Monica Bay is a Fellow at CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. She also writes for Thomson Reuters, ALM...
The effects of technology on the law can be seen throughout the profession as these innovations are slowly integrated into the legal marketplace. However, has the union of new tech and the practice of law been significantly transformative for lawyers and clients? What factors have hindered the adoption of new technology in the legal sector and what catalysts might be implemented to accelerate the pace of change?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay speaks with Legal Services Corporation President and CodeX FutureLaw keynote speaker Jim J. Sandman about his 10 reasons the law has been slow to adopt technology and the “levers of power” that might be engaged to accelerate that rate. Jim opens the interview with a brief summary of his time as managing partner at Arnold & Porter LLP, the general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools, and his five years of tenure as the president of Legal Services Corporation. He reflects on his CodeX 2016 FutureLaw Conference keynote speech and expresses that his intention was to provide an overview of where the profession stands with technology in law today. Technology, Jim explains, has made a number of improvements in law but hasn’t transformed service delivery in the same way it has in other industries and professions. He shares that 80% of the civil legal needs of low income people go unmet and analyzes statistics from legal aid organization studies that show that between 50% to 67% of individuals who can’t afford a lawyer are denied legal services because of inadequate resources. Jim then presents his list of 10 impediments to the adoption of technology in the legal profession, such as a sluggish lawyer administered regulatory system, and discusses changes made in the UK and Australia to approve non-lawyer ownership of law firms. He closes the interview with his list of the 10 agents of change, such as the legal media and state legislatures, that can aid in increasing efficiency for attorneys through the adoption of new technologies.
James J. Sandman has been president of the Legal Services Corporation since 2011. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. From 2007 to 2011, he was general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.