Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for June 14th, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
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Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- Explore Passkeys for Enhanced Security: With the growing movement away from passwords, legal professionals should consider adopting passkeys that use biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition for simpler and more secure access to sensitive systems.
- Stay on Top of Emerging Technology: To remain relevant and competitive in the evolving legal tech landscape, it is crucial for legal knowledge workers to stay informed about the latest emerging technologies. Proactively adopting and leveraging new tech advancements can provide a strategic advantage.
- Balance AI Integration with Human Oversight: While AI-generated legal research can be highly effective, legal professionals must maintain human oversight and ethical responsibility. Technology should be viewed as a tool that complements human expertise, emphasizing the importance of understanding the limitations and potential biases associated with AI systems.
Trends from yesterday
In the legal tech world, yesterday saw a range of exciting developments, from the rise of passkeys over outdated passwords to concerns regarding AI-generated legal research. Lit Software, a developer of litigation apps for iPad and Mac, appointed Derek Miller, the creator of Trial Director, as its strategic advisor. Legal software provider Litera is set to withdraw support for DocsCorp and Workshare middleware products by the end of 2021 to focus on its own Litera Compare product. Meanwhile, EvenUp, an AI-powered legal tech company, has raised $50.5m in a Series B funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. At the same time, Dye & Durham has been appointed as a strategic partner of the Law Society of England and Wales for business services.
One significant trend in legal tech is a growing movement away from passwords in favor of passkeys, which use biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition. Google has already started allowing users to log in using passkeys, and other tech giants like Microsoft and Apple are following suit. Law firms are also beginning to adopt passkeys, which offer a simpler means of secure access. Another trend is the increasing importance of emerging technology. Legal industry experts are urging firms to stay on top of the latest emerging tech to remain relevant. Meanwhile, the American Bar Association's (ABA) annual technology survey for 2022 found that cloud services are now an integral part of the IT equation for most lawyers and firms.
Legal tech is rapidly evolving, and legal professionals must stay current with the latest developments. The rise of passkeys is just one example of how legal tech is advancing and improving access to secure systems. Meanwhile, the increasing importance of emerging technology highlights the need for firms to adapt to the changing landscape to stay competitive in the market. The Litera Compare product withdrawal highlights the importance of ongoing development and innovation in legal tech. Only by staying ahead of the curve can firms ensure they're providing the best possible service to their clients.
Similarly, Lit Software's appointment of Derek Miller is another example of how legal tech continually evolves to meet the needs of today's clients. Finally, concerns regarding AI-generated legal research emphasize the importance of human oversight when using cutting-edge technology. While AI can be highly effective in legal research, it's essential to remember that technology is only as good as the human input that goes into it. As such, legal professionals must integrate AI into their work ethically and responsibly. In conclusion, legal tech is an ever-evolving industry that offers tremendous opportunities for legal professionals. Whether it's the adoption of passkeys, ongoing development, innovation, or ethical AI use, there's always something new and exciting to explore in this field. By staying informed and keeping ahead of the curve, legal professionals can ensure they're meeting the needs of their clients while also taking advantage of the latest in legal tech.
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EvenUp, a legal tech start-up that uses AI to turn medical documents and case files into demand packages for personal injury lawyers, has raised $50.5m in a Series B funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Clio Ventures and Behance founder Scott Belsky. EvenUp aims to level the playing field for plaintiffs' lawyers in PI cases, an area of law in which more than 90% of cases are settled privately, making it difficult for lawyers to know the true value of their cases. The latest investment brings the company's total funding to $65m, valued at $325m. EvenUp plans to develop new technologies and products for PI and other fields of law.
The 2022 TechReport on cloud computing by the American Bar Association's annual technology survey reveals some interesting insights into the adoption of cloud services amongst lawyers and law firms. The survey findings suggest that cybersecurity has emerged as a major concern for the legal sector and that the adoption of cloud services is rapidly increasing. The use of consumer and business cloud services is outpacing the adoption of legal-specific cloud services, indicating the need for customized solutions that cater to the specific needs of the legal market. Interestingly, only 11% of respondents expected to replace an existing software tool with a cloud tool in 2022. This suggests that while lawyers are embracing cloud technology, they are cautious about disrupting existing processes and are perhaps seeking more integration with their existing software tools. Overall, the survey findings show that cloud services have become an essential part of the IT equation for lawyers and that their adoption is set to continue to grow in the coming years.
Legal IT Insider's Caroline Hill and legal industry analyst Ari Kaplan discuss the state of the legal industry in the sixth episode of Charting Change in Legal. The experts analyze the industry's progress in ending Q2, the reallocation of budgets, and the importance of evaluating emerging technology. They also provide insights into how firms can adapt to the changing landscape and stay competitive in the market. The discussion highlights the need for firms to stay on top of emerging technologies to remain relevant.
