Coie and Morrison Foerster. Edward Blum heads the Alliance. Blum also headed one of the groups that brought the case against Harvard. That case resulted in the landmark Supreme Court decision which dealt what could be a death blow to affirmative action. In the suits aginst the law firms, the Alliance alleges that the firms’ diversity fellowship programs discriminates against white people. The programs are only open to people of color, those with disabilities, or who are LGBTQ.

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The litigation comes shortly after letters from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and a Republican Equal Employment Opportunity Commission member threatening suits against numerous law firms with DEI programs. Apparently, Blum and the Republicans are not content to attack colleges and universities. They intend to stamp out any programs of businesses that do anything that smacks of favoring anybody but whites.

The ramifications of the onslaught are terrifying, frankly. The diversity numbers in law firms and the legal profession are already abysmal. Creating programs to alleviate that record is the right thing to do. Unless you want to perpetuate a system that systematically favors white men. Continue Reading The Next Salvo in the War Against DEI Has Just Been Fired. And It Focuses on Law Firms

As I previously posted, I spent last week at the ILTA conference in Orlando. Like just about every legal tech discussion and conference these days, talk about generative AI and its uses in the substantive end of law practice dominated. Lost in all this hype, though, a quiet revolution is going on with the use of AI and automation in the business end of the practice of law. Lots of developments to ease the burden of back office stuff like billing, collections, intake, and the like. All the administrative tasks that can’t be billed for but significantly impact the firm’s profitability.

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While at ILTACon, I had the chance to talk to Doug Matthews, the Chief Product Officer of Aderant, a legal business management provider. Matthews was enthusiastic about some of these new administration use cases. As an example of the new, more sophisticated back office tools, Aderant launched an electronic automated billing platform called Onyx earlier this year. This platform takes such things as billing guidelines and automates their application into the pre-bill process.Continue Reading Using AI and Automation For Back Office Tasks: A Quiet Revolution in Law Firm Management

So there I was in the massive Exhibit Hall at the ILTA conference on Wednesday. I was at the end of my last full day at the Conference. My feet hurt, and I was tired. As I previously mentioned, ILTA provided a start-up alley in the very back of the Hall. In addition to the booths, there was a stage and some chairs. Ahhh, it’s a good place to sit for a few.

As I was resting my feet, a young man took the stage for a brief pitch. He trumpeted a product that, on first blush, I thought would merely automate the drafting of demand letters for plaintiffs’ lawyers. My first reaction was that it’s not very innovative. All you need is a form and a number. But as he talked and when I met up with him later, just like removing layers of an onion, he revealed the true nature of what he was doing. The more I learned, the more I felt he was really on to something.

The man’s name was Raymond Mieszaniec, and the company he founded with two others is called EvenUp Law. In his pitch, he revealed that it wasn’t just about drafting a demand letter. What EvenUp does is use artificial intelligence along with a team of people to determine and justify the amount of plaintiff demands in personal injury cases. Continue Reading EvenUp Is Focused on the Holy Grail of Litigation Analytics

This year’s ILTA Conference was held in Disneyworld, the self-proclaimed “happiest place on earth.”

I just returned from this year’s Conference put on by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA). It’s a massive show held every year for ILTA members and guests. This year, the four-day Conference was held in DisneyWorld.

Conference organizers reported that this was the second most attended show in ILTA’s history with over 3400 registerants. There were over 150 sponsors and exhibitors in a hall that spent two wings of the convention center in one of the hosting hotels.

Obviously, this is a big show, perhaps one of the largest LegalTech shows. With a show this big, it’s impossible to see everything, meet with everyone who wants to meet, attend all the educational sessions, and go to all the parties. It’s exhausting.Continue Reading ILTACON 2023: The Happiest Place on Earth?

We perish for lack of knowledge.

LexisNexis today announced the results of a new generative AI survey. The study was based on responses from some 4000+ lawyers. There were also responses from legal professionals and law students. This new Study furthered the findings of LexisNexis’ prior survey back in March of this year of which I have previously written.

The Headlines From the New Survey

The headlines from this additional Study:

*Most lawyers are aware of generative AI and think it will transform the practice.

*Clients expect their outside lawyers to use generative AI, and lawyers in law firms expect their clients to demand it.

*Clients expect their outside lawyers to tell them when and how they use generative AI.

It is the third headline that may cause some tension and disrupt the lawyer client dynamic.Continue Reading New LexisNexis Study Suggests Generative AI May Impact the Attorney-Client Relationship

The typical law firm business model and lawyer hubris often stymie effective succession planning.

Not that long ago, there was a plethora of articles and consultants focused on succession planning for law firms. You couldn’t attend a legal conference without seeing numerous presentations by well-heeled so-called experts on the subject. Of late, though, the craze seems to have died down. Propose a presentation on the issue now, and you probably won’t be invited to speak. It will be met with heh….old topic, already covered.

That’s why I was surprised to hear Laura Leopard, founder, and CEO of the consulting firm Leopard Solutions, being interviewed on the podcast, The Geek in Review, on just this subject. I must admit; I almost didn’t listen because I thought the topic had been beaten to death, and because I thought it had nothing to do with tech or innovation.Continue Reading Succession Planning for Law Firms. Hold My Beer