• Ken Grady doesn’t post often enough, but when he does it’s always worth the wait. Don’t miss this thought provoking piece. The Boring Law Firm: The model is dead, may it rest in peace. “Large law firm partners like owning their businesses and running them how they please. Right now, it pleases them to make money with ‘few’ risks. Altering the model suggests risk. We are in a battle over time — can they run out the clock (retire) before they lose the game.” And here are Ken’s latest thought about AI taking lawyers’ jobs.

 

  • And here’s a bit more about AI and law firm jobs from Sam Skolnik of Bloomberg LawArtificial Intelligence Creeps Into Big Law, Endangers Some Jobs. “”Here’s what won’t be going away: sophisticated, face-to-face human interaction between client and lawyer,’ said Tim House, U.S. senior partner for Allen & Overy.”

 

  • If you’re new to this topic, you may find this post by Neil Sahota a useful introduction: Will A.I. Put Lawyers Out Of Business?

 

  • Speaking of interesting thought pieces, check out this post from  about technology, firm culture, portable practices and shopping malls (really!). Law firms’ shopping mall problem.

 

  • This post from myshingle.com is full of interesting statistics regarding the economics of Big Law versus small/solo firms and the implications for technology. The Reason Why Legal Tech Remains the Domain of the Legal Elite: It’s All About The Money.

 

  • Here’s a worth-reading post by Rita T. Young, law librarian at K&L Gates (but not representing the firm’s views). As one would expect, well-researched and thoroughly footnoted! AI & the Practice of Law at the Crossroads: Where Are We Going? “Exploring the professional ethics implications of AI in the legal sphere.” “What I do want to talk about are the potential repercussions of the AI you are using now….” “The good news? There is still time to fix things because, if you’re reading this, you’re probably still in practice and your client doesn’t realize what you did because you haven’t either.”

 

  • Here’s an interesting post about “HHS receiv(ing) authority to operate the first blockchain-based tool in the federal government.” ““Our goal is actually to leverage and harness all of the data within HHS, which is about $24.8 billion in spend, about 100,000 contracts, about 1 million pages of unstructured data, and provide that information to the 20,000 members of the acquisition workforce in real time at their fingertips so that they can actually make good business decisions,” Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary in HHS’ acquisition division, said during a recorded demo of the tool on Dec. 12. “We believe that without blockchain this would not be possible.”

 

  • I have posted here many times about the coming of chatbots to the legal space. Here’s Bob Ambrogi’s take on a recent entry from LexisNexis: Chatbots are Coming to Lexis Advance, to Help Guide Your Legal Research.

 

  • This piece from Information Age includes links to other interesting content. AI, cloud and security — top priorities for enterprise legal departments.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • AI and A New Way of Looking At Contract Pre-Screening. Post.

 

  • Nalytics + Van Doorne Co-Develop Doc Compare Solution. Post.

 

  • Meet Sparqa – Solving the SME Legal Needs Challenge With Tech. Post.

 

  • Meet Evisort, The New AI Platform Set to Rock The $60 Billion Doc Review Market. Post.

 

From Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

  • Here’s a summary of Hogan Lovells partner Winston Maxwell‘s comments on Using artificial intelligence to fight hate speech.

 

  • Jones Day: Harriet TerrittWhat General Counsel Need to Know about Blockchain. This two-minute video is one of a series about blockchain from the firm.

 

  • Bird & BirdDr. Michael JünemannJörg-Alexander Paul: In Focus, Blockchain. Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is currently one of the most talked about technologies. Heralded as a ‘game changer’, this technology is disrupting a wide range of industries.” Post.

 

  • Kemp LittleEverything you want to know about artificial intelligence. “The rise of AI will present a host of challenges – ethical, practical and legal – and our specialists are involved with their peers in the law and industry in working out the right responses.” Post.

 

 

  • Taylor & Associates, a nationally recognized transportation law firm, is pleased to announce it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an organization dedicated to developing best practices and standards for blockchain in the transportation industry.” Post.

 

  • DLA Piper forms council to drive radical change agenda. “Now we are driving a fundamental change in mindset across our business to embrace radical change and evolve and expand our business through partnering with our clients to help them to succeed in our changing world.” Post.

 

Post by/about Vendors:

  • Artificial intelligence for law firms: An interview with Tony Ensinger of Kira Systems. Post.

