Your time is short. This quick read gives you 5 things you need to know from LegalTech in the past seven days.
LegalTech Arms Race
Spend on legal technology will increase in the next 12 months, a survey of top Legal Operations Executives (LOEs) has revealed. Consero research of 65 top LOE decision makers reveals that LegalTech is the biggest priority, with two-thirds of respondents saying current technology is not meeting their needs. The research finds that every department is looking at AI, whether “in use”, in the “early stages”, or “in development”.
Unsurprisingly, Legal IT Insider reports on a shopping spree, both by legal teams and law firms on LegalTech software. Contract Express (contract drafting) saw expansion of its client base by 40% from 90 to 130, including picking up business from Freshfields and EY Law. Law firm Travers Smith has just started using NetDocuments (document management), while K&L Gates has decided to stick with Thomson Reuters Elite, rather than switch to SAP.
In a LawGeex interview, Alex Butterworth, senior Legal counsel at McDonald’s Australia, talks about innovation as essential for every department at the fast-food giant (including the legal department), “for us to remain the best restaurant business in the world.”
CLOC kicks off conference season
— CLOC (@cloc_org) January 23, 2018
The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) arrived in London for their 2018 EMEA Institute. Highlights included Google explaining its mission to end legal “process work” using AI. Julian Tsisin who manages legal technologies at Google quickly saw the benefits of AI in reviewing complex patent documents (over 50,000 patent docs), rather than spending the equivalent of three years or $1.5m on manual processes.
Meanwhile Professor Richard Susskind (author of Tomorrow’s Lawyer) showed 10 new legal roles you need to understand, as new approaches to legal work are fast-changing.
From Richard Susskind at CLOC 2018
— wavelengthlaw (@wavelengthlaw) January 23, 2018
Read also: Legal IT Insider: CLOC forms cyber group as momentum to create a cybersecurity standard grows
Legal Week begins
— DISCO (@csdisco) January 28, 2018
The CLOC event is followed by Legalweek (January 30 – February 1 2018) one of the biggest fixtures in the calendar. Primers on the event of 9000+ attendees come from Above The Law’s Joe Patrice (“These days it has a lot to offer even if you aren’t a tech-head”) and Nicole Black. Meanwhile Zach Warren covers a list of new product offerings and updates at Legalweek (including Advanced Discovery, Casetext and Lex Machina).
LawGeex also launched the New York GC Tech Masters Summit, to be held 29 January, drawing the likes of Microsoft, eBay, Bain Consulting and others .
Plus, Monica Bay reports that there is a new organization in the legal industry (with their own event): the Association of Legal Technologists. Its first conference is on February 11-13 in Scottsdale, Arizona. It has been set up by Legal IT experts, including Judith Flournoy, Chief Information Officer of Kelley, Drye & Warren, based in New York City.
Law’s Comic Con
Of course, Comic Con is a major global event, bringing comics and popular culture (Wonder Woman to Daredevil and Superman reboots) to a growing audience. Law is having its own version, applied to contracts. In The Conversation, Camilla Baasch, Anderson Professor in International Commercial Law at University of Western Australia, says: “Pointlessly complex contracts have to stop. This is why some lawyers are rethinking contract design, using mind maps, illustrations and even contracts in comic strip form, which is the focus of my research.” This includes a full non-disclosure agreement based on three pictures with text. In another example, a comic book contract was drawn out for fruit pickers, many of whom are largely illiterate. Anderson says such contracts are legally binding as long as the meaning in the pictures are clear.
Read also D. Casey Flaherty How much of lawyering is being a copy-and-paste monkey?
Social Media tips from top Microsoft lawyer
With all the talk about complex AI, many could forget about one of the more basic and effective techs: social media. Dennis Garcia, assistant GC at Microsoft, talks about 10 virtues of LinkedIn for lawyers (Microsoft of course bought the social network). His advice includes: network with others and mine LinkedIn data. For instance Garcia says keeping up to date on real-time data on the social network allows him to provide more impactful legal counsel to my business clients.” Meanwhile, Kevin O’ Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, complained that social media as a networking tool among lawyers has a long way to go.
Surprising that only 5 of @ALMMedia’s Legaltech’s 15 Advisory Board Members f/#LegalWeek18 have Twitter account, w/only 1 or 2 using it. How do board members network through Internet to learn & engage as tech leaders? Here’s Twitter list of board w/tweets: https://t.co/6pzoTmG678
— Kevin O'Keefe (@kevinokeefe) January 22, 2018
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