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THIS IS ANOTHER POST IN THE FUTURE OF THE PRACTICE SERIES. We live in an age when lawyers are underemployed and yet many consumers lack access to legal services. Law firms are losing business as companies “in-source” their legal work, while the incomes of some solo practitioners are plummeting. Many lawyers would like to make better use of technology to work more efficiently and have simpler legal processes—but they feel challenged by advances in technology…
Imagine  attorneys had an assistant that could structure data, help firms maintain transparency through more accurate information, keep track of complex legal and regulatory issues, improve efficiency so firms can scale up their services, and help lawyers handle various forms of “disruptive” competition, without breaking a sweat? Some believe that technology like IBM’s Watson will help provide such assistance, providing lawyers with the “permission” to think innovatively, help clarify what attorneys do day-to-day—without replacing them—bring…
Call it the rise of the robots.  The legal profession continues to be transformed by the use of artificial intelligence in new and innovative ways. New developments in the past five years alone stagger the mind as what would have sounded like science fiction not along ago continues to become reality, making the lives of lawyers easier but also forcing them to change how they do business if they want to survive and succeed. Rewind…
The term “Legal Intelligence Support Assistant” might sound like a fancy-pants way of referring to your paralegal, law library or perhaps secretary. When you shrink that term to the acronym LISA, you might be tempted to ask about LISA’s professional background or whether she’s a nice woman. But this LISA is no woman, let alone a human.  “She” is an artificial intelligence solution who provides “expertise” in the automation of legal documents, reducing or replacing…
To survive and thrive in the 21st century, and to continue serving the public adequately, attorneys can no longer muddle through with business as usual. Wide swaths of the public are unable to get their legal needs met. Innovations in technology and other changes in society continue to shift how legal services can be accessed and delivered. Bias, complexity, discrimination and lack of resources undermine the public’s trust and confidence in the justice system. These…
Clio’s “Legal Trends Report” tries to suss out what lawyers are doing, exactly What happens to the nearly six hours per day that lawyers spend on non-billable tasks? Why can’t attorneys dedicate more of their time to billable work? How do they spend their time, anyway? The 2017 “Legal Trends Report” from Clio attempts to answer these questions and others that legal professionals are—or at least should be—asking themselves. The report, based on a survey…
Potential legal clients are increasingly turning to online matching services to find attorneys. In some cases, these services charge a fee based on a percentage of the attorney’s costs for their legal help, and the money is paid to and controlled by the third party. A Michigan state bar committee is considering a resolution asserting that such fees constitute an impermissible sharing of fees with a non-lawyer, violating numerous ethical rules in the state codified…
Should I become a lawyer? Or are lawyers themselves becoming extinct? The first question is one that I have been struggling with.  The second question is one that George Bellas asked me when I began working for him this past summer. I first met George a few years ago at a “business” lunch with my father and my grandfather. I usually work with my family during the summers and these one to two hour lunches…
How will emerging technology trends like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data verification, “frictionless” technology designs and the skills and capabilities required for the “Internet of thinking” reshape the landscape for small businesses – and the practice of law? A report from Accenture titled “Accenture Technology Vision 2018” lays out these trends and delves into how they will disrupt the business landscape generally over the next few years, and a Forbes magazine interview of Michael Biltz
Storing info in the Cloud can be dangerous. Attorneys who do their due diligence need not be overly concerned about the security of storing their firm and client information in the online “cloud,” the network of servers that operate as a single entity, to which users connect through their computer, tablet, phone or other device. That due diligence includes research into the various providers, asking questions about their business practices, choosing one with a track…