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Legal IT Today

Commentary, Strategy and Market Intelligence for the Global Legal IT Community

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The complete index of Legal IT Today is now available! Legal IT Today is the must-read publication for the global legal technology community. Produced by the Legal IT Professionals team and edited by Jonathan Watson. This exciting sector-focused and truly international magazine is packed with commentary, strategy and market intelligence. Lined-up are contributions from both sides of the Atlantic – from leading lights in legal IT, including law firms, consultants and suppliers of the very latest technology.

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General

  • Will technology soon become the least important distinguishing factor for law firms? (Jeffrey Brandt, March 2015) - Technology is now so common that many see it almost as a utility, but can law firms still use it to stand out from the competition? We ask four experts in the know.
  • The good, the bad and the could do better (Jason Plant, March 2015) - Jason Plant shares his memories of almost 20 years of legal IT conferences.
  • A misleading and unhelpful endorsement (Jonathan Watson, March 2015) - The Law Society, the body that represents solicitors in England and Wales, ruffled the feathers of quite a few legal IT professionals in early 2014 when it launched a tendering process to endorse a preferred supplier of case and practice management software.
  • Let's make excellence a habit (Matt Torrens, March 2015) - Matt Torrens explains why the legal sector is way behind financial services and healthcare in terms of IT and how this can be changed.
  • James Caan Q&A: seven key takeaways (Joanna Goodman, December 2014) - Following his keynote at London Law Expo 2014, James Caan took the time to apply his sharp business perspective to questions from representatives of law firms and the legal profession. In an exclusive report from the Q&A, Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman highlights seven key takeaways.
  • Is the Surface Pro an iPad killer? (David Baskerville, September 2014) - In a well-timed article, following the re-entry of Microsoft into the legal IT market, consultant David Baskerville reviews the Surface Pro tablet and discovers a genuine alternative to the ubiquitous iPad.
  • Internet of things: it's not science fiction (Anthony Waller, June 2014) - Olswang partner and technology practice co-head Anthony Waller, whose clients include high-growth technology companies and investors, offers some insights into the Internet of Things and connected living and the legal challenges and opportunities presented by this rapidly growing market.
  • What's happening at Intapp? (Joanna Goodman, June 2014) - Intapp is one of the most popular software suppliers to law firms on both sides of the Atlantic. And it is expanding, with the recent acquisition of The Frayman Group. Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman interviews Intapp’s CEO John Hall who explains how the company is successfully applying Silicon Valley principles to legal IT. In May 2014 Intapp moved to new offices in the City of London. 
  • Art of Glass - a UK first for Legal IT (Joanna Goodman, March 2014) - Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman attended the South West Legal IT Forum where she filmed the UK’s first legal IT interview via Google Glass!
  • A brand new firm (Anders Etgen Reitz & Aage Krogh, December 2013) - How would you design a new firm from scratch – with no legacy whatsoever in terms of technology – or culture? This is a common discussion topic for conferences and workshops. Anders Etgen Reitz and Aage Krogh describe how they created IUNO law firm in Copenhagen and the thinking behind its unique brand.
  • What's happening at Workshare? (Joanna Goodman, December 2013) - Following its acquisition by SkyDox in 2012, Workshare expanded its document collaboration software portfolio to include cloud and server based enterprise versions of popular consumer applications, including social media. Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman visited Workshare in London’s Spitalfields.
  • Interview: catching up with Tikit (Joanna Goodman, June 2013) - LITT editor Joanna Goodman meets Tim Springham, who took over as CEO at Tikit shortly after it was purchased by BT in January 2013. 
  • A slice of Raspberry Pi (Nigel Stott, June 2013) - Raspberry Pi – a simple, low-power credit-card size programmable computer – was designed as a catalyst to get young people interested in computers and computer programming. Then it hit the mainstream. Nigel Stott explains how Raspberry Pi is boosting business agility at Clarion – literally doing more with less.
  • Food for thought: Do US and UK firms' approaches to technology reflect the differences in workplace culture? (Ben Weinberger, March 2013) - On 1 May UK firms Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees will merge to become Bond Dickinson.Bond Pearce director of IT and facilities Ben Weinberger, who will be responsible for IT at Bond Dickinson, spoke to LITT about the differences between working for US and UK law firms and his plans for Bond Dickinson in 2013.
  • A near commonality (Janet Day, March 2013) - United States – United Kingdom. A commonality of name and a near commonality of language – and a range of similarities and differences in everything. The more truly global the world becomes, the more the similarities and differences make for an interesting life.

