5 things in LegalTech: How lawyers celebrated #STEMDay?

Your time is short. This quick read gives you 5 things you need to know from LegalTech in the past seven days.

1

Happy #STEM Day to lawyers

On November 8 the world celebrated National S.T.E.M Day. With occupations related to S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) expected to grow 70 percent faster than other professions, lawyers embraced the day. There was a special session to recruit STEM graduates to a legal profession which is (slowly) embracing tech, data and science as part of its present and future. In a London session, “Why STEM students make great lawyers?”  STEM-graduates-turned-lawyers from Allen & Overy, LexisNexis, Bristows, and Reed Smith spoke about their journey.  Virginia Jones  converted to law after completing a civil engineering degree , ultimately qualifying in commercial dispute resolution.  Gemma Barrett, now a partner and IP specialist at Bristows, graduated  from Oxford with a Master’s in biochemistry before making the switch. Barrett argues her background provides a powerful advantage in day-to-day work advising the world’s leading life sciences and technology companies.

 

Other STEM-turned Law graduates posted about the benefits of law, after making the jump, including Euan Alston, who is set to become a trainee solicitor at CMS UK but started out as a biomedical sciences graduate.

 

2

Do lawyers need math?

On a related theme, lawyers took to Quora this week to answer definitively whether you can be a lawyer if you are not good at math? The consensus is that, even as tech makes greater inroads, math is not a prerequisite.  Isaac Fischer, Certified Family Law Specialist said: “Oh, HECK YEA. Most of my colleagues are not particularly good at math. Some are horrible at it actually. Actually, as I was growing up, I told anyone who would listen, ‘I don’t need to learn this [math]. I’ll never use it’. No one really listened.” Suzanne Kiera Anthony, former Trial Attorney, added it is unnecessary unless “you want to practice in an area that requires math skill, like tax law.”

But over on Twitter, attorney and Law Professor, Daniel W. Linna Jr, at a legal workshop on Blockchain, quoted a session with Pamela Morgan, an attorney, educator, entrepreneur, and public speaker, who advises on crypto-holdings. The takeaway from the talk: “For people who say ‘I don’t like math’ my advice is get comfortable”.

 

 

3

One legal-survey-message rules them all

Several surveys on the issue of tech and innovation (or lack of it) came out.The Exterro 2017 In-House Legal Benchmarking Report  set the scene: 51% of in-house legal teams report that more than half of their legal activities are now conducted internally requiring better use of innovation and technology.

Nevertheless, Legal Week and Georgina Stanley reported that the Smith & Williamson’s annual law firm survey shows more than half of law firm respondents pinpoint the adoption of new technology as one of the biggest challenges (along with talent retention).

Innovation was also the buzzword at the Lawyer’s In-house Counsel as Business Partner Conference in London. “Many firms are branding themselves as innovation leaders, but a survey of the over 100 in-house attendees at the conference showed that roughly 70 per cent weren’t sure what technology solutions their panel firms were using.”

Things that are not helping 1) “Law Firm BS”. Casey Flaherty, a legal operations consultant who advises lawyers on tech writes in his blog:“In the context of an RFI, don’t talk to me about ROSS (legal AI research), or anything else, unless you can connect it to a concrete benefit for the client. ”

Things that are not helping 2) Staci Zaretsky in Above The Law reports on a new initiative to help prevent women leaving the law. Per, the ABA, women over 50 now make up only 27 percent of lawyers at firms.

 

 

4.

eDiscovery tech for in-house lawyers

LegalTech News reported that the state of tech in eDiscovery is laid bare in a new report. It asked what are the buying habits of GCs and corporate attorneys choosing eDiscovery solutions? 72 percent, said they purchased e-discovery technology or services on an “as-needed” rolling basis, while 28 percent purchased it annually.  Only 19 percent also said they have a global platform they use for most matters, while 50 percent said they have different technology and services for each matter. Their biggest e-Discovery challenge? 42 percent of respondents cited managing the overall costs of e-discovery or keeping within budget, while 36 percent struggled either with managing the volume of e-Discovery data or integration with other legal systems.

 

5.

LegalTech interview of the week: Intraspexion

It is only natural that in our STEM-based edition we feature this CODEX interview with  Nick Brestoff, 69, the founder and CEO of Intraspexion offering “Preventive Law with AI”. Brestoff is an engineer-turned-lawyer whose company is addressing the painful problem that bedevils corporate legal departments: the frequency and cost of litigation. “Intraspexion provides an early warning of specific types of possible litigation to in-house legal staff”. His advice to other tech entrepreneurs: “Find the pain to address first. Find the return on investment for your vision. Then, have the courage to fight off the depressing occasions.”

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LegalTech Diary upcoming events 

14 November:  WebinarEmerging Trends and Legal Analytics for Product Liability (Lex Machina) 14 November 2017

29 November: Webinar5 Steps to Implement a Contract Triage Process (LawGeex) 

29-30 November: Legal Week Connect, London (Legal Week)

21 December: Save The Date! Christmas Drinks For Legal & Tech Professionals (London)

The Blurb: A curated mix of articles worth sharing in the past week.

From LawGeex

IACCM Journal: Want to improve your contracting processes? Put technology to work!

From other sites: 

Claims News: Keoghs unveils AI insurance lawyer

Law Sites: NextChapter Unveils Its Next Chapter: A Portal For Bankruptcy Debtors

Law Sites: A Closer Look at Clio’s Revamped Practice Management Platform 

Artificial Lawyer: Mexico’s Laboralisto Paves Way To Labour Law Predictive Capability

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