Access to the latest legaltech is often a factor when law firms, pressured in the marketplace, decide they need more heft. In this wide-ranging analysis, David Thomas points out how the Big Four accounting firms can more easily invest in process and technology upgrades, gaining advantages over the legal sector.
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The e-discovery and analytics tools available to big law firms and corporate legal departments haven't filtered down to the offices of public defenders, to the detriment of their indigent clients, experts say. It has taken a while "for public defender offices to even realize we need a dedicated forensic person, someone that understands drug analysis and DNA," said Temple University law professor Jules Epstein.
Interest in legaltech startups has been brisk in 2019, but vendors pitching investors still must get past the perception that lawyers are slow to embrace innovation, experts say. Emily Foges, CEO of Luminance, noted one significant challenge: The legal profession's billing model is dependent on the number of hours a lawyer works on a given matter -- a number that could be sharply cut by the use of technology.
Juristat, whose main product helps attorneys predict how US patent examiners will rule, plans to expand now that it has received a venture capital infusion of $2.4 million. The St. Louis-based company recently added applications to automate processes such as drafting briefs and filling out disclosure forms.
An alternative legal services provider based in Washington, D.C., wants to disrupt how lawyers are recruited and trained, as well as increase diversity, by at first acting as a staffing agency. Legal Innovators CEO Bryan Parker calls himself "a big data guy" and says the company may eventually apply analytics to other areas in the practice of law.
Middle management is where digital transformation succeeds or fails, and the challenges are largely cultural, such as overcoming negative stereotypes about this cohort and successfully unlocking its ability to manage change and connect with workers at all levels, write Carol Stubbings, Darren Homer and John Francis of PwC UK. The authors advise that senior leaders offer targeted upskilling and enable middle managers to recognize and encourage "informal leaders" on their teams.
Unaddressed conflict at work can lead to hard feelings and even becoming enemies with the other person, writes Marlene Chism. Self-awareness helps, as you can recognize your feelings and address the situation rather than sink into your biases.
Big Four accounting firm Deloitte through its UK division has embraced the products of 14 legaltech firms, mostly startups. Laura Bygrave of Deloitte Legal says bringing the companies into the fold "enables us to understand how a product or service can transform how we work and how it can benefit our clients."
Diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone topic of discussion within organizations today. Tune into this recorded ILTA Webinar featuring a panel of corporate legal professionals. They discussed D&I experiences within their organizations, as well as working on building programs with external legal business partners to ensure social responsibility for all diverse communities. Watch here. (You may need an ILTA Member login to read this piece.)
Author: Leigh Issacs. Law firms are custodians of client information, so an additional level of responsibility and care is required. To meet those objectives, using file naming conventions is needed. Discover several factors that re-emphasize the need. (Article featured in the ILTA 2019 Information Governance White Paper and Survey Results.)