Top 10 Tweets and Trends from CodeX 2017

CodeX, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics hosted the FutureLaw 2017 conference on April 6. It saw a galaxy of legal technology speakers including Gillian Hadfield (professor of economics at the University of Southern California); Lucy Endel Bassli, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Operations at Microsoft; and Mary O Carroll, Head of Legal Operations at Google.

Following LawGeex’s highly popular top 10 Tweets and Trends from LegalWeek 2017, here are the top 10 Tweets and Trends from CodeX FutureLaw 2017.

1. Change can take time, even for the leading tech players (including Google). Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence at management practice solution, Clio tweeted about the challenges faced by Google’s Head of Legal Operations, Mary O’ Carroll when she brought tech and data center stage for lawyers.

Mary O’Carroll says: “six years after starting, I could answer the question ‘are we getting value from our legal service providers.'” O’ Carroll says it is necessary to speak and learn from each other—a major part of her leadership of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium). CLOC’s mission is to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players. We will be at the CLOC Institute conference next month in Las Vegas (Join ) and would love to see you there.

 2. Lack of innovation in U.S courts. The lack of innovation in courts was shown powerfully in one slide at the conference, shared by Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina.  In the words of Jim Sandman of Legal Services Corp: “Courts are adopting “yesterday’s technology” tomorrow. Josh Becker tweeted: “Loved this quote. Needs to be fixed!”

3. (Positively) Law Schools  are becoming innovative. Lucy Bassli of Microsoft talked about the changes happening in law schools saying: “Evolution in law school training is crucial, affecting our recruiting”.

4. Laying of the legal gauntlet  

Professor Gillian K Hadfield gave what Nicole Shanahan, CEO of ClearAccess IP, called a bad ass keynote from the first female keynote speaker of FutureLaw.”

Margaret Hagan, Director of  the LegalDesign Lab at Stanford Law, said it “laid the gauntlet for legal innovation and empowerment.”  Discussing her new book Rules For a Flat World (which we will all be ordering now), Hadfield  looked at the rule systems that guide global integration-our legal infrastructure-and argues that existing approaches to making rules are no longer working.

5. Legal Chatbots: They are Coming. But is that good?

Mary Redzic reflects on Lenon’s case that bots may not be jurisdiction-based; they may give people false confidence in quality of the advice;  they are too linear and don’t allow people to go back and see how the conditions or answers change advice; and they might divert people away from seeking out higher quality resources.

6. The lawyer entrepreneur 

In a startup Bootcamp for Lawyers, designer, Jose Torres and Jay Mandal, co-founder of LawPivot gave a number of highly tweetable pieces of advice to think like a startup. These included: “Prototypes crash-test your ideas. 9/10 startups fails because they build something no one wants.” “How can lawyers take on the startup mentality? 1. Culture first. The #1 determinant for success for any team is founder dynamics.” Finally, “Lawyers hate creating a rough draft. But in startups, that’s the path to something insanely great.”

7. No more “anecdata”

The importance of capturing data in law generated a number of tweets. Lucy Bassli at Microsoft said: “We are not capturing good information about our own business. Our firms know our contracts better. That’s a problem”

8. OnPrem is over. Long Live The Cloud 

In a similar trend, from the top tweets at LegalWeek 2017, the decline and fall of On Premise installation continues.  Michael Lucas, the Chief Information Officer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, told the conference: “Days are over that we, as CIOs at law firms, should be shaking in our boots over the cloud.” Lucy Bassli of Microsoft put it even more bluntly “OnPrem days are kind of over for us. She said: “The cloud is now a fact. Still getting lawyers who express their ‘concern’. However, competing today requires it.”

9. Communication

Monica Bay, who sets the gold standard for writing and debating legal technology (including her roundups of this conference) provided some powerful takeaways on communication. This included: Can you explain something so simply that an 8th grader can read it?

10. Adopt. Don’t fall back to resistance. Jim Sandman  president of the Legal Services Corporation was quoted by  Penn Dobsson an attorney and innovator Innovation without adoption is naught.” The fallback for some lawyers not adopting technology could be keeping things as they are. One key slide tweeted by Tomas VanderHeijden of Ross Intelligence, shows the traditional law practice model constrains innovation to provide legal services; the legal profession’s resistance to change can hinder additional innovation. It also shows that new providers of legal services are proliferating and creating additional chances for consumers and lawyers.”

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