 

 

  • From the ABA Journal and Ed Walters of Fastcase, AI Practice, Not Promise, in Law Firms. “AI-based analysis of data is just getting started; let’s look at the ways it’s already been implemented.” Post.
  • Legalweek (formerly Legaltech) is just a few days away, so here’sA Beginner’s Guide To The Biggest Week In Legal Technology.

 

  • Data & Analytics: Transforming Law Firms” has just been published by ALM Intelligence and LexisNexis. Here’s an executive summary and link to the report.

 

  • Here’s a fresh essay about law firm innovation from  of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed ServicesGreasing The Gears Of Legal Commerce — Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic (alt.legal) Innovation. “CLOs indicated that nearly 25 percent of outside counsel fees are “price-insensitive.”

 

  • The Big 4 continue their relentless march into legal. I skip most of these posts, but this one specifically mentions AI: KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal services. “It will also offer technology enabled legal services, using robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies developed globally and in China through the KPMG digital ignition centre.”

 

  • This is an interesting post by Charles P. Edwards of Barnes & Thornburg: The Noisy Business of the Law and Insurance Claims. “…(T)he idea we humans are needed for most decisions is an ‘illusion.'”

 

  • Here’s a good example of a law firm (Amsterdam’s De Brauw) using tech as a differentiating marketing strategyHop on board and experience the value of legal tech and project management.

 

  • Bob Ambrogi posted this 47-minute podcast: LawNext Episode 25: Using AI to Enhance Virtual Receptionists, with Smith.ai.

 

  • From Arup Das of Alphaserve Technologies, here’s an interesting discussion of the age-old build vs. buy conundrum: How to Approach Legal Innovation: Options for Every Firm.

 

  • This is a thought-provoking post: Can Deepfakes Pose a Cybersecurity Threat to Legal? ““Deepfakes are real and emerging as an issue but they, like certain types of technology, could emerge very quickly; we talk about this today and it could be a very big deal in six months or it could be nothing,” Reed Smith’s Stegmaier cautioned. “We simply don’t know.””

 

  • This hour-long podcast is from the Lawyerist: “In this episode with Natalie Worsfold, we talk about her law firm’s approach to law practice, and why more firms aren’t following suit. We start by asking Natalie what problem Counter Tax was trying to solve, then explore how they solved it, what their solution does now, and the plans they have to evolve and grow their solution.”

 

  • This is an idea I have been kicking around for a while. Nick Hilborne gives it the thought I believe it’s due: “Reproduction of the legal profession” at risk from automation. “If junior associates are ‘gradually culled’ from law firms as a result of automation, the entire reproduction of the legal profession could be jeopardised….'” And here’s a US write up of the same issue: Junior Lawyers Are Going Extinct And Nobody Knows What To Do About It.

 

  • AI Goes to Court: A Conversation With Lex Machina and Dorsey & Whitney. Post here.

 

From Artificial Lawyer:

  • The Benefits of the LexisNexis LegalTech Accelerator. Post here.
  • EY and Artificial Lawyer Hold Legal Ops + Technology Event.  Post here.
  • Slaughter and May Names 3rd Fast Forward Cohort, Inc. Blockchain Co. Post here.
  • Meet ATJ Bot – The World’s First Legal Aid Voice Assistant. Post here.
  • How to Build Your Business Case For Contract Management – The Juro Guide. Post here.
  • Oz + NZ Professional Services Startup of the Year Award Launched. Post here.
  • Legal AI Co. CourtQuant Predicts Hard Brexit Impact on British Law. Post here.
  • Christian Lang + Former TR Boss, Tom Glocer, Join Reynen Court. Post here.
  • GCs Keen To Embrace Tech Tools + Legal Ops Skills – Survey. Post here. (Note: This story is based on a survey where n=80. Assuming no other methodological problems [big assumption!], this means that in all of the findings each number is well within the margin of sampling error of the statistics above and below it on the graphs.)
  • Meet Fincap Law: A New Tech-Driven Firm For the New Legal Era. Post here.

 

Posts by Law Firms:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Eric A. Klein and Aytan Dahukey of Sheppard Mullin posted: Day 2 Notes From The 2019 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. “We are seeing a lot of healthcare entities starting to focus on precision medicine – artificial intelligence suggesting which oncology drug works best for your specific genetic condition and cancer – but that essentially is a transactional function. And the market really wants a partnering function ” Post here.

