“New Legal Tech Audit will scare lawyers into embracing technology.”

Financial Post

I read with interest that the “Suffolk-Flaherty Legal Tech Audit” went live last week.  This skills test or “audit” was created by Suffolk University Law School in partnership with Kia’s in-house counsel Casey Flaherty. The stated purpose of the audit is to assess “how well timekeepers and staff use basic law practice technology, such as word processing and spreadsheets, to complete commonly encountered legal tasks.”   Continue reading

 “Dentons has decided it will no longer report average profits per equity partner, and it hopes other law firms will do the same.”
 
ABA Journal, June 11, 2014

Kevin and I read with great interest the above report that Denton’s has decided to take a stand and will no longer report its average profits per equity partner (PPP), stating that the number is meaningless and has the potential to damage client relations.  Not surprisingly, American Lawyer editor-in-chief Kim Kleman stated that PPP is an important metric they will continue to track.

This story got us both to thinking about what are the metrics the legal profession should be tracking to gauge the health of the profession and of our overall legal system.  After diving into a discussion about PPP and its usefulness or lack thereof, our conversation turned (of all places) to global climate change. Continue reading

“[Legal technicians] offers a sound opportunity to determine whether… the involvement of effectively trained, licensed and regulated non-attorneys may help expand access to necessary legal help…”

Washington State Supreme Court

Washington State has passed, and at least one other state is considering, programs that authorize non-lawyers who have been certified by the bar to provide specific legal services within designated areas of law.  Continue reading

“Data is the new science.  Big Data holds the answers.”

Pat Gelsinger, COO of EMC

 Everywhere you look, there is story about “big data” and how it is changing healthcare to national security, raising the question of whether there is a role for big data in the practice of law.  Your typical law firm or legal department has terabytes of electronic data in its possession — from email, to court filings, client documents and other work product, but do data analytics have the potential to help lawyers deliver better and more cost effective legal services?

Continue reading

“Artisan — a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods.”

Dictionary.com

Early in my practice, I found myself in need of a generic clause for use in a contract and reached out to my colleagues for samples.  While grateful for the many responses, I was astonished at the diversity of language for addressing what was a pretty straightforward task.

While several of the samples clearly came from the same “parent”, no two clauses were exactly alike.  In discussing this observation with colleagues, the conversation quickly turned to each colleague promoting the merits of their particular clause.  Continue reading