• Must read: The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center, and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and Peer Monitor have just issued their 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market. You can download your free copy here. It contains no fresh revelations for students of the industry, but it pulls together several recent credible studies to present a cogent picture of where we are, where we are headed, and what firm leaders can do to survive and even thrive. It stresses proactive response to clients’ needs for greater efficiency, predictability, and cost effectiveness in the delivery of legal services. “To the extent that these demands cannot be met by their existing law firms, clients have shown themselves more than willing to switch to more responsive firms, to take more work in house, or to transfer work to alternative service providers.”


  • Here’s Ken Grady‘s compelling interpretation of the report. Note his discussion of the roles of law schools and artificial intelligence. Firms are going to have to face up to this observation by Ken: “(t)he Report also reinforces the naiveté of the legal industry. Lawyers are not known for their financial acumen. All the firms have financial staffs and CFOs, but you don’t win many points for exposing the partners to the big lie — the legal industry is much less profitable than has been told in the common tale.”


  • Kent Zimmermann also offers an excellent review of the state of the legal industry including solid recommendations (and a couple of mentions of AI).


  • This AI system is said to detect ‘deception’ in courtroom videos with 90% accuracy.


  • Deloitte’s competition to traditional law firms in the UK via an ABS (alternative business structure), “when approved, would have two new offerings: managed services, such as automated document review and contract management, and consulting services.” There will be major emphasis on tech-driven efficiency.


  • “Monetization of data collected from networked IoT devices, convergence of multiple disruptive technologies and standards (IoT, blockchain, AI and robotic process automation), and network edge processing are among the key trends for 2018 according to the EY IoT Competence Center….”


  • From CES:

– Oops. Failure by “a $16,000 artificial intelligence-powered laundry-folding machine.” Not quite ready for prime time.

– And then there was a power outage.

– How about this 65-inch Nvidia gaming display with 4K resolution, a crazy-high (and variable) refresh rate and industry leading brightness? And you can watch TV on it too!

– As Japan celebrates the year of the dog, Sony has reintroduced “Aibo,” its $3000 robot companion dog. It’s said to be “packed with artificial intelligence and internet connectivity.”



  • Happy 200th birthday to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Let’s hope it was not a very accurate harbinger of AI to come! Unless, of course, he’s the Mel Brooks version. (The monster, not the scientist.)