Gerry Riskin

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I propose* that you join the most effective law firm leaders in the world and start asking “how,“ rather than “whether.” Let us start with an illustration. Here are two questions that a managing partner might ask a practice group leader. Which do you think will lead to better results? How do you think you and your team could enhance the quality of the clients we serve in your practice area in the coming year?…
A recent instalment of the podcast series LegalSpeak addresses the question of whether or not recent forays into the legal arena by the accounting industry’s Big Four actually comprise a significant threat to U.S. law firms. Nicholas Bruch, principal analyst at ALM Legal Intelligence, who has been looking into this issue deeply for at least two years, believes that the answer is “Yes” – particularly for large law firms with an international reach. He also…
Lexigogo, one of the newest entries into the “apps for legal services” marketplace, offers users the capacity to create video contracts “to validate simple agreements without the hassle of creating written ones.” The developers suggest simple two-party agreements, such as assigning contracts, lending money, selling or lending personal items, and confirming delivery, among potential uses for the app. On its website, Lexigogo sets out a list of conditions necessary for the video contract to be legal (freedom of consent,…
Client Question* While it seems to be a commonly held assumption that corporate and other transactional groups in firms spin work off to litigation teams (and that this is and should be the primary source of clients for litigators/trial attorneys), we aren’t finding any literature or research that supports this premise. Our numbers indicate the inverse – that our litigation team gets little work from other groups, but seems to make referrals internally with some…
When lawyers first started creating bios of themselves for use in firm promotion, clients generally used them to choose a firm, or to check out who they’d be working with after the firm had made the assignment. However, Michael Rynowecer at The Mad Clientist warns that these days, clients are using attorney bios to assess prospective candidates for legal work they need to have done – and then advising the law firm of the name…
In an article published recently on The American Lawyer, writer Dan Packel reports that this year, “For the first time, PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG seized four of the top five spots on [the U.K. consultancy Acritas’s] list of global alternative brands, in a survey of general counsel at heavyweight international businesses.” Packel points out that the attainment of this milestone follows several years of “concerted push” on the part of the accounting firms,…
The Artificial Lawyer reports that the European Union is testing a system of automated lie-detector tests for use at its international borders. The technology “will use a digital avatar to interview travellers at border posts, ask them questions and then use facial expression ‘biomarkers’ based on previously taught patterns to decide if they are lying.” The focus of the six-month pilot run of iBorderControl, as the software is called, will be on questions relating to…
Last month, Internet Brands – a vertical marketing conglomerate in which marketing for the legal industry forms a major pillar – announced that it was changing the name of its law-services website from “The Martindale Legal Network” to “Martindale-Avvo.”  The name change followed the acquisition by Internet Brands of Avvo.com. To see these two names – Martindale and Avvo – joined together would have been unimaginable even a few short years ago. For…
In a recent article for Artificial Lawyer, Richard Jeens and Natalie Osafo – partner and associate respectively at Slaughter and May –  point out that regulators and corporates are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out investigations. They offer the example of a complex matter conducted by the Serious Offences Office in the UK (investigations into Rolls Royce, advised by Slaughter and May), in which the SOO used AI to reduce the amount of time…
Remember when we all learned that humans use only about ten percent of their brains? Well, apparently that is an urban myth – science has shown that we use all parts of our brains every day. However, it turns out that humans are responsible for the current stunning underuse of advances in artificial intelligence that could be easing their mental workloads. Even at DLA Piper, one of the major users of legal technology (such as the contract and…