As we all are doing more and more online, it pays to make sure our online image is the best it can be. Most pros would suggest getting a webcam or an HD camera instead of using the standard camera that comes with your laptop or computer. But these can be hard to find and, get a good one, expensive.
LAS VEGAS, January 4, 2021 —LAWCLERK, the leading online marketplace for freelance lawyers, announced the rollout of a subscription based program to boost the working relationship between busy attorneys and a nationwide network of talented freelance lawyers.
I continue to be amazed by how many legal product and service providers don’t seem to grasp the need for simple, intuitive products and services. Products and services that address real pain points of their customers in the legal space. Those who supply consumer products and services get this. And let’s face it, there is a world of difference between how many in legal tech seem to think versus how those in consumer tech view the world.
It’s early January, which for me means CES, the giant consumer electronics show. (CES used to Stand for Consumer Electronics Show but now it’s just CES). CES calls itself the world’s largest and most important tech event, where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands, and network
Each year I go to CES and come back energized and optimistic. Each year I try to summarize what I learned and how those lessons might apply to legal.
Let me say at the outset: I am a big fan of online court proceedings. It allows greater participation. It reduces costs. It reduces disruption for everyone. It moves the wheels of justice. But online proceedings also offer the opportunity for greater public access to and transparency of our court system than ever before.
Remember that we have the idea in this country that court proceedings are by and large open to the public. Open online proceedings allow everyone and anyone to observe and comment on judicial proceedings. What could that mean? What could that do? And while this is good, just as we have seen with social media which has brought more openness and wide audiences for all sorts of commentary, there are dangers lurking.
Last week, I had a chance to talk to Dan Broderick, CEO and co-founder of BlackBoiler, the contract automation and AI company. We talked about the recent patents secured by BlackBoiler and more importantly Dan’s views where in house legal departments may be headed. I have written about the BlackBoiler product more than once;I am always impressed by Dan’s knowledge about automation, AI, and the legal tech market.
I called Dan since, on the heels of its Series A funding, BlackBoiler announced last week it was recently issued its 6th and 7th patents for its AI-assisted contract review technology. Blackboiler claims that none of it’s competitors – LawGeex, ThoughtRiver, ContracPodAI, Lex Check – own IP in this space, even though they claim to offer similar products. To date, BlackBoiler has been granted seven USPTO allowances and has additional patent applications pending in Canada and Europe.
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Data is a lot like the above line about the ocean from the 1834 Rime of the Ancient Mariner. There is data everywhere that would help us to make better decisions if only we could get to it. Some of this data is public and accessible. But much of the data from which lawyers could most benefit is locked away in private silos in aw firms and businesses’ files. The inability to access this data creates a real gap in attorney understanding and knowledge. Bridging this gap would provide tremendous insights, increase efficiencies, reduce cost and even reduce the amount of work some lawyers do. And it looks like that’s where we are headed.
But lest some think this means BigLaw may be getting ready to stride into a lucrative new area that frees them from the tyranny of the billable hour and downward rate pressure, think again.
There are lots of contract preparation automation tools out there these days as clients and (maybe) a few outside lawyers seek to make this whole contract drafting process more efficient. In the past, I have written about Blackboiler’s automation tools. Others in the market include Juro and Spotdraft.
I recently came across a new entry into this competitive space made by a company called Avvoka. Avvoka is a startup that automates contract drafting, analysis, collaboration, and management tasks. The difference with the Avvoka product is that it’s designed to enable anyone in a business to at least begin the contract preparation process. The product focuses on the users in a business, not the lawyers.
Many have speculated what the legal world will look like if and when the pandemic lets up. Some believe we will continue with the virtual world with more and more court proceedings and arbitrations being online. Others think we will go back to the physical in-person world for most activities. But a sizable number believe we will have a hybrid world. This means some participants will be physically present in a courtroom or conference room while others will be online. This hybrid approach reduces risk on the one hand and enhances convenience on the other.
Economic uncertainty is forcing businesses to take a hard look at spending including legal spend. In today’s Guest Post, Aaron Pierce, General Manager of LexisNexis CounselLink, talks about the results of the recent LexisNexis CounselLink 2020 Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report and analytical tools that are available and being used to manage legal spend. Law firms best be prepared to be scrutinized like never before.
Legal departments are facing multiple challenges now, as the COVID pandemic continues and businesses across many sectors are struggling.