Ross gets huge funding for AI IBM Watson project

At its core, ROSS is a platform that helps legal teams sort through case law to find details relevant to new cases. This process takes days and even weeks with standard keyword search, so ROSS is augmenting keyword search with machine learning to simultaneously speed up the research process and improve relevancy of items found.
Read more at TechCrunch...

Craig Leppan, business development manager at Assimilated Information Systems (AIS)

The shift toward cloud and paperless is fast gaining momentum as the new global cohort of millennial customers demand digital and mobile business options. According to Craig Leppan, business development manager at Assimilated Information Systems (AIS), an e4 company, digital document solutions will be fundamental to reaching tomorrow’s customers.

Alexia Christie

Technology and the law - Technology is changing almost every aspect of our lives. It is therefore no surprise that it has already had a profound effect on how legal contracts are made (and signed), for example, we now negotiate via email, VC and Skype and sign electronically without ever meeting face to face.

Bitcoin explained

Most of you would have heard of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies and many of you the blockchain, but understanding these terms is very difficult because they are complicated, made even more so by the myriad of articles trying to do so. I have seen many descriptions of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain for the layman and experts alike. I like none of them … because none of them can help my farmer-in-laws understand it.
Read more at LinkedIn...

ThinkSmart

Using smart contracts, BlockAudit allows workflow audit trail data to be seamlessly stored in the blockchain. BlockAudit’s private blockchain utilizes a system of record-keeping that is verified by a network of computers. The blockchain keeps a permanent record of all transactions, making it the perfect ledger for different actions that have taken place within a workflow.
Read more in Medium...

Legal World connected

All growing international firms will adopt the law firm network model (to some degree) to manage their global businesses from now on...
Read more at The Lawyer...

Gladly pay monthly bills at my law firm

Most law firms pay lots of monthly fees for different services. The lines in our credit card statements flow over to the second page. And those fees add up. Some lawyers are enraged by those fees, but not me. I love them. I see those fees like I see the cost of groceries used to make dinner. They represent ingredients. Over the past several years, many of us have shifted from buying technology products to renting them. We pay monthly instead of making a one-time payment to own it.
Read more at Rosen Institute...

implementing standard processes in law firms

Over the last few years, and increasingly more so over the last few months, the world as we know it is changing at a rapid pace around us. I recently saw a webinar which alluded to the fact that students embarking on legal studies from this point onwards would be wasting their time and money. As a legal professional, the thought of being part of a soon to be extinct species, is daunting. But truth be told, I agree things are evolving and I believe, we need to as well. 

HiiL Innovating Justice

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is delighted to announce the seven Southern Africa semi-finalists for our annual HiiL Justice Accelerator (HJA).

Law firm service

It isn’t easy to get clients to talk about your firm’s good service.  But it is easy to get them to talk about your firm if they are unhappy!  It’s a well-known fact that unhappy clients tell a lot more people about their experience than those who were happy with your service.  And the problem is exacerbated by social media and the Internet.  So what can law firms do to improve their service levels?

Cryptocurrency regulation

The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement was as much a story about technology as Titanic was about a ship.

Blockchain in law firms

I contend that blockchain technology is going to disrupt many businesses and industries and the legal profession just might be next. Although there are many appealing characteristics of blockchain technology for lawyers, perhaps the best one of all is that it can secure information in an immutable and transparent ledger.
Read more at Forbes...

How lawyers can embrace technology

“OK, so I understand that law firms need to embrace technology in order to survive going forward.  But how do I do that?” This is a question I hear regularly when giving talks about the future of the legal profession. There seems to be a general belief that technology is just something that happens automatically in the background.  So what should law firms do in order to truly embrace technology?

Richard Susskind speaks to George Miller

In the latest episode of the Oxford Law Vox podcast Richard Susskind talks to George Miller about the gaining momentum of technology and AI in the law profession. They discuss just how vital it is that lawyers learn to reinvent themselves and work alongside technology.
Read more at OUPBlog...