Legal software provider, Litera, is set to withdraw support for DocsCorp and Workshare middleware products by the end of 2021 to focus on its own Litera Compare product. The company has also cut DocsCorp marketing and product roles in Australia as it consolidates its marketing team in North America and EMEA. Amber van Moessner, senior director for corporate marketing, stated that the redundancies accounted for less than 3% of global headcount and that the perception that Litera is pulling out of Australia is incorrect. The company aims to move all customers to Litera Compare this year.
Derek Miller, the creator of Trial Director, has joined Lit Software as a strategic advisor and director of enterprise. Lit Software is the developer of a suite of litigation apps for iPad and Mac, including TrialPad, TranscriptPad, DocReviewPad, and ExhibitsPad. Miller will help drive the company’s expansion into larger firms, corporations, and insurance companies and lead enterprise-level sales to law firms, corporations, insurance companies, and other organizations. He will also focus on selling the apps through enterprise licenses instead of through Apple’s App Store.
The book "R-E-S-P-E-C-T: An Insight to Attorney Compensation Plans" by Brenda Barnes and Camille Stell provides a comprehensive guide to attorney compensation in 2023 and beyond, covering associate and managing partner compensation, biases, trends, and formulas. It emphasizes the importance of treating employees as real people worth investing in and recommends practical options for law firm owners and hiring managers struggling to retain committed employees, including additional PTO and personal wellness programs. The book also challenges the inherent biases in traditional compensation systems and advocates for increasing equity and recognition of the dignity of every person in an organization.
In the legal industry, passwords have been a longstanding issue, and the rise of AI has made them even more problematic. However, a growing movement to ditch passwords altogether and embrace passkeys, which use biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition, is gaining momentum. Google has already begun allowing users to log in using passkeys, and other tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft are also working on going passwordless. Law firms are beginning to adopt passkeys, which are easy to understand and offer a simpler means of secure access.
A study by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has found that highly profitable companies with large cash holdings and those spending generously on advertising are more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals for industrial espionage. The study analyzed cyberattacks from January 1999 to January 2022 and noted that many firms fail to report cyberattacks. Additionally, the report found that damage from cybercrime extends beyond targeted companies to harm peer companies and the broader economy, with companies linked to a targeted firm suffering a loss equal to 44% of the financial damage to the primary victim.
New York attorney Steven A. Schwartz has come under scrutiny after using ChatGPT, an OpenAI chatbot, for legal research and unknowingly generating six fake cases that were later cited in a legal brief. Schwartz's lawyers have admitted that he was unfamiliar with the chatbot, and his limited experience in federal court and his law firm's limited legal research technology options may have contributed to the situation. Schwartz is seeking leniency from a federal judge who is considering sanctions.
Negotiating legal fees with an outside counsel's assistant could put the attorney in ethical jeopardy, according to an American Bar Association (ABA) opinion. Only lawyers can negotiate fees tied to the scope of work required. Non-lawyer legal assistants can discuss fees, but the back-and-forth must be about what the law firm charges in general, not what the fee would be specific to the work required. The ABA urges lawyers to train and supervise their assistants, including on the unauthorized practice of law.
Dye & Durham, a Vancouver-based practice management provider, has been appointed as a strategic partner of the Law Society of England and Wales for business services, which will further raise the company's profile in the UK. The Law Society selects preferred partners to promote to its members under an agreed license fee, and Dye & Durham's appointment will enable the company to work more closely with The Law Society and its members. Other business services partners include Clio, Access Legal, Leap, and Quill.
Workflow automation is a more suitable method for legal teams to streamline their operations than contract lifecycle management (CLM), according to Evan Wong, the founder, and CEO of Checkbox, a low-code/no-code workflow automation firm. Wong stated that CLM can be counterproductive for legal teams depending on their size and maturity and that workflow automation platforms provide similar advantages as CLM without the high initial expenses, long implementation times, and change management. Checkbox was established by Wong shortly after he graduated from college, and he was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019.
Shopify is seeking to reveal the backers of a patent infringement lawsuit against it, as critics argue that litigation funders are distorting the patent world. The rise of litigation funders is seen as particularly problematic in the patent world, as it provides fuel for so-called patent trolls. These trolls file infringement lawsuits forcing companies to divert resources away from their business to defend themselves. Some jurisdictions are following Delaware's lead in forcing disclosure of litigation funders.
Axiom, the flexible legal talent platform, has appointed Ashlin Quirk as its general counsel and a member of its executive leadership team. Quirk, who was most recently the executive vice president, general counsel, privacy officer, and secretary at Dynata, has previously worked in-house at Mastercard and Webloyalty, as well as at law firms Pitney Bowes and Mayer Brown. Axiom CEO David McVeigh said Quirk's expertise and experience as a former Axiom client would be critical in unlocking future industry innovation while maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements.