“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

“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 


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

“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.

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 Legal Malpractice: “The failure to render professional services with the skill, prudence, and diligence that an ordinary and reasonable lawyer would use under similar circumstances” 

As we all know, the practice of law is a standards of practice driven profession with your work being judged by whether you have exercised the skill, prudence and diligence that an ordinary and reasonable lawyer would under the circumstances.  If you could plot on a graph all lawyers’ approaches to handling a given legal issue, it would most likely look like the bell curve shown below.

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“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?

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BloggBloggBloggNever underestimate the resistance to change from lawyers. Even more likely, never underestimate the ability of lawyers to describe virtual status quo efforts as revolutionary change.”

Stephen Poor, Chairman Seyfarth Shaw

Lawyers and law firms have a well-deserved reputation for resisting change and failing to embrace innovation.  Is there something about us, our training or our profession that makes us resisters of change and advocates of the status quo?  If so, is this good or bad for our businesses, the profession and the legal system?  Or is it a mix of both? Continue reading