 

 

 

  • From Reed SmithDraft ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence published by the European Commission. Post here.

 

 

  • Akin Gump postedPolicymakers Focused on Artificial Intelligence, Write Akin Gump Lawyers in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law.

 

  • Hogan Lovells postedLitigating intellectual property issues: The impact of AI and machine learning.

 

Press Releases and sponsored posts:

  • Here’s a thorough explanation of Gavelytics: Want Better Litigation Outcomes? Know Your Judges. “…(W)ith Gavelytics, you finally get the quantifiable and reliable judge information you need to customize your litigation strategy and increase your chances of winning.”

 

 

  • Gibson Dunn launches AI and automated systems group. Post here.

 

  • The world’s first virtual lawyer, built for Amazon’s Alexa, tests whether lawyers will be replaced by robots. “Australian legal-technology company Smarter Drafter have announced a prototype virtual lawyer, built on Amazon’s Alexa, that creates legal.” documents instantly, just like a real human lawyer. Here’s the Smart Drafter release. Hype much?? And then there’s this: “No date has been set for the release of the first working Alexa integration.”

 

  • HaystackID Acquires eDiscovery Managed Services Provider eTERA, Release here.

 

  • Legal IT Newswire New Product News… Alphaserve Technologies launch Execution as a Service. Post here.

 

  • I’m including this because I used to work there! Am Law 200 Firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Selects Litera Desktop, Litera Microsystems Full Document Drafting Suite.

 

Blockchain

 

 

 

 

  • From the Baker & Hostetler Energy BlogNew Blockchain Products, an FBI Raid, the $11 Billion Bitcoin Case, Hackers Strike With a 51 Percent Attack and Crypto Tax Analysis. Post here.

 

 

  • Here’s a deep dive into the legal services offered by Oath ProtocolThe Lay of the Land in Blockchain Dispute Resolution and Governance Designs.
  • The data protection laws described in this post from Barnes & Thornburg are relevant to AI and blockchain. California’s New Data Protection Laws are Coming … but Colorado’s law is Already Here. “If you are a business that maintains, owns, or licenses computerized data that includes PI about Colorado residents, this new law applies to you.”

 

  • Speaking of personal data, Jones Day just publishedSingapore: PDPC Issues Discussion Paper On Artificial Intelligence And Personal Data. The discussion paper was published by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) on June 4.

 

  • This short paper by Richard Suskind explains his idea of a mind-set called ‘outcome-thinking’. “Nor do taxpayers want tax accountants. They want their relevant financial information sent to the authorities in compliant form. … Patients don’t want psychotherapists. Roughly speaking, they want peace of mind. Litigants don’t want courts. They want their disputes resolved fairly and with finality.”

 

  • Word of this acquisition certainly spread fast — I’ve heard it mentioned twice already today. Elevate Acquires LexPredict, Expanding Capabilities in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

Meanwhile, Artificial Lawyer reports that, “Elevate has begun to refer to itself as a ‘law company’, rather than an ALSP (i.e. an Alternative Legal Services Provider).” President, John Croft said, “I think the only difference between the two (Elevate and a firm such as Slaughter & May) is that they are a law firm and we are a law company.” “We might provide different legal services, or we might deliver the same legal services in different ways (or we may deliver exactly the same legal services in exactly the same ways!), but we both provide legal services.”

 

  • Holland & Knight’s Norma Krayem just published her take on the FTC’s 7th consumer protection hearing, this one focused on the use of big data and AI. “(T)he FTC has indicated an ongoing interest in these issues as well. Certainly, cybersecurity and privacy issues underpin the concerns along with broader consumer protection issues with the use of Big Data, AI and other tools.” She outlines the subject the FTC will cover.

 

  • Trey Hanbury of Hogan Lovells published Why the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will reinvent network connectivity. It’s a pretty deep dive into all sorts of connectivity and their relation to each other. He discussed infrastructure required, and the FCC’s role in all aspects.

 

  • Artificial Lawyer posted: “US law firm Orrick has today announced a new startup venture fund from which it will make investments in promising legal tech companies globally. The firm intends to create a strategic relationship with each portfolio company, they said, with Orrick typically acting as a beta customer, while making an investment in the range of $250,000. Orrick expects to be investing alongside well-known lead financial investors.”

