“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” – HAL 9000
It’s been a long time since 2001 Space Odyssey portrayed HAL (Heuristically ALgorithmic computer) as the sentient machine who locked crewman David Bowman out of the spaceship to prevent being shut down. Since that movie debuted, artificial intelligence has become a reality and, with it, so too have many fears. From piloting planes and driving cars to playing chess and winning on Jeopardy, it appears that AI is actively participating in human endeavors. But what does that mean for us carbon-based lifeforms and our professions?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Bob Ambrogi discusses artificial intelligence, its uses, and the potential impact on the legal industry with Thomson Reuters Corporate Segment Director and Legal Managed Services General Manager Eric Laughlin. According to Eric, AI will revolutionize the practice of law and provide greater access to it for the masses. He described the upcoming revolution as gradual, with changes going from being novel and labeled as AI to becoming routine and regarded as additional tools on various devices.
Stay tuned to hear about predictions for legal jobs in the future, why many attorneys and firms support the development of artificial intelligence, and the exciting developments at Thomson Reuters’ Cognitive Computing Center of Excellence, where they are teaming up with IBM Watson to create exciting new products to support the legal industry.
Eric Laughlin is the managing director of the Corporate Counsel Segment and general manager for the Legal Managed Services at Thomson Reuters. In addition to heading their IBM Watson initiative, he is responsible for their information, software, and service offerings for corporate legal departments as well as their technology and service offerings in e-discovery, contract management, and compliance domains. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant in Thomson Reuters’ Global Strategy Function.
As technology continues to permeate society more and more, companies are exploring how advancements in tech can improve the legal profession. Many of these institutions are researching ways to make the legal system more efficient for all stakeholders through information technology. Where can lawyers who are interested in this growth industry learn about the progress being made from thought leaders in the field?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay speaks with Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology Executive Director Roland Vogl about the upcoming 2016 CodeX FutureLaw Conference. Roland reflects on his time as a student in The Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS) and how that path led him to work as an intellectual property lawyer and ultimately a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. He then explains the creation of The Stanford Center for Computers and the Law – CodeX, their growing interest in big data law, machine learning, and natural language processing in the law, and their aim to facilitate legal empowerment through information technology. The conversation then shifts to the upcoming 2016 CodeX FutureLaw Conference and the panels, such as “Moot Court 2020: Legal Tech on Trial,” that will be presented. Roland wraps up the interview with a discussion of diversity in the profession, the lack of women presenting at conferences, and the efforts CodeX is making to ensure greater diversity at theirs.
Dr. Roland Vogl is currently the executive director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology (LST) and is a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School. He also researches international technology law through the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum (TTLF) and focuses his efforts on legal informatics work carried out in the Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX). Roland holds both a Dr.iur. (JSD) and a Mag.iur. (JD) from Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria, as well as a JSM from Stanford Law School.
Lawyers often think technology should always work. That’s aspirational, says Sharon Nelson, president of the cybersecurity, information technology and digital forensics firm Sensei Enterprises Inc.
“People can screw up, but technology fails too,” says Nelson. “You really need to recover from what the problem is, as opposed to pointing fingers and being angry.”
Nelson and John W. Simek, her business partner and husband, formed Sensei Enterprises in 1997. Simek, an engineer, previously worked for Mobil Oil as a chief network designer and troubleshooter. The two met when she hired him to computerize her law practice.
“John had the technical genius, and I had the legal, business and marketing experience,” she says “We figured that together I could sell his talents, and it ended up that I sold us both. People were happy to have someone they could talk technology with, along with someone who knew legal ethics.”
“We didn’t start out to be disruptive,” says John Suh, LegalZoom’s chief executive officer. “We were set up to fix a problem. The legal system was broken and too many people were frozen out of it.”
For Suh, the main goal of LegalZoom continues to be providing access to the legal system for millions of Americans who can’t afford an attorney and do not qualify for free legal services. “So much of our legal system is focused on BigLaw or access to justice for those below the poverty line,” says Suh. “What about the 84 percent or so of people between that? For them, the system really has failed.”
What Suh has done during his tenure as CEO is transform the company from a do-it-yourself outfit into one that has partnered with lawyers.
“The perception that we’re an online legal company with no human lawyers is just not true,” says Suh. “Over the last five years, we’ve embraced lawyers and become quite adept with working with them.” There have been over 200,000 one-on-one consultations between LegalZoom customers and lawyers licensed in their respective states, he says.
Ernie Svenson-a.k.a. well-known blogger Ernie the Attorney-was an early evangelist for what he calls The Paperless Chase. The basic premise: “Anything you can do with paper, you can do more with PDF. Way more.”
Now he spends a lot of time teaching, training and speaking, all aimed at enabling small-firm and solo lawyers with the ability “to save money, make money and outmatch bigger firm adversaries,” he says.
In fact, calling Svenson an evangelist is an understatement. “The walls are closing in on lawyers who haven’t adapted, with e-filing in the courts and the increased use of the PDF format by others,” Svenson says. “It’s here. It’s good. Do it.”