Document Management

  • A seamless transition (Jonathan Watson, March 2015) - The last few months have been busy ones for cloud-based document and email management service provider NetDocuments. At the end of 2014, it closed a deal to acquire Decisiv Email from Recommind, and in early 2015, the company said it would respond to its growing popularity in Australia by investing in data centres, offices, and a supporting team in Sydney. Legal IT Today editor Jonathan Watson spoke to the company’s CTO Alvin Tedjamulia about the plans for this year and beyond.
  • Email is now much more than just a messenger (Brian Podolsky, March 2015) - Brian Podolsky of Kraft Kennedy outlines the tools that can help law firms manage email and examines how they are maturing.
  • Document management: a strategic enabler, not a silver bullet (Anthony DeCerce, June 2013) - If documents are a law firm’s life blood, its document management system (DMS) is at its heart. Getting it right is the key to a strong and agile business; getting it wrong represents a critical risk. Experienced consultant Anthony DeCerce guides us through the maze of options and offers his opinion on the key considerations in selecting a DMS.
  • Document management: distinguishing features (Brian Podolsky, June 2013) - Enterprise content management (ECM) consultant Brian Podolsky discusses the distinguishing features that differentiate the various types of document management systems deployed in law firms of different sizes and profiles.
  • Interview: what's happening at Autonomy? (Joanna Goodman, March 2013) - HP Autonomy iManage document management, search and ediscovery software is the market leader on both sides of the Atlantic, used by 75% of the world’s largest law firms – including 80 of the AmLaw 100 and 150 of the AmLaw 200. Joanna Goodman talks with Neil Araujo, Autonomy's General Manager ECM.

eDiscovery

  • The eDiscovery watershed (Ari Kaplan, September 2014) - US legal consultant and author Ari Kaplan shares the findings of his in-depth benchmarking survey on eDiscovery, and offers some interesting predictions.
  • From BYOD to big data - kCura CIO Doug Caddell (Joanna Goodman, March 2014) - Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman meets one of legal IT’s best-known innovators, kCura’s CIO Doug Caddell. He brings his innovative approach to popular e-discovery vendor kCura.
  • eDiscovery: man, machine and mathematics (Tracey Stretton, September 2013) - What do companies need to know about eDiscovery? As Tracey Stretton explains, technology assisted review (TAR) has the potential to transform eDiscovery from a significant cost to a potential source of competitive advantage.
  • eDisclosure: be prepared to prepare (Chris Dale, June 2013) - Preparation brings benefits in post-Jackson eDisclosure case management, argues eDisclosure expert Chris Dale.

Security

 

  • Special delivery (Joanna Goodman, September 2014) - Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman caught up with Tony Pepper, CEO and co-founder of Egress Software Technologies to clarify some of the issues around email encryption.
  • Cyber security - blanket? (Tim Ryan, December 2013) - Cyber security is a hot topic for legal advice and legal IT. Law firms are entrusted with advising businesses on how best to protect corporate data as well as safeguarding the sensitive and confidential information that they hold as trusted advisors. Tim Ryan guides us through the complex cyber security puzzle with five useful recommendations.

Training

 

  • Legal IT: educating the next generation of lawyers (Joanna Goodman, September 2014) - Clio’s Academic Access Program (CAAP) provides over 150 law schools, pro bono legal clinics and paralegal programmes with free software and training on Clio’s cloud-based practice management system (PMS). Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman caught up with Clio’s Shelby Hejjas.
  • State of the art: legal technology education (Joanna Goodman, June 2014) - Legal technology education is now finding its way onto the curriculum at several leading law schools. Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman interviews Professor Andrew Perlman who heads up the Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

Cloud

 

  • Clicks and bricks: legal IT the Inksters' way (Brian Inkster, March 2015) - Brian Inkster explains how a cloud-based IT infrastructure supports Inksters’ business model, which includes working in remote areas of Scotland, and the firm’s continued expansion. 
  • What next for legal IT in the Cloud? (Frank Jennings, December 2013) - Cloud computing has taken its time to become a mainstream option, but it is there now and has a significant role in legal IT. Cloud computing expert Frank Jennings speculates on the (near) future for legal IT and the cloud.

Business Intelligence

  • Value added data (Joanna Goodman, December 2014) - Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman met DW Reporting and Manzama, whose offerings reflect big data principles by cross-referencing and analysing multiple data sources to produce valuable intelligence that enhances firms’ revenues, client service and competitive advantage. Martyn Wells, IT Director at Wright Hassall, gives us a practical perspective on data intelligence in action!