 

  • Also from Artificial LawyerLegal AI Co. Diligen Integrates with NetDocuments. “The integration, available globally today, allows customers to ‘simply and securely summarise and analyse legal documents using Diligen’s AI and machine learning tools’ for matters such as contract review. The result means that documents can be analysed without leaving the secure NetDocuments ecosystem.”

 

 

 

Must Read: If you’re especially interested in blockchain or just want to learn what it’s all about, read this fresh report from McKinsey & Co.: Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value? (The interactive infographics are outstanding.) “Blockchain was a priority topic at Davos; a World Economic Forum survey suggested that 10 percent of global GDP will be stored on blockchain by 2027. Multiple governments have published reports on the potential implications of blockchain, and the past two years alone have seen more than half a million new publications on and 3.7 million Google search results for blockchain.” “Despite the hype, blockchain is still an immature technology, with a market that is still nascent and a clear recipe for success that has not yet emerged.” Some very interesting and practical insights and applications are discussed. Applications in 14 specific industries are discussed — not legal.

 

  • Speaking of McKinsey, this story describes the Houston Astros amazing rise from profoundly terrible to World Series champs under general manager Jeff Luhnow, formerly a management consultant for McKinsey (who surrounded himself with other nerds). “‘How do you combine soft information with hard information in a way that allows you to make the best decisions?’ asked Luhnow in 2014.” It’s an interesting story of how combining big data analytics with “gut feeling” may still be the best solution — for now. “In an era in which we are deluged by data, with the specter of job-killing artificial intelligence looming on the horizon, success isn’t a matter of man or machine, but of man plus machine. As long as man remains in charge.”

 

  • Back to blockchain: “The Association of Legal Administrators is the first membership association to become part of the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), joining more than 30 large companies, law firms, software companies and universities. The GLBC exists to develop standards that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law.” Details here.

 

  • And more blockchain, this time a two-part post regarding cryptocurrencies from Barnes & Thornburg’s Trace Schmeltz (here and here). Cryptocurrencies — An Overview of the Legal Landscape, The Risks of Investing, and the Future of the Markets. It’s a good explanation of this aspect of blockchain with an explanation of the risks in trading and potential future.

 

  • From KennedysWhy being app-athetic is bad for law firms. “One simple yet undeniably persuasive argument for law firms to cultivate legal technology is that their clients want them to.”

 

  • I expect good things from Bob Ambrogi’s new podcast, “LawNext.” He’s off to a good start with this interview of Nicole Bradick.

 

  • A couple of years ago I would have been surprised to see stories regarding AI and pot. But this morning, “Global Cannabis Applications Corp. is a global leader in designing, developing, marketing and acquiring innovative data technologies for the cannabis industry. The Citizen Green platform is the world’s first end-to-end – from patient to regulator – medical cannabis data solution. It uses six core technologies: mobile applications, artificial intelligence, regtech, smart databases, blockchain and digital reward tokens, to qualify candidates for clinical studies.”

 

  • From Artificial Lawyer:

– Meet Sibyl AI – The New Claims Prediction System.

– US Survey Finds Big Legal Tech Knowledge Gap Among Lawyers. (I could not find the survey methodology, so caveat emptor.)

– Brummie Legal Automation Co. Clarilis Bags $4m Investment.

– Casetext and the Need for Legal AI for ‘Small Law’.  “…(S)mall firms have a double whammy of a challenge: they lack the financial resources to invest in AI research suites and they lack the additional staff resources to do that research work manually.”

 

  • Here’s some noteworthy AI-related news from the world’s biggest tech companies:

– Apple bigwigs Tom Gruber and Vipul Ved Prakash call it quits amid Siri reshuffle. (Dear Lord, I hope this means Siri with catch up to Google Assistant, or at least Alexa.)

– “(IBM) … reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.” “…IBM has been focusing on an array of new technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to cloud computing as it tries to offset weakness in its legacy business of selling hardware and software.” And this storyIs Watson enough to carry IBM?

Microsoft Will Build AI Into Everything, Says CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward.” Details here.

 Intel Partners with Forbes to deliver an all-new Digital Publication called ‘Forbes AI’. “You know that times are changing when Intel, who just turned 50 yesterday, is pushing hard into Artificial Intelligence. Last month during Computex, Intel’s keynote included a segment on AI for PC’s developer program as illustrated in an Intel slide below.” More here and here.