Lawyers no longer sell knowledge, but skills. Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, Partner at Bureau Brandeis and panellist at Lexpo, therefore believes we need to change the way lawyers are trained: "All very nice, I know, the latest state of affairs in contract law, but hardly relevant. Lawyers need to get a lot more skills training. This need is only gradually being understood in the legal profession."
In 2009 a Japanese man married a computer. And that will happen again in other places around the world in the next twenty years from now, predicts Chrissie Lightfoot of EntrepreneurLawyer Limited. Lightfoot, a keynote speaker at the Lexpo - the legal innovation event - coming up on 21 April, thinks that lawyers need to prepare themselves better for this type of trend. 'We are currently in a period of transition. You need to stay on top of it today, or tomorrow you will have missed the boat.'
Of course, the outlook for Artificial Intelligence is just plain fascinating, naturally also for the legal sector. But Casey Flaherty, keynote speaker at the upcoming Lexpo innovation event on 21 April, prefers to start off with something a bit closer to home. ‘Technology is horribly important, but it isn't magic. Technology takes a major effort and a lot of time.'
No matter the line of practice or industry focus, all law firms are entrusted with highly sensitive client information. When it comes to protecting this extremely confidential data, many firms rely on technical solutions, such as: firewalls, antivirus software, perimeter defenses and multifactor authentication.
However, in an increasingly complex cloud-based and mobile world, the protection of valuable enterprise and client data can no longer be looked at as purely an IT security challenge, but instead should be approached as a broader information governance strategy. In other words, the fact that extremely valuable data now often resides outside of firm firewalls, means firms should not only be evolving their supporting technology, but also their internal information governance policies and procedures.
How to take NBI strategies to the next level by simplifying back-office processes
Law firms, like many other companies today, are constantly investigating ways to do more with less. Quality legal work is a must but reducing extraneous spend is almost always on executives’ minds. Many firms are already taking steps toward cost optimization by increasing efficiencies and better aligning their back office processes for greater profitability.
Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to Manhattan to attend and cover Legaltech New York. The conference was exactly what I had expected and I walked away with the phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” running through my mind—both in terms of the conference itself and in terms of the legal professions’ collective attitude toward technology.
Who knew robots and lawyers went hand in hand? I had no idea until the two terms recently began repeatedly showing up in my RSS feed in headline after headline. Most articles seem to posit that robots will one day—in the not so distant future—replace lawyers. In other words, lawyers are doomed. Doomed I say!
Now the death of lawyers—that’s nothing new. It’s a theme I’ve grown used to. In fact, I’ve even been know to throw the words “dinosaur” and “extinct” into a sentence that contains the word “lawyers.” After all, a little hyperbole can sometimes go a long way.
As 2015 draws to a close, I thought I’d take a look back at all of my columns from the past year. It’s been an interesting year for legal technology and there are insights to be gleaned from 2015’s events and trends.
First, there were the legal technology conferences. I attended quite a few of them and each left me with a different perspective as to where the legal technology space was headed.
There has been some noise in the past months regarding email read receipts and whether or not they are admissible in court. In the North Carolina case, Fox v. Leland Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department Inc., 7:12-CV-354-FL. (E.D.N.C. Mar. 10, 2015), email read receipts were contested by the defense as unauthenticated hearsay. Judge Flanagan countered this argument, saying that read receipts amount to a party admission rather than hearsay.
It’s well known that standard email is inherently unsecure. As emails travel to their intended destination, they traverse untold number of servers and can be intercepted and viewed by virtually anyone with technological know-how. This is because emails are unencrypted and are akin to postcards written in pencil and this inherent security flaw in email as it now exists arguably places confidential client data at risk.
Lawyers need to make sure their voices are heard in debates about the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to affect everyone, everything, everywhere, no doubt including the legal industry and the clients it serves. But will it have a drastic impact on IT operations at law firms? How can lawyers participate in the IoT phenomenon in a meaningful way?
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