Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Oct 11, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
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Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- The adoption of AI-powered tools such as Gavel Blueprint and fleetAI in legal practices is becoming prevalent. These tools are designed to improve workflow efficiency and predictability of outcomes by enhancing legal document templates and automating tasks, such as document analysis and clause generation. Therefore, legal knowledge workers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these technologies for improved productivity.
- There is a clear move towards individualized legal services, as seen with Clio's dedicated solution for personal injury law firms. Legal professionals should be mindful of this trend and consider developing specialized skills to meet the diverse needs within the sector and stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
- The recently observed leadership expansions and appointments highlight the importance of experienced leadership in driving growth in law firms, especially in emerging areas. Legal knowledge workers should consider developing their leadership skills or understanding non-traditional roles within the industry, as firms are now embracing novel and transformative leadership styles.
Here's what happened in legal tech recently...
From AI-powered tools to workflow enhancements and platform expansions, the industry’s dynamic sector charts yet another day of groundbreaking evolution. Firstly, Gavel has introduced its AI tool, Gavel Blueprint, designed to streamline workflows for legal professionals. The tool enhances existing document templates and is designed to improve legal practice automation ROI. In other tech updates, law firm management company Clio demonstrated a range of product updates at the Clio Cloud Conference, targeting enhanced connectivity and centralization for legal professionals. The tech provider also introduced a tailored platform for personal injury law firms. Furthermore, Dentons partnered with Springbok.ai to develop fleetAI, an AI platform for automating tasks such as document analysis and clause generation. In personnel news, LegalRM appointed Antony Wells and Raj Chambore to drive its European expansion and global pre-sales strategy, respectively. Meanwhile, Simmons & Simmons welcomed their newest non-lawyer partner, Katja Ullrich-North, responsible for transforming legal service delivery.
Identified trends yesterday involve the blending of the use of AI tools with existing templates for automation and efficiency improvements, as seen with Gavel, Dentons, and Clio. Also, firms are adopting a specialized approach to legal practice, demonstrated by Clio's bespoke offering for personal injury law firms. The legal sector’s rapid development is also evidenced through leadership expansions, especially in lawtech firms serving global markets.
The introduction of AI tools like Gavel Blueprint and fleetAI exhibit the industry's dependence on technology to improve legal practices, showcasing how AI integration can enhance task efficiency and outcome predictability. However, as pointed out with Dentons' product, these tech advancements aren't without their limitations, urging companies to respond with continued innovation. Clio’s dedicated solution for personal injury law firms indicates a move towards individualized services and highlights the value firms place on targeted legal practices. As firms try to meet diverse needs within the sector, such specialty tools will likely become more prominent, leading to higher market competition. The recent appointments and hires underscore the importance of experienced leadership in driving growth, especially in expanding markets. They also highlight the industry's status as a thriving employer, offering various non-traditional roles as firms embrace transformative leadership styles.
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During its annual Clio Cloud Conference, law practice management company Clio launched what it described as its largest-ever update. New products include features specifically tailored for personal injury lawyers and Clio Duo, an artificial intelligence integrated within all Clio products, starting in 2024. Additionally, Clio File was unveiled, an e-filing and e-service offering that will be included directly within Clio Manage, claiming to make it the first law practice management platform with built-in e-filing capabilities. Clio has also revealed offerings aimed at legal aid organizations, including subscription plans and tools to manage and create grants and funding sources. The company aims to centralize and connect its platform, improving lawyer connections to clients, colleagues, and courts, thus increasing profitability and the prospect for sustainable business.
The Legal Geek conference last week demonstrated a shift in the legal tech industry to a focus on collaboration and ideas rather than purely new technologies. The evolution reflects the realization that creating effective change in law firms and legal teams has proven more challenging than expected. Many are now looking at how innovation can boost their efficiency and problem-solving abilities - meaning the first Legal Geek to come after the initial boom of AI and legal tech startups is more about sharing knowledge and experiences than finding the latest tech solutions. The objective is for industry leaders to learn from one another and be better positioned to drive much-needed changes in their organizations.
Legal tech firm Gavel has introduced Gavel Blueprint, an AI tool that enables legal professionals to automate workflows using existing document templates. Based on OpenAI, the tool is designed to enhance ROI from legal practice automation. Rebranded from Documate, Gavel's platform is utilized for document automation, workflow automation, and client portals. It presently serves about 10,000 users in 23 countries.
