New findings show that law firms that piloted the Mansfield Rule have grown the racial and ethnic diversity of their leadership by more than 30 times the rate of other firms. These firms have also exceeded the norm in the rates at which racially diverse lawyers progressed into partnership and at which women lawyers progressed into leadership roles. As the legal industry continues to struggle with diversity, these are notable results – especially considering that the Mansfield Rule is an idea borrowed from the NFL’s Rooney Rule and hatched in a hackathon. The basic idea is simple: firms commit that…
Positioning itself as offering a simpler and more affordable AI-driven contract management system for mid-market corporate enterprises, startup Lexion has raised $11 million in an oversubscribed Series A round. When combined with its seed round of $4.2 million, total funding for the company is now $15.2 million. The Seattle-based company says its product is intuitive and easy to deploy, while backed by cutting-edge natural language processing developed by a team with deep technical expertise in building sophisticated AI systems. The funding round was led by Khosla Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., with participation from existing investors Madrona Venture Group and…
In today’s episode of How It Works, we learn about LAWCLERK, where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers and virtual associates. LAWCLERK’s mission is to make general practitioners and law firms more profitable by outsourcing projects to more than 3,600 freelance lawyers with all levels of experience and expertise. To introduce LAWCLERK and demonstrate how it works, I am joined by cofounder Kristin Tyler, who is herself a practicing attorney with the firm Garman Turner Gordon in Law Vegas, Nev. LAWCLERK has no sign-up fees and no monthly fees. Learn more and register for your own account by…
E-discovery company Casepoint is today introducing enhancements to CaseAssist, its AI-based active review technology, and to its analytics and classification tools, that it says give users more insight and control over the review process, including enhanced visualization capabilities and configuration templates. One of the first companies to offer a cloud-based, end-to-end e-discovery platform when it launched in 2008, Casepoint was granted three patents last October related to its technology assisted review (TAR) technology, including two linked patents specifically tied to its CaseAssist technology. Among the enhancements included in today’s announcement: Enhancements to data visualization tools and configuration templates. Concept searching,…
Legal professionals agree that the pandemic accelerated the critical role of technology in the future success of their law firms and legal departments, but only a third believe their organizations are well prepared for addressing technology’s increasing importance. This is a key finding of the 2021 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey Report, the third year that Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. has conducted this survey, designed to provide insights into how the legal profession is evolving and how prepared legal professionals are to face the future. It polled 700 legal professionals across the U.S. and Europe working…
Just a year after its founding the legal tech startup Anü has shut down, having struggled to find customers and develop the right business model. As I wrote about Anü in a post last November, it set out to solve the problem of startup founders unable to find the right lawyer, particularly founders of color or who are women. It used artificial intelligence to match startups with the lawyer best suited to represent them. It was founded by a lawyer and data scientist who met while pursuing advanced degrees at Cornell University. Tiyani Majoko was a lawyer in South Africa…
The Friday Legaltech Week live journalists’ roundtable is back today at 3 p.m. E.T., when a panel of journalists and bloggers discuss the top stories in legal technology and innovation. We were off last week, so we have two weeks to catch up on. Attendance is free, but you need to register, which you can do here. Here are some of the stories we’re planning to discuss, with others still to be determined: Planned IPOs of Intapp and of LegalZoom. Will Lawyers Use Technology Differently After The Pandemic? Survey Says: Maybe. Big Four Said to Sidestep U.S.
I reported here last week on a statement issued by a committee of Massachusetts’ highest court recommending that law firms and other legal employers permanently adopt flexible working options as their standard, rather than as the exception. Maintaining flexibility in individual working arrangements serves the dual purposes of enhancing lawyer well-being while also advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, the committee said. On Wednesday, for my Litera TV show, Law Insights, I discussed the statement with Heidi S. Alexander, who is executive director of the committee that issued the statement, the Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being of the Massachusetts Supreme…
Two years ago, I wrote a column calling for the duty of technology — which applies to lawyers in 39 states — to be extended to judges. While that has not happened in the United States, it has now happened in Canada. Yesterday, the Canadian Judicial Council published a new and modernized edition of its Ethical Principles for Judges, a set of ethical guidelines for federally appointed judges, originally published in 1998, that cover issues of independence, integrity and respect, diligence and competence, and equality and impartiality. This revised version, produced after four years