“I’m sad to see [our card catalog] go. This is truly the end of an era. But it is time to move on.”    

Paul Courant, University of MichiganDean of Libraries 

2-28-2010

At MetaJure, we often get asked “Where in your smart document management system is the document profile that our lawyers need to fill out?”  This question usually reminds me of a childhood friend whose dad told the story of his father’s reluctance to drive a car with one of the first automatic transmissions.  My friend’s grandfather believed that a car couldn’t’ possibly work if it didn’t have both a clutch pedal and a gear shifter.  What the grandfather didn’t realize was that technology had  significantly advanced and that there was a new, automated, more efficient way in which a car’s gears could be shifted. Continue reading

 
“Legal judgment, assessing actual risks, and problem solving are more often taught implicitly through legal practice in clinics, than explicitly as discrete skills.”
 
Deborah Maranville

As legal education attempts to implement an approach that systematically moves beyond issue spotting, we bump against the limits of both our knowledge and our curriculum. Consider the third and fourth tools in the Five Tool Lawyer framework:

Tool #3: “Use legal judgment to assess actual risks with spotted issues.”

Tool #4: “Problem solve for best way to meet client’s needs with minimal risk.”

How much do most lawyers know about how to “assess actual risks”? What does it mean to “use legal judgment” to perform that assessment? Continue reading

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Bill Gates

Last November, I was asked by Justice Charlie Wiggins of the Washington State Supreme Court to give a talk at the Centennial Celebration of the Washington State Temple of Justice.  The topic Justice Wiggins asked me to address was “100 Years of Legal Technology — Looking Back and Looking Forward.”   Continue reading

“Law practice is also, at heart, a personal-service industry. Nobody talks about disrupting the massage industry — at least not that I have ever heard of.”
 
Sam Glover

I was intrigued by Sam Glover’s recent post on the Lawyerist wherein he argues “The business of disrupting law practice is a crowded field of solutions looking for problems.”  While you can debate whether or not legal services are subject to disruption (and for some, I suppose, whether disruption is needed), I was primarily intrigued by Sam’s statement quoted above that law is at heart a personal service industry. His remark got me thinking about the delivery of legal services in the 21st century and whether this observation is 100% accurate.

Continue reading