UK law firm Simmons & Simmons has named Katja Ullrich-North as a partner and director of knowledge management. Ullrich-North, previously in the same role at Hogan Lovells, is the latest non-lawyer to be made a partner at the firm. Her duties will include transforming legal service delivery and redefining the role of knowledge in an international law firm context.
UK legal technology firm, LegalRM, has hired Antony Wells as Sales Director for the UK, Ireland, and Northern Europe, and Raj Chambore as Global Pre-sales Manager. Both Wells and Chambore previously worked at Ascertus and bring with them extensive experience in the legal tech industry. The new appointments are part of LegalRM's expansion plans in Europe, reflecting the company's rapid growth. LegalRM is known for its flagship product, iCompli, a compliance platform for client data management.
Law firm management company Clio has unveiled a series of updates to its products at the Clio Cloud Conference. The updates include automated workflows and Google's Local Services Ads integration for Clio Grow, their client intake software. Clio Manage, the main practice management platform, now has matter stages and templates, improved email capabilities, and Spanish language availability. The Clio mobile app now accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay, and their document automation software, Lawyaw, has also been updated.
Law firm Dentons, in partnership with Springbok.ai, has created an AI platform, fleetAI, that assists with tasks like document analysis and clause generation. Despite its quick adoption, the system has limitations, such as handling large documents and predicting outcomes from uploaded documents. Dentons plans to license the technology to clients and incorporate it into its knowledge management system.
Cloud-based legal tech provider, Clio, has introduced a solution tailored for personal injury law firms. Built on its popular legal practice management software, Clio Manage, the new solution aims to enhance workflow efficiency for personal injury lawyers. Features include optimized settlements, medical record management, and expedited disbursement of recovery funds. This is Clio's first practice-specific offering, targeting the 50,000 personal injury lawyers in the US.
Legal technology firm, LegalRM, has hired Antony Wells as Sales Director for UK, Ireland & Northern Europe, and Raj Chambore as Global Pre-Sales Manager. Wells will be responsible for the company's European expansion, while Chambore will boost global sales. These appointments are part of LegalRM's growth strategy, which has seen the company double its revenue and profitability in the past four years.
The article explores the difficulties of conducting internal investigations while maintaining employee privacy. It recommends strategies like spot checking personal data and extracting information from company devices or cloud storage. Transparency in data collection, keeping a record of the process, and having data collection policies for both company and personal devices are advised. The increasing privatization of data and use of ephemeral messaging apps further complicate data collection.
LexBlog, a legal blogging firm, has introduced Lou, an AI-powered assistant aimed at assisting in writing, improving, and promoting blog posts. Integrated into LexBlog's WordPress platform, Lou generates post ideas, suggests article outlines, summarizes court opinions, and recommends writing style changes. It also aids in social sharing and personalized email creation. However, Lou is not meant to replace legal professionals as authors, but to support them in writing and promoting posts.
The term "law practice" comes from the Greek verb πράσσω /prasso, meaning to achieve or accomplish. First used around 1400 in Old French and Latin, it refers to the profession of law. Practicing law requires specialized knowledge and continuous learning, similar to how athletes and musicians need daily practice to hone their skills. In this context, "practice" denotes expertise, not amateurism.
Cloud-based legal technology provider, Clio, has introduced a solution specifically for personal injury law firms. Built on Clio Manage, a popular legal practice management software, the solution caters to the unique workflows and requirements of personal injury law. It enables lawyers to manage medical records, expedite recovery proceeds disbursement, track expenses, and receive payments from other law firms, all while adhering to HIPAA regulations.
The article addresses the issue of data silos in legal departments, emphasizing the need for improved collaboration, risk management, and cost efficiency. Solutions proposed include adopting a legal operations approach, proactivity, learning from investigations, and digitalization. The author stresses the importance of cross-departmental cooperation and alignment with business objectives in the process of dismantling these silos.
General counsels (GCs) are moving towards a decentralized legal department model due to CEO pressure for lawyers to drive value within business units, according to a recent Axiom paper. However, GCs worry that this model may lead lawyers to prioritize commercial incentives over legal practices. Axiom proposes a hybrid model where 15% of the in-house team is embedded within business units, offering both flexibility and oversight.