Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Aug 7th, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
TLDR; Listen instead:
Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- The continued integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into legal operations, primarily involving drafting and communication tasks, has been prominent. Legal professionals should be aware of related concerns, such as the spread of false information and IP issues associated with AI use. The real value of AI comes not from replacing human skills but rather from complementing them.
- The collaborative venture of LexisNexis and Microsoft has demonstrated the rising acceptance and significant influence of big tech firms in traditional legal workflows. It is also worth noting the increasing appointments at several legal tech firms post-pandemic, emphasizing the pursuit of growth and innovation.
- There's been an increase in efforts to streamline legal requests and elevate operational efficiency in legal departments through the implementation of Legal Service Request Management (LSRM) software and the Legal Front Door tool. Career management is becoming increasingly important in the sector, given the growing occurrence of layoffs in legal firms. A proactive effort in career management and diversification of skills might be the ideal way to stand out.
Here's what happened in legal tech recently...
Numerous companies have announced fresh appointments, with Litify adding Curtis Brewer as CEO and Holland & Knight hiring Glenn LaForce as Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer. Orgiami and Akin Gump too bolstered their teams with key appointments. Simultaneously, the industry continues to debate the implications of AI within the legal system. Notably, LexisNexis and Microsoft announced their partnership to integrate AI-based solutions into Microsoft 365 to improve the workflow for legal professionals.
Several key trends were visible across the legal tech landscape yesterday. Foremost was the continued integration of AI into legal operations, primarily for drafting emails and communication tasks. Yet, concerns persist around the spread of false information and IP issues associated with AI use. However, as per Sen. Todd Young, no specific legislation addressing these issues is foreseen in the near future. Additionally, the role of generative AI in enhancing lawyers' communication was discussed. While it offers various benefits, such as summarizing documents and automating communication tasks, experts agreed that it should complement, not replace, human skills. A career management approach was also advocated amidst increasing layoffs in legal firms. Lastly, the implementation of Legal Service Request Management (LSRM) software and the Legal Front Door tool highlighted growing efforts to streamline legal requests and elevate operational efficiency in legal departments.
The increasing appointments at several legal tech firms indicate shifting dynamics post-pandemic, emphasizing the pursuit of growth and innovation. Meanwhile, the emphasis on career management amid mounting layoffs underscores the evolving landscape of employment within the sector. The partnership between LexisNexis and Microsoft is particularly significant. It signals the rising acceptance of AI tools in the legal ecosystem and the role big tech is playing in transforming traditional legal workflows. Concerning AI integration, it is imperative for professionals in the legal tech industry to continue championing responsible AI use, as emphasized by MIT’s task force. While AI unlocks new possibilities in all levels of legal work, striking a balance between technology use and human skills remains crucial going forward. Finally, the upgrading of the Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship Standard to include training in new technologies and cybersecurity reflects the industry's recognition of the importance of tech skills for the new generation of legal professionals. The move aims to diversify the profession, making it more accessible and affordable for aspiring individuals.
Lupl. Manage your matters, deals, and cases without the chaos. Lupl brings together tasks, documents, and knowledge so legal professionals can focus on what matters most - delivering positive outcomes.
See for yourself.
US legal tech and knowledge management companies have announced new appointments. Litify has appointed Curtis Brewer as CEO to accelerate growth after Bessemer Venture Partner's majority stake acquisition. Glenn LaForce has been hired by Holland & Knight as Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer, a role focusing on data and knowledge management strategies. Orgaimi has appointed Dan Wales as Head of Growth. Meanwhile, Akin Gump has hired Patrick Dundas as a partner, focusing on market intelligence, regulatory and transactional knowledge management, and technology/practice infrastructure.
The article advises legal professionals to actively manage their careers amidst rising layoffs in law firms. It recommends treating job hunting as a full-time job, maintaining a record of experiences, preparing for potential job loss, networking, and regularly updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It also stresses the importance of understanding employment agreements, especially regarding severance pay and benefits, and advises against panic.
The article highlights the potential of generative AI in enhancing lawyers' communication with CEOs and stakeholders. AI can offer alternative phrasing, summarize large documents, and automate communication tasks, aiding lawyers in providing clear and concise insights about the legal consequences of executive decisions. However, it stresses that AI should augment, not supplant, human communication skills, and lawyers should maintain a balance between technology use and personal interactions.
An MIT task force has outlined seven principles for responsible AI use within the legal industry. Law firms are slowly incorporating AI into their operations, beginning with email drafting. The New York State Bar Association President sees potential for AI to greatly change the legal profession. However, disputes are arising over AI's distribution of false information and AI-related intellectual property issues. Despite these challenges, new AI-specific legislation is not expected in the near future, says Sen. Todd Young.
Dewey B Strategic blog and HBR Consulting are collaborating on a survey examining legal industry products and projects, with a focus on generative AI. The results will be presented at HBR's third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS) on September 14, 2023. Funds from ticket sales will cover the event's technology expenses and contribute to the AALL George A. Strait Minority Scholarship & Fellowship fund.
Legal departments are facing growing pressure to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Many lack strong intake processes, with 47% managing requests informally. The implementation of Legal Service Request Management (LSRM) and the Legal Front Door can streamline legal requests, enhance client satisfaction, and optimize resources. These tools can also elevate the legal team's role within the organization by improving overall efficiency.
The Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship Standard has been revised to provide a more affordable entry into the legal profession, aiming to diversify the industry. The updated standard, accepting enrolments from August 2023, includes training in new technologies and cybersecurity. The National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP) will deliver the End Point Assessment, providing apprentices with real-world experience, making them more appealing to potential employers.
LexisNexis Legal & Professional and Microsoft are partnering to integrate AI-powered solutions into Microsoft 365 to improve legal professionals' workflow. The collaboration includes products like Lexis+, Lexis Connect, and Lexis Create, all aimed at enhancing efficiency. The companies are also integrating generative AI capabilities and improving their use of GPT-powered technology via Azure OpenAI Service. LexisNexis is adhering to the RELX Responsible AI Principles for responsible AI development.