Uber Preferred Counsel Program uses data, metrics and tough questions to determine outside counsels’ commitment to diversity.

Let’s be blunt: The legal profession in general and law firms, in particular, have an abysmal record of diversity and inclusion. I have written about this several times, but despite the urgings of those more influential and well-spoken than me, improvements, well, just haven’t happened. The most recent ABA Study of diversity progress (or better put, lack thereof) glaringly demonstrates the failures.

The improvement in quality of work and decision making of diverse teams—teams composed of those other than old (and young) white men—have been well documented. Despite this, and even though both law firms and clients talk a good diversity and inclusion game, nothing ever seems to change. Why?


Continue Reading Want Diversity in Law Firms? Clients Have to Demand It

Automated contract analysis and analytical tools are getting increasingly sophisticated, making transactional work more efficient and less lawyers centric.

Thomson Reuters today announced the launch of HighQ Contract Analysis. The product is a contract review and analysis tool that uses machine learning to answer specific questions from legal professionals and then spit out an easy-to-read report. The tool lets you ask such things as “What are the landlord’s maintenance obligations ?” or “Is there a mutual right to break?”


Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Announces a New Automated Contract Analysis Tool

Esquire eLitigate™ Helps Attorneys and Court Reporters Standardize and Optimize Virtual Deposition Processes.

Esquire Deposition Solutions, a national provider of remote and in-person court reporting and video, yesterday announced it is partnering with a remote deposition and exhibit management provider vTestify to provide a product called Esquire eLitigate™™. eLitigate™ is a technology platform that’s designed specifically for virtual depositions. Currently, in a pilot phase, Esquire eLitigate™ will be released commercially in August 2021.


Continue Reading Esquire and vTestify Announce All-in-One, Virtual Deposition and Exhibit Management Platform

When looked at as a whole, the 2020 financial performance of the AmLaw 200 looks great. But there are troubling issues for the AmLaw “2nd 100”.
ALM recently released its financial summary for the AmLaw 200 for 2020. (The AmLaw 200 consists of the top 200 firms in gross dollar revenue). On the surface, the picture looks rosy for 2021. But a closer look reveals some clouds on the horizon for the second 100 law firms, which rank from 101-200 in gross revenues.
 


Continue Reading The AmLaw 2020 Report: Storm Clouds For Midsize Law Firms?

The standard advice used to be for lawyers to model their client service after Starbucks. Make the experience and service fantastic. But if the current state of Starbucks service (and that offered by many other businesses) post-Covid is any indication, that’s the worst model for lawyers. A better model: double down on customer service and experience.

I recently had the following exchange with Starbucks support:


Continue Reading Lawyers: (Don’t) Be Like Starbucks

Most recognize that cloud computing will be the new norm for lawyers, if it’s not already. But not just because of the usual cited reasons of accessibility, efficiency or security.
 
I chat periodically with David Carns, Chief Revenue Officer of Casepoint, to find out what his company is up to. But also to get his take on what’s going on in the legal tech world.
 Casepoint is an e-discovery cloud-based provider. It offers data-based intelligence and full-spectrum eDiscovery, including cloud collections, and review and customizable productions. It also data processing, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence service. I have written several posts about the company and our chats.


Continue Reading On-Prem v. The Cloud. It’s Game Over

Want to have an in-person event again? It’s all about organization and risk management. Just ask the West Virginia State Bar Association.

It’s spring. A time for rebirth. And slowly, ever so slowly, people are getting back together, coming out of their caves bleary-eyed. And while some organizations are beginning to THINK about returning to in-person live meetings and conferences, one organization has already done it.

On April 10-12 at the Greenbrier resort in Lewisburg, West Virginia, the West Virginia State Bar Association became the first state bar to return to in-person meetings. (For that matter, I haven’t heard of any legal tech organizations having live events yet).


Continue Reading Live From West Virginia, It’s the Annual State Bar Association Meeting

I was pleased to hear the recent announcement that Natalie Kelly, the former Director of Law Practice Management for the Georgia State Bar Association, has accepted the position of Director of Legal Management at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC or Center).

Natalie is one of my favorite people. Since I hadn’t had the chance to talk with her in a while, I reached out to Natalie recently. I wanted to get her thoughts about her new position. We talked about her new job, the SPLC itself, legal tech, and even the responsibility of law firms and law firm leaders to speak out against hate.


Continue Reading Natalie Kelly: Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, Enhancing Justice

Legal and legal tech conferences have shied away from using avatar platforms for fears their constituents won’t accept them. They shouldn’t.

Like most of you, I’ve been to more virtual conferences the past year than I care to count. You know the drill: you sign up thinking you will diligently attend. The conference starts, and your attention wanders. You look to the exhibit hall, and it’s a bunch of videos or chat rooms populated by God knows who. As the conference drags on, it’s harder and harder to keep engaged. As the day closes, there is the proverbial zoom happy hour. This is a usually pretty dreadful affair with a bunch of talking heads interrupting one another. I’d rather drink alone.


Continue Reading Lawyers Can Be Avatars: Just Give ‘Em a Chance

“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those with loaded guns and those that dig. You dig”.

Blondie to Tuco in the 1966 movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The increased number and sophistication of litigation analytical programs calls to mind the above line from one of my favorite movies, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In the movie, the line sums up the obvious advantage a character holding a loaded gun (Blondie, played by Clint Eastwood) over a character with an unloaded one (Tuco, played by Eli Wallach). To paraphrase Blondie, there will soon be two types of litigators in this world: those who use litigation analytics and those who, well…dig. For those who use analytics, its a good time to be a litigator.


Continue Reading It’s a Good Time to Be a Litigator…If