What is blockchain

This post starts from the ground up, and today, I just want to help you answer this: What is a blockchain? (… And I promise I won’t describe it as ‘a type of distributed ledgerbecause what the heck is that?)
Read more at HackerNoon.com...

Nicole Black

Here’s a retrospective on my focus here on Legal IT Pros since last January. While not all encompassing, it offers a (hopefully) instructive glimpse into a small sliver of the legal technology world and provides some insight on what to expect in the upcoming year.
Read more at Legal IT Professionals...

Legal Things

Dutch software firm LegalThings has kicked off with the digitisation of Dutch legislation on the Blockchain. LegalThings launched its LegalThings One platform, an Ethereum-like platform that decentralises contracts and laws on the Blockchain. According to the firm, it beat household names like Capgemini and CGI in the competition for the contract. The Ministry of Justice aims to run the first legislation in the Blockchain by the end of 2018.
Read more at Tahawultech...

The law firms of the future

A recent panel discussion has heard from key representatives on whether the law firm model remains viable in today’s legal market considering that technology continues to climb.
Read more at Lawyers Weekly...

Bitcoin settlement for equity deal

Managing director for the legal firm, Nicolene Schoeman-Louw, said: “It is no longer a question of whether such currencies, including Bitcoin, should be regulated or not, but rather who will be doing the regulating.” Until this regulatory framework has been determined, Schoeman-Louw stressed that those interested in conducting business transactions using such currencies should first seek professional advice on the taxable responsibilities, implications, and obligations.
Read more at Business Tech...

Aalia Manie from Webber Wentzel

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the apex of today’s technology age as we push the boundaries towards Industry 4.0 and superintelligence. It is already here in disruptive narrow forms, cutting across the economy and leaving no sector untouched. It has the potential to solve many of our biggest and most persistent problems.

Social Media apps for lawyers

Social media is no longer an optional marketing channel -- it's a necessary one. But that doesn't mean results are a given. When it comes to social media, you'll either have a lot of success interacting with your customers, or you'll see little results -- and that depends on the level of effort you put into it.
Read more at HubSpot...

Whats a lawyer

Lawyers like to define terms, so how do they define themselves? Fewer lawyers will have traditional ‘practice’ careers, and many will work in hybrid practice/delivery roles that require a combination of practice and delivery skills. Legal delivery is not simply about lawyers anymore, and ‘just knowing the law’ is an insufficient toolkit for lawyers to function effectively in the new legal marketplace. 
Read more at Forbes magazine...

Graeme Palmer of Garlicke & Bousfield

There are many different cryptocurrencies, the most well-known being Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a convertible virtual currency, in other words, it has an equivalent value in real currency and can be exchanged back and forth for real currency. Cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity with a market capitalisation in excess of $150 billion.

Back pain

Sitting at a desk all day can wreak havoc on your back health. It can leave your spine in pain and feel stiff and sore. It can also cause tightness in your lower back and hips. Whether you’re experiencing a little tension or more serious back pain, here are a few ways to lessen work-related back pain.

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...

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