Embracing technology is key to success for IP law firms
Intellectual property law firms are experts in innovation. They prosecute patents and trademarks covering leading edge technologies that we all enjoy in the products we buy and the services we use. IP firms’ clients innovate to outperform competitors, to differentiate their products or services, and to simplify business practices for flexible and efficient operations. Furthermore, as global demographics evolve into digital natives, expectations are increasing for access to continuously available information.
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and shaping the expectations of your clients, while simultaneously leveling the playing field. You owe it to your clients to make efforts to understand what they expect from your firm and then learn how to take advantage of those changes in order to provide the best legal representation possible.
For starters, today’s tech-savvy legal clients expect better communication and greater access to information – both about you, your law firm, and their cases.
Microsoft is eager to get customers to Windows 10. Part of this campaign involved pushing the new system automatically to many users’ home computers last year when it came out. Now Microsoft is subtly issuing limited compatibility requirements for new processors, meaning that your firm all but has to upgrade to Windows 10 if you are planning to buy new computers. This is important news for law firms, 90% of which are running Windows 7, according to a survey by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA).
Now that ABA Techshow 2017 is behind us, it’s time to reflect on the ups and downs of this year’s conference. As is always the case, there were some highs - and some lows.
The low this year was obvious to all who actually made it to Chicago: the weather. The show was slated to start on Wednesday, March 16th, just one day after one of the worst winter storms of the year hit the East Coast, while another barreled into Chicago. This meant anyone from the East Coast who wasn’t able to move their travel plans to earlier in the week never made it into Chicago.
Last year, a massive cyberattack on law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed some of the world’s most powerful people in a web of suspicious financial transactions. Dubbed the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million published documents revealed a widespread system of global tax evasion involving prominent individuals from FIFA soccer officials to the Icelandic Prime Minister.
The Panamanian law firm, however, was far from the only legal organization to suffer a major hack in 2016. A recent survey published by the American Bar Association found an additional 26 percent of law firms with 500 attorneys or more experienced security breaches in the past year.
Recent times have been rough on the legal media, rife with layoffs of prominent, respected editors and widespread confusion as publications consolidate, separate or shutter altogether. For legal technology vendors, as you navigate this “new normal” in legal PR, a solid approach is to take control of your media activity. Don’t wait for more predictability to emerge in the established press. Now is the time to act assertively and persuasively. Stake your claim to online ink!
Last week thousands of lawyers, legal IT professionals, and others with an interest in legal tech made the annual pilgrimage to New York City and descended upon the Midtown Hilton. For people invested in learning about the latest and greatest innovations in legal technology, especially eDiscovery, this is a great conference to kick off the new year and mingle with other likeminded people. This year’s conference was, however, markedly different from earlier versions, at least on paper.
Making the transition to a Hosted system is a step businesses in every sector will need to consider in the near future. While the many benefits of hosted telephony are becoming vastly more understood, any upgrade to your firm’s infrastructure needs to be carefully weighed up. So, what makes hosted telephony such an attractive option for modern businesses, and how well do these advantages translate to the specific needs of your law firm?
This is a big day for iManage. For starters, the company has unveiled iManage Work 10, a new version of its document and email management system. ‘This is the biggest piece of news for iManage in at least 13 years, maybe ever,’ says the company’s chief marketing officer Dan Carmel.
iManage has also enhanced its iManage Cloud services with technologies used by leading Internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. ‘The cloud services are a substantial rewrite,’ says Carmel. ‘This is a clear leapfrogging of anything else that exists in the market today and plants a very big stake in the ground for the next 10 years.’
When it comes to cybersecurity, lawyers often get a bad rap. The industry’s known reticence to embrace new technologies similarly extends to the perception of its general lack of understanding of security issues. And in many cases, the evidence does indicate that lawyers fail to enact necessary cybersecurity measures for any number of reasons.
Common sense dictates that larger law firms would have better cybersecurity procedures in place due to large in-house IT staff and devoted legal IT budgets. But surprisingly, according to the results of the American Bar Association’s latest Legal Technology Survey Report, large law firms are often the most likely to experience security breaches.
As another year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look backward. In 2016, I wrote about a lot of different legal technology issues, but which ones stood out? What legal technology trends shaped 2016 and will continue to shape the legal profession well into 2017 and beyond?
I started the year off in January discussing one of the most talked about topics of 2016 and then returned to that topic again in June: the effect of AI on the legal profession. Despite the dire predictions of some that robots would soon replace many of the functions that lawyers perform, I concluded that that simply wouldn’t be the case.
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