Law Firm Admin Outsource or Inhouse

I am often asked whether it is a good idea for a firm to outsource their admin functions or not.  For larger firms, this generally isn’t a good idea, although a number of large law practices overseas have relocated their admin departments to cheaper centres where good people are available at a more affordable price.  But for single practitioners and smaller firms, outsourced admin is almost always a smart idea.

Bowmans BowMoney Crypto currency

Sandton based pan-African law firm, Bowmans launched its own cryptocurrency – BowMoney – in July. BowMoney, it said, is the cryptocurrency that will underpin the innovative new Blockchain-backed reward and recognition system for Bowmans employees in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Read more at Business Tech...

Increase profits in law firm

Even as a law firm strives to achieve justice for its clients, it’s paramount to remain profitable. In any case, how can they meet their mandate of justice for all if they aren’t making substantial profits to keep them going?

ele engineering case study with Deltek

Ele Engineering is a technology consulting company that provides advanced services to technology-intensive engineering organization. The company is an example of Professional Service Innovation. 

email replies from bounces out of control

Have you ever run an email campaign or sent out a newsletter over the Holidays? If you have, and you sent your emails from your regular email address, you probably found that your Inbox was flooded with automated messages from recipients who were on holiday. Father Christmas just got you a big old bag of automated electronic mail reminding you of how seemingly no-one but you is working. Great.
Read more at DotNewsConnect...

LinkedIn for Lawyers

According to Forbes, LinkedIn drives 64% of all social media visits to company websites. And 74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people. Do you really want to offer an incomplete LinkedIn profile when others come to check you out? Yet Forbes also tells us that over 50% of the LinkedIn profiles are not completed or optimized.
Read more at JD Supra...

The danger of discounting

Whenever I tell a client that discounts are the biggest expense at their firm, they invariably defend the reasons why they give discounts.  “Discounts are good, because they bring us more business,” they say. Or “Every firm offers a discount, and we have to be competitive.” And “The banks force us to give their clients a discount.”  It’s hard to argue with this logic, because there is some truth in all of those statements. Unfortunately for law firms, discounts are a necessary evil. Having said that, there is necessary discounting, and then there is unnecessary discounting. It is the latter that we are concerned about.

robots are not lawyers

Motion to dismiss - May it please the Court of public opinion (though it probably won’t), I am a lawyer. As such, I move here to dismiss claims that a chatbot can do an attorney’s job.
Read more at Quartz Media...

Blockchain assets

After many friends and family members asked me to explain my investments in blockchain assets, I decided to write an email. That email turned into this blog post.
Read more at Medium...

Drone insurance

Drones, formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles or remotely piloted aircraft systems, have gained significant commercial momentum over the past few years. While these aerial vehicles come at an expensive price, many people now buy one as a toy or it forms part of a hobby.

Sales and marketing in law firms

When I ask lawyers to differentiate the terms, their answers reveal a gut-level appreciation that marketing is somehow broader, more diffuse, while selling is more focused and has more to do with immediacy and closure. So, for law firms, is the difference between marketing and sales merely semantic and, therefore, unimportant? I’ll argue that the difference is both meaningful and important. 
Read more at JDSupra...

Kill the billable hour

Company lawyers are increasingly innovating and want law firms to kill outdated time-based billing models, according to an extensive biennial survey highlighting the pressures of a "buyer's market" forcing firms to change. The Association of Corporate Counsel report on the practices of Australian and New Zealand in-house lawyers shows legal spend hits $2.6 million a year on average, but higher workloads and pressure to cap costs are driving innovation and outsourcing to different providers.
Read more at The Australian Financial Review...

Good tips for website design

We’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of lawyers across the United States and we’ve reviewed thousands of lawyer websites since we launched Spotlight Branding back in 2011. As a result, we’ve got a strong grasp on what works, what doesn’t, and where many lawyers are being led astray.
Read more at Spotlight Branding...

ai opinion

There are various definitions of Artificial Intelligence and it seems to be cropping up in just about every conversation these days.  I like to think about it as Artificial Intelligence (AI) being the concept of machines' ability to carry out tasks in an intelligent manner, with Machine Learning (ML) being a subset of AI (which allows machines to digest data and through the process, learn for themselves).

