Login | May 25, 2018

2016 legal tech developments retrospective

Technology for Lawyers

Published: February 17, 2017

Legal tech guru Robert Ambrogi has jotted down his thoughts on the most important developments in the field last year, and I am passing some of them along.

Ambrogi is also the source of the most bizarre legal tech story of 2017 so far. It seems as if robots are creating fake people who post his columns word-for-word.

Whatever. Anyway, here’s the rest of this column:

Oh, before I get to that, new on the market is a keyboard designed specifically for attorneys. It has hot keys that bring up macros and other helpful things. It’s fairly inexpensive at $65. Check it out at https://www.legalkeyboards.com.

On to the past.

Start with transferring your responsibility to think clearly to machines. Lawyers are starting to “get used to” the idea of artificial intelligence (AI). I’m not, or at least not the nomenclature. Real intelligence encompasses much more than super-fast logic. Maybe call it super-fast logic rather than AI. Enough.

Next, legal chatbots are expanding their presence. These bots will have a conversation with someone about potential legal needs, and then give rudimentary advice. Like “Danger, Will Robinson!” Or “robots are coming for your job!”

Hey, if the “Russian Lawyer of the Year” can be in charge of vetting Trump’s Russian ties, robots can give legal advice. Right?

Next up—tons of legal startups. Ambrogi counted more than 600 new companies marketing their products to lawyers last year—maybe, he thinks, triple the number from 2014. And they are all looking for investors….

Data analytics are not just for basketball geeks anymore. They are being used to predict judicial decisions, predict potential lawsuits and are being integrated more and more into the research process to “discover patterns and relationships that can enhance your understanding and strategy.” LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law, among other firms, have analytics packages.

The “Internet of Things” is now a practice area (in case your refrigerator wants to sue someone).

The Florida Bar became the first to mandate tech CLE. Hopefully not the last.

All U.S. case law finally became digitized. In 2016. Sheesh.

And, in case you missed it, 2016 was the year law firms really started to get hacked in a concentrated, targeted, regular kind of way. Just like I warned against 20 years ago. But you don’t care, do you? You still have the same password that you had in college. Right?