Must Read: This (Lola v. Skadden and the Automation of the Legal Profession) long (77 pages), heavily annotated (404 footnotes) scholarly article from the Yale Journal of Law & Technology “analyzes the long-term impact of the Second Circuit’s opinion in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 620 F. App’x 37 (2d Cir. 2015), on the legal field’s existing monopoly over the ‘practice of law.’  In Lola, the Second Circuit underscored that “tasks that could otherwise be performed entirely by a machine” could not be said to fall under the ‘practice of law.'” By distinguishing between mechanistic tasks and legal tasks, the Second Circuit repudiated the legal field’s oft-cited appeals to tradition insisting that tasks fall under the “practice of law” because they have always fallen under the practice of law.”

“The article proceeds by first discussing the procedural history and decision in Lola v. Skadden.  It then explains the technological advances that will impact the legal field and the tools used by the legal field to perpetuate its self-regulating monopoly.  The article then turns to the socioeconomic implications of technological disruption within the legal field and concludes with a discussion on how lawyers may prepare themselves for, and thrive within, an inevitably automated future.”

It’s a bit of a slog (not as onerous as you might expect), but it does an excellent job explaining why and how a future with machines practicing law in the US will come to pass.


  • They have become so common that I don’t usually post about investments in legal AI companies, but today’s a slow news day, and this one is bigger than most. Legal Tech Company Everlaw Gets $25M Investment. Here’s a good explanation of the Everlaw e-discovery platform’s automatic transcription for audio and video.


  • Here’s a compilation of three energy-related blocklchain stories from the K&L Gates Blockchain Energizer blog.


  • This post by Ian Altman provides a pretty broad survey of blockchain applications in the legal industry today and down the road. How Blockchain Will Transform Business And The Law.


  • DLA Piper’s former chief information officer and director of business transformation Daniel Pollick is to join DWF in the newly-created role of CIO, we can reveal, as the UK top 25 firm considers floating on the London stock exchange in order to raise money to invest in technology and its Connected Services division.” Details here.


  • Speaking of DWF and blockchain, here (from DWF) is a good, albeit superficial, intro to blockchain and some of its legal implications. It’s one of the better top line explanations I have seen, and thus a good marketing piece by the firm.