Artificial Intelligence

  • AI in legal: fear, uncertainty and doubt (Jeffrey Brandt, December 2014) - Jeffrey Brandt continues the discussion of artificial intelligence in legal with an opinion piece that draws on multiple literary and cinematic references.
  • Let humans be humans: AI and legal practice (Mark Gould, September 2014) - Mark Gould, former Head of Knowledge at Addleshaw Goddard responds to David Halliwell’s opinion piece on artificial intelligence published in issue 6 of Legal IT Today arguing why AI may not be compatible with legal philosophy and reasoning.
  • Judgement day: Can AI take over the legal world? (David Halliwell, June 2014) - The law is about applying a set of rules to particular circumstances – and so is computing. It is only a matter of time – and inclination – before artificial intelligence (AI) takes over the legal world, says David Halliwell, Director of Knowledge, Risk and Legal Services at Pinsent Masons. But who will lead the way?

BPM / Workflow

  • RPA: humanising the workflow (Matt Whalley, December 2014) - I first interviewed Matt Whalley before either of us worked in the legal sector – for a book I was writing about organisational knowledge and culture. This article, which forms part of our series on artificial intelligence is adapted from his blog post on robotic process automation.
  • Re-engineering legal efficiency (Stuart Whittle, September 2014) - Lean Six Sigma combines the philosophy of lean manufacturing with Six Sigma, and is designed to eliminate waste from the manufacturing process. Weightmans’ IS and Operations Director Stuart Whittle is applying Lean Six Sigma methodologies to re-engineer the firm’s legal and business processes.
  • Process mapping through glass (Ted Theodoropoulos, June 2014) - IT consultant Ted Theodoropoulos purchased Google Glass as soon as it was publicly available. Here he looks at its application in the legal sector with particular focus on process mapping.

Strategy

 

  • A constellation of disruption (Chris Bull, March 2015) - Chris Bull, executive director at consultancy Kingsmead Square, outlines the 10 key trends that are transforming law firm business models in the digital age.
  • Legal IT Landscapes (Rupert Collins-White, December 2014) - ‘Legal IT Landscapes 2015’ presents the findings of Briefing magazine’s survey of legal IT leaders highlighting the key technologies – and IT strategies –that are shaping the business of law. Legal Support Network’s editor in chief and head of content Rupert Collins-White gives us a snapshot of legal IT trends into 2015 and beyond.
  • The internet of money (Patrick McElroy, September 2014) - Bitcoin is increasingly accepted by businesses globally, and law firms are gradually coming around to the idea too. Patrick McElroy of AgileLaw makes the case for accepting digital currency – and outlines some of its potential pitfalls.
  • Big data and legal: from first date to newlyweds! (Jobst Elster, June 2014) - The legal sector’s affair with big data is evolving into a serious, committed relationship. InsideLegal’s Jobst Elster, who is a member of the ABA’s Big Data Committee, follows its progress from obscure conference keynote to this year’s buzzword and the driver of numerous innovative ways of delivering legal services.
  • Showcasing IT can bring unexpected benefits (Peter Owen, March 2014) - Millions of dollars in the technical R&D, slick design and marketing and what is the smart phone used for? A make-up mirror! Do we really know what our IT systems are used for? Leading consultant Peter Owen explains why showcasing IT is can bring unexpected benefits.
  • Can technology change legal practice? (Mark Gould, March 2014) - To date, the main achievement of legal technology has been to allow lawyers to operate at a larger scale or greater speed. But is faster better? Mark Gould, Head of Knowledge Management at Addleshaw Goddard LLP suggests a data-centric approach to technology can shift the focus back to the client.
  • The engagement game (Stephanie Kimbro, March 2014) - Stephanie Kimbro, lawyer, author and academic, examines the rationale for introducing gamification into online legal services to help potential customers engage with law firms – and compete effectively for low-cost business with commercial, non-lawyer online offerings.
  • Big data: navigating the future (Eric Hunter, December 2013) - Forecasting the future can also shape and clarify it. Eric Hunter of Bradford & Barthel and Spherical Models presents his eight-fold predictive path – not to spiritual enlightenment, but towards re-engineering the law firm of the future.
  • Introducing the new CIO (Jeffrey Brandt, December 2013) - The legal sector’s ‘new normal’ has also changed the role of the law firm CIO. Reference has been made to CIO standing for ‘career is over’, or more optimistically, ‘chief innovation officer’. Today’s CIO requires a broad combination of skills, says Jeffrey Brandt.
  • Merger Planning (James Frost, December 2013) - A merger can completely change a firm’s culture, practice emphasis, geographic focus, strategy, business structure and compensation system as well as its technology infrastructure. James Frost outlines the processes that need to be put in place to facilitate a pain-free merger between two firms, highlighting key considerations and potential pitfalls.
  • Interview: the GC perspective (Joanna Goodman, September 2013) - LITT Editor Joanna Goodman interviews Frits Rebel, general counsel of global corporate SHV.
  • Reality bites - surviving and thriving in the new legal service landscape (Cristina Libro, September 2013) - A plethora of journal articles and books advise law firms on the strategies required to facilitate the successful delivery of legal services in the 21st century. Notwithstanding their wise words, the time for planning and strategy has long since gone, says Cristina Libro. Now is the time for action and implementation.
  • Legal tech: the challenge is clear and the race is on… (Paul Gilbert, September 2013) - Paul Gilbert of LBC Wise Counsel offers a six-step model of how technology can empower law firms and corporate legal departments to manage increased demands on their time and resources.
  • Web archiving: a new legal necessity? (Oliver Bray, September 2013) - As digital advertising and marketing overtake traditional media, all organisations need to reconsider their records strategies. IP and technology lawyer Oliver Bray outlines the legal implications and the rationale for web archiving.
  • Welcome to legal market disruption. Are you ready? (Jobst Elster, June 2013) - The recent LexThink.1 legal innovation event led Jobst Elster of InsideLegal.com to consider the legal and market’s readiness for innovation. He offers some practical suggestions around embracing innovation.
  • Legal tech: the only way out is through (Ari Kaplan, June 2013) - The future of legal technology rests on powering through as the industry is experiencing an unprecedented shift.
  • Tomorrow's legal IT Professionals? (Chris Bull, March 2013) - Will liberalisation and market forces transform legal IT leadership? We all know the legal world is changing fast. I really don’t want to add another screed of words explaining why. Plenty has been written, too, on what it all means. But less has been written on what it means for legal IT professionals.
  • Why haven't client facing systems blossomed? (Ron Friedman, March 2013) - Large law firms are facing intense competition and downward price pressure. Yet we see few notable instances of law firms deploying client-facing technology that achieves real differentiation or results in winning new client work. Here, leading consultant Ron Friedmann suggests explanations, and develops future scenarios where legal tech plays a bigger role. 

