Employees across every department at large and medium companies in the U.S. use several key software applications every day to be productive and manage their job duties – applications such as email, chat, calendar, spreadsheets and document sharing systems. Most of those companies, including most of our corporate and law firm clients, today use Microsoft’s subscription service, Office 365 (O365), which makes sense, as it is the most widely adopted cloud service with more than 180 million users.
Open source software (OSS) – some of the best, cleanest, and most secure code in use today – permeates project development at every level. Because of its widespread use, legal counsel will encounter it in almost any business.
While OSS is often free in price, it is never free from obligations. The security risk that open source software creates isn’t that the code is likely to be problematic. The greater risk is that you won’t know where you use it – which means that you won’t know where to patch it. How can your organization ensure that it uses OSS properly and takes proper precautions with it?
Gottfried Leibniz, one of the ‘grandfathers of artificial intelligence’, was, amongst other things, a lawyer. And despite dying some 300 years ago, he was clear on the benefits that AI could bring to the legal industry, stating: “It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labor of calculation which could safely be relegated to anyone else if machines were used.”
One of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) key strategic initiatives has been the development of clear guidelines to help organizations manage cybersecurity-related risk. A growing number of U.S. federal agencies have adopted this cybersecurity framework for purposes of securing their systems and their third-party contractors’ systems as well.
For many law firms, digital transformation is now a key business priority that requires immediate resolution; 100% of top 10 law firms and 40% of top 11-25 firms have identified technology as the key challenge to growth in the next 2 years1. And 85% of enterprise decision-makers stated they have a two-year period to make significant inroads into digital transformation or they will fall behind their competitors and suffer financially2.
Did you already hear about the 90 Days LegalTech Challenge? An interesting initiative by Ana Alvarez, a Columbian lawyer and legal innovation enthusiast.
The Challenge aims to raise awareness about innovative, customer centric and empathic LegalTech solutions.
SOLID East in NYC, an event produced by the Cowen Group, was a dynamic, interesting and highly enjoyable conference about legal innovation. SOLID, which stands for Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption, featured a slate of well-known speakers ranging from lawyers to legal ops professionals, vendors and data scientists.
Last week, British newspaper The Sunday Times published a story about telecoms firm BT and its plans to sell off assets to raise funds to boost the rollout of ultra-fast broadband across the UK.
The company has already agreed to dispose of its London headquarters for £210 million and has apparently slapped a ‘for sale’ sign on its legal software division Tikit as well.
Law firms of all sizes are under constant pressure to adapt to changing client demands and an evolving workplace. They need to do this while enabling the effective creation and sharing – as well as the security and governance – of their work product.
In the ongoing effort to meet these requirements, it might seem like the odds are stacked in favour of large firms. Technology, however, has a tendency to level the playing field – and increasingly, the cloud is serving as “the great equalizer” in the legal world, enabling the smaller and mid-sized law firms to keep pace technologically with the larger firms.
As Legal Geek founder Jimmy Vestbirk took the stage for the first-ever Legal Geek North America conference, it was clear that this was not going to be like any other legal conference – his description of “quick, short and sharp” as the Legal Geek style was certainly accurate. Vestbirk greeted everyone warmly and outlined the Legal Geek Ethos which prioritizes friendship over selling, recommends both learning and teaching, reminds of the importance of pitching in to help, and reminds about the all-important “no ties” policy, which was strictly observed – no ties in sight!
More about the French ban on Judge analytics
On 4 June 2019, the French Government criminalised the “reuse” of data identifying judges “with the purpose or effect of evaluating, analysing, comparing or predicting their actual or alleged professional practices” with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
The legal tech sector was stunned. The move appears to run counter to the modern trends of open justice and the “consumerization” of inaccessible professions through technology. Start-ups may be asking themselves whether this is the start of a wider reactionary movement against these ideals, and whether the effort is worth the risks.
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