Online Communities

Online communities will revolutionize the law. Many lawyers are understandably skeptical about the role that they might play. But, if law firms are going to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the pitfalls, they will need to have a strategy to engage with them.
Read more at Legal Technology Today...

6 must haves for law firm websites

Your website is one of the most important marketing and business development tools you have. The primary purpose of your website is two fold: 1) to help potential clients find you; and 2) once they find you, to tell them about you and what you do. There are 6 website features that are crucial to generating more leads: Mobile, Contact Info, Attorney Profiles, Practices Areas, Testimonials and Reviews, and a Blog.
Read more at Legal Technology Today...

BlockChain Explained part 1

Over this past year I took a keen interest in understanding cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins and quickly realized that while digital currencies were powerful, the technology that powers them — blockchains, could change the face of how business is done. This post is the first in a 3-part series where I will present an overview of cryptocurrencies & blockchains, how blockchains are born and the broad concepts that make them possible. I will also share my notes on the business use cases for blockchains and implications for our “Internet of Things” future.
Read more at Medium...

a troubled firm

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP was the result of the merger in 2007 of New York-based law firms Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae LLP. It was touted as the 14th largest firm by headcount and the 16th largest firm by revenue in the United States.  In May 2012, almost five years after its celebrated union, Dewey & LeBouef filed for bankruptcy protection.
Read more at Law Practice Today...

Bitcoin over $2000 mark

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is now worth over $2,000 per coin.  That’s according to a range of bitcoin exchanges, including Coinbase and Kraken. That valuation puts the total market cap of bitcoin — the total number of coins in circulation — at $32.92 billion.
Read more at TechCrunch...

Productivity tips from legal experts

Legal Technology Today has a LTRC Expert Roundtable committee which discusses issues and solutions to law firms, based on their own experiences.  This month they asked the experts to share some of their personal productivity tips.
Read more at Legal Technology Today...

Delegation tips for lawyers

Effective delegation for lawyers involves more than just flinging files at people! Honestly, seeing lawyers delegate sometimes is enough to make me want to just start banging my head against the wall. But I don’t – because that sounds like it would hurt.
Read more at Tips for Lawyers...

Use video on your law firm website

Video is a highly effective marketing channel and you should strongly consider leveraging it on your law firm website. In this article, I’ll break down four reasons why this is the case.
Read more at Law Technology Today...

Bitcoin as legal property

As Bitcoin is adopted by more users every day, the need to determine how it can integrate into mainstream society becomes even more pressing. One major question continues to be how traditional laws apply to Bitcoin and its use. Many of those determinations could have major implications for Bitcoin and its holders, and few will play a bigger role in the United States than property laws, which could ultimately govern ownership over the digital currency.
Read more at BitCoin Magazine...

Free law firm marketing consulting

Our Law Firm Marketing 101 series has been going for over a year now, with us publishing one practical tip for law firms to generate new business each week. The problem I have with all this good information, is that I have not seen these principles being implemented one at a time and measuring the success as we cross them off the list. I want to consult with a Durban law firm to attract new business through calculated marketing efforts.

SEC and bitcoin

During early March 2017, on the brink of the South African Blockchain conference, wearing the Bitcoin badge of innovative positivity was the article entitled "Financial Product Wrappers: A Regulatory Home for the Wayward Bitcoin" written. An article inspired by the then pending Winklevoss Bitcoin exchange traded fund ("ETF") application, the approval of which was at the mercy of the United Stated Securities Commission ("SEC").

attorneys are not natural sales people

Most attorneys aren’t sales people, fact. Most sales people aren’t knowledgeable in law, fact. Both careers need education, experience and hard work to perfect their line of work. What makes everyone think that sales and marketing for law firms happen without people being educated or experienced in marketing?

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