Knowledge Management

  • Moving beyond KM for dogs (Mary Abraham, June 2013) - Knowledge management consultant V. Mary Abraham applies her knowledge and experience of legal and other sectors – and some fascinating insights into the world of dog ownership – to highlight the critical design elements of an effective KM system for professional services.
  • Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny: the lifecycle of legal Knowledge Management (Jeff Rovner, March 2013) - Over the past 17 years, I’ve led the knowledge management function at three law firms, and observed the development of KM within dozens of others. I’ve also watched, and to some extent participated in, the development of legal knowledge management as an overall discipline. Based on these observations, I’ve noticed some patterns.

Practice Management

  • Legal e-billing: what's in it for you? (Bryan King, March 2015) - E-billing Consultant Bryan King provides an update on the latest developments in his field of expertise.
  • Legal IT after the billable hour (Alex Hamilton, September 2013) - Many predicted that UK market liberalisation and the rise of capped and fixedfee work would herald the end of hourly billing. However, many law firms still measure lawyer activity by time spent on matters, so the billable hour lingers. Alex Hamilton of radiant.law describes a different business model – perhaps a template for tomorrow’s lawyers.
  • Interview: LexisNexis putting business into practice (management) (Joanna Goodman, June 2013) - LITT editor Joanna Goodman meets Tim Springham, who took over as CEO at Tikit shortly after it was purchased by BT in January 2013.

Social Media / Collaboration

  • Social media: opinions count! (Nigel Stott, December 2014) - This article by Nigel Stott is based on his recent blog post which considers one of the key ways social media is changing the marketplace: the strong influence of customer and peer reviews on purchasing decisions.
  • Social collaboration challenges (Stuart McRae, March 2014) - Social and other collaborative technology platforms are changing business models across almost all industry sectors. Stuart McRae, social business evangelist with IBM, highlights the challenges and opportunities that these transformational technologies are bringing to legal services.
  • How online tools are changing the way lawyers communicate (Nicole Black, March 2013) - Social media--it’s been around for years now but for many lawyers, it’s simply not been on their radar. However, that’s beginning to change. As social media use increasingly infiltrates our day-to-day lives, affecting the way that we communicate and conduct business, more lawyers are taking notice of it.

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