Your time is short. This quick read gives you 5 things you need to know from LegalTech in the past seven days.
LegalTech Interview of the week: The Elon Musk of Legal
Since making headlines with his DoNotPay chatbot (contesting more than $9.6 million in parking tickets), tech entrepreneur, 21-year-old, Joshua Browder has been busy. Originally from London, and now studying at Stanford University, Browder – who designed apps from a young age – is not letting up on a mission to end the access to justice gap through the use of technology. His next causes, he reveals, are immigration, divorce, and consumer rights.
On a break from Stanford, he met fellow North London boy, Artificial Lawyer’s Richard Tromans. The interview comes after Browder secured $1.1 in funding from top VCs Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, and lawyers from Wilson Sonsini. Browder says: “Elon Musk has driverless cars and is sending rockets to mars. It seems possible that we can solve a few legal problems that are really just decision trees, and quite easy to solve.”
— Artificial Lawyer (@ArtificialLawya) November 23, 2017
See also Legal Futures: Chatbot entrepreneur predicts automated legal future (Dan Bindman) interviews Browder, who says that up to 70% of the law can be carried out by robots, and all legal documents will be automated within a decade.
Must-read LegalTech thoughts from a top legal department
Nitin Batra, global chief operating officer in Citigroup’s Office of the General Counsel, talks about the future of LegalTech in a wide-ranging video interview with Bloomberg Law. Batra runs one of the largest legal departments in the world. He talks about four “buckets” in the world of LegalTech. These are 1) contract lifecycle management-now pretty sophisticated 2) “dealtech” (including “blockchain” and currently at the “promise” stage) 3) “big data and AI” and 4) rapid changes in legal operations.
Speaking of his company’s adoption of LegalTech, Batra says: “If you look at the financial services institutions that have been doing eBilling for a decade, with hundreds of millions of transactions having gone through it, that is a wealth of data that if we can put some intelligence around we can gain valuable insights and better decision-making capabilities.”
Law Schools must innovate, says the FT
Jonathan Moules in the Financial Times writes that Law schools must innovate to stay competitive. The piece says student admissions have been dropping in the US since 2010 at a rate not seen since the early 1970s, and law schools have been forced to innovate to attract applications. Daniel Rodriguez, dean of the Northwestern School of Law, quoted in the piece, says: “Clients increasingly expect their lawyers to be fully conversant with modern business practices.”
One solution to ensuring greater benchmarking of law school success on this front, comes from Daniel W. Linna Jr. who has created an “innovation” index for law schools. Linna spoke to Ed Sohn at Above the Law about the challenge and outlined his vision.
Read also Legal IT Insider: Where are all the LegalTech incubators Mitchell Kowalski, Professor in Legal Innovation at the University of Calgary Law School,
The world’s first law firm “without lawyers”
The newly opened #LawFirmWithoutLawyers is set up in the style of a traditional #legal office. However when clients sit down, instead of having a #lawyer opposite them, there is a screen, upon which is #Ailira. https://t.co/7kX2QIg4TV
— Ailira (@Ailira_AI) November 21, 2017
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that the people of Darwin can just about take the law into their own hands, with a new legal firm going “lawyer-free”.Cartland Law announced its launch of Ailira (Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant) located in Coolalinga Shopping Centre, south of Darwin. The company explains the office is set up in the style of a traditional legal office. “However when clients sit down, instead of having a lawyer opposite them, there is a screen, upon which is Ailira. The clients can then chat with Ailira about the legal information that they would like help with.”
The hybrid model also sees (human)lawyers on hand for when clients require legal advice.
The robots developer, tax lawyer Adrian Cartland says Ailira, is helping rural communities who need it most, providing everything from wills (around $115 per will) to business structuring, and asset protection. Cartland describes his motivation for providing automated and cheaper services, saying “people who really need access to justice are the people who can least afford it.” Legal Technology News reported that Ailira has also been granted funding from the Australian government to develop a prototype to help domestic violence victims with legal advice, which is in development.
Legaltech due diligence for investors
Zirra, a financial platform providing investors with detailed information, now includes legal intelligence as part of its offering. In “Think Again Before Investing in This Company: How to Detect Legal Issues with NLP”, Assaf Gilad, marketing manager at Zirra says: “Investors shouldn’t be afraid of legal issues before jumping into a new investment. However, it’s important they’re aware of these issues as early as possible, much earlier than the due diligence process. This is where AI and NLP technology can help with insights based on continuous monitoring of companies’ behavior and performance on the web.” The platform now provides “Instant Legal Alerts for entrepreneurs and investors to learn about a possible legal quarrel from the world wide web”, using examples from Magic Leap, SpaceX, Stitch Fix, and SoFi to show this analysis in practice.
— Zirra (@ZirraWisdom) November 2, 2017
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LegalTech Diary upcoming events
29 November: Webinar: 5 Steps to Implement a Contract Triage Process (LawGeex)
29-30 November: Legal Week Connect, London (Legal Week)
The Blurb: A curated mix of articles worth sharing in the past week.
John Fallon: CEO Pearson: You’re Not Alone if You Think We Can Work with the Robots
Above the Law: Biglaw Firm Brings On Technology Development Ninjas
Jake Heller (CaseText) Above the Law: Push Research: How AI Is Fundamentally Changing The Way We Research The Law