Last summer, I wrote two pieces about the lack of gender equality in the profession generally and big law in particular. These were based on an ABA Survey, which summarized several recent trends of the profession in such areas as diversity, women, legal education, technology, and more. It was not a pretty picture. (My
Amidst all the reports of downturns in the legal business with firms cutting pay and furloughing staff, there are bright spots.
I recently talked with Kristin Tyler, one of the founders of LAWCLERK, and one of the more astute observers of the innovation and legal tech scene. She had lots of good news about LAWCLERK. She also had some interesting observations of where legal may be going–a subject that seems to be on many pundits’ minds these days. It’s always good to hear, though, from someone actually in the business.
When I was a young lawyer learning how to try cases, s senior partner would always tell me: start every case by developing a chronology. What he meant was you can always better understand the case and see things you might otherwise miss if you look at the timing of the underlying facts.
My mentor’s advice was sound, at least in simple cases. The problem was that, especially in complicated cases, the chronology or timeline–which in those days was always done on paper—quickly became so long and complicated. As the case progressed, it tended to collapse of its own weight. To make it usable, you had to either put everything on the timeline or risk putting too little on it. Either way, you risked making it incomprehensible or irrelevant. Trying to use it in the courtroom (or anyplace else for that matter) was difficult. As a result, I gradually moved away from and forgot about the value of timelines.
Opus 2, which has been offering a semi-virtual integrated hearing and trial platform internationally, is now poised to also video capability, enabling completely virtual trials and hearings to take place seamlessly.
No doubt, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of how lawyers work at least for now. Whether it will permanently probably depends on how long we are locked down. It hinges on the future willingness of lawyers and, more importantly, clients to pay for the expense and time associated with working in a non-virtual manner. Let’s face it, a lot of costs are incurred getting to and from meetings, hearings, and trials. As lawyers, we bill lots of hours waiting around courtrooms.
As I have mentioned before, one barrier to law firm innovation is the failure of clients to demand it. If a new OpenText survey is any indication, though, that may be changing.
OpenText is an enterprise information management (EIM) business. Among other things, it offers a variety of eDiscovery tools to law firms and companies. It recently released the results of a third annual survey directed at the eDiscovery practices of large corporations.
And you still can hear me singing
To the people who don’t listen
To the things that I am saying
Praying someone’s gonna hear
And I guess I’ll die explaining how
The things that they complain about
Are things they could be changing
Hoping someone’s gonna care
Is the legal world really changing, or are we all still just talking about change?
Last week, for the first time in a couple of years, I attended the ABA TechShow in Chicago. It’s one of my favorite legal tech shows. Since its geared more toward smaller firms and solo lawyers, there is less high-power selling like, say at LegalWeek. This creates space for more substantive discussions and learning from vendors. That was certainly the case this year. The show featured multiple substantive tracks, over 2000 attendees, countless exhibitors, a start-up competition, and even a silent disco.
Level 2 Legal Solutions, which calls itself a legal services company, today announced the formation of new Compliance and Privacy Practice Areas. These practice areas, according to Level 2 Legal, are specifically geared towards corporate counsel and law firm needs.
That in and of itself might not necesarily sound like big news, especially since Level 2 Legal has been in this space for a while. But what Level 2 Legal is doing is, in fact, a good lesson in disruption, innovation, and how to compete in today’s changing legal marketplace.
Bob Ambrogi and I have a running dispute. He says I was the first one to ask whether it might be malpractice to not use legal data analytics in today’s litigation world. I say he was the first one to ask that very legitimate question.
But it really doesn’t matter who first coined the question. Recent results from the third annual Legal Analytics Survey by LexisNexis suggests if the answer is not already yes, it’s getting darn close to it.
I just returned home after four days in New York City for LegalWeek2020. LegalWeek is one of the biggest and most well-known legal tech conferences more info. While there are other conferences, LegalWeek is more eDiscovery and vendor orientated. CLOC, for example, focuses more on substantive issues surrounding legal ops. ABA’s TechShow is designed to get basic information to a broad audience.
LegalWeek is geared more toward larger commercial law firms. It’s the tech show for the AmLaw 200. Yes, there is good substantive programming, but it’s also the opportunity for tech vendors to sell their wares to big law. Plenty of sales meetings, plenty of parties, plenty of marketing speak. It’s appropriate that’s in held in New York where everything is big, expensive and the hustle is always on.
One hallmark of good technology is that it addresses a customers’ pain point and makes life easier. If that’s true, then LexisNexis® CounselLink® new FastTrack product hits the mark.
This is the time of year —right before and during LegalWeek, which deems itself with some justification as “the largest and most important legal technology event of the year”—for new legal tech product announcements. One of these that caught my attention was a new offering from LexisNexis® CounselLink® called CounselLink FastTrack. CounselLink FastTrack is an innovative approach to vendor and financial management. It helps law firms get paid sooner while providing extended payment terms and some cash back on invoices to firm clients.