Lawyer and longtime journalist Monica Bay didn’t let sexism or a technology-averse legal establishment keep her from breaking new ground.
“The baby boomer lawyers were so entrenched with the idea that ‘only the girls touch anything with a keyboard’ that they absolutely refused to do anything involving tech,” Bay recalls. “They thought it was beneath them.”
Now, Bay says, the profession has stepped away from thinking that technology is reserved for support staff, and beneath lawyers.
“If you don’t learn tech,” she says, “you are not going to be relevant anymore.”
“I don’t measure my relevance or success by the number of people who report to me.” -Mark Chandler
As senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, Mark Chandler has increased the efficiency and overall success of the legal department while dealing with non-practicing entities (patent trolls) and questions of security, privacy, and surveillance between the U.S. and Europe. His experiences in international business relationship building and working directly with sales departments has given him the skills to develop an in-house legal department that truly focuses on efficiency.
In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Mark Chandler about his path to general counsel at Cisco, how living and working in Europe helped him achieve success in a multinational company, and how he approaches the challenges he’s faced. The first half of the podcast follows Mark’s journey after law school, working in-house at the hard disk manufacturing company Maxtor and then transitioning to StrataCom, an IT service management firm later acquired by Cisco. He talks about living in Germany and France, Cisco’s production of internet infrastructure and cloud-based services and products, and what his position as general counsel involves. He also discusses why collaborative relationships between sales and legal departments are very important to the general success of a company.
In the second half of the podcast, Mark and Randy discuss the challenges a multinational technology company like Cisco faces today. Mark explains how he has used automation of repeated legal tasks to greatly reduce the legal department’s burden on the company as a whole. He then talks about potential solutions to the patent litigation issues that have increased exponentially in the past 15 years and U.S. government surveillance in Europe. Stay tuned to the end for Mark’s advice on running an in-house legal department that is truly efficient and works with the rest of the company.
Mark Chandler is senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, a multinational technology firm based in the United States. In these roles, he oversees Cisco’s global legal activities and policies, as well as ethics, compliance and regulatory affairs, employee relations, investigations, and brand protection. Mark is a leader in the patent, security, and legal innovation spaces.
As technology continues to become ever more integrated into our daily lives, the challenges that law firms face grow and evolve. Many tech savvy clients are not only concerned with a lawyer’s ability to represent them but also their ability to protect their files and privileged communications. With more instances of data breaches and hacking being mentioned in the mainstream media, what can a law firm do to shore up their cyber security?
In this episode of the Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek sit down with LMG Security Founder and Senior Security Consultant Sherri Davidoff to discuss cyber security and the audits that are currently available for law firms. Sherri gets the conversation started by breaking down some of the more complex cyber security terminology into easy-to-understand language. The group then ponders factors, such as the loss of client data and law firms being hacked, that prompted this cultural shift within the profession and some of the elements that made it difficult for the industry to justify investing in cyber security until now. The focus then shifts to an analysis of the options available to law firms that are seeking to improve their security standards and ways to prepare lawyers to better interact with clients that might ask to see a firm’s cyber security audits. Sherri then caps off the conversation with a discussion of risk assessment, risk management, and how you present these plans to your clients.
Sherri Davidoff is a nationally-recognized cyber security expert who is a founder and senior security consultant at LMG Security. She has over a decade of experience as an information security professional, specializing in penetration testing, forensics, social engineering testing, and web application assessments. Davidoff is an instructor at Black Hat and co-author of “Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace”. She is a GIAC-Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFA) and Penetration Tester (GPEN), and holds her degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.
During our recent trip to ABA TECHSHOW, we challenged 31 legal bloggers to answer three questions in 60 seconds at the Beer for Bloggers party in Chicago, Illinois. Some of them made it, some of them didn’t, and others were nearly disqualified. Participants who failed to make time or deviated from the “strict” rules (not really) were given the buzzer, an obnoxious must-have from audio engineer Adam Lockwood.
Hosted by Laurence Colletti, this episode was a true team effort enlisting the assistance of all team members still in Chicago (Adam Camras, Kimberly Faber, Jabarie Brown, Kelsey Johnson, and Adam Lockwood). We circulated the celebration, somehow convincing 31 blog authors to join us, including one under protest (not truly). What transpired was a fun give-and-take exchange with thought leaders in the legal profession.
Tune in to hear the hijinks as the bloggers battle the buzzer, answering these three questions:
Question 1: Tell us about your blog.
Question 2: From this year’s ABA TECHSHOW to next year’s, what will your most popular blog post be about?
Question 3: Who is your ABA TECHSHOW professional crush?
Artificial intelligence has long been a tool for lawyers to perform their tasks more efficiently. However, the technology has advanced to the point where computers can now perform many of the tasks that were once the exclusive domain of humans. In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Victor Li talks to freelance writer Julie Sobowale about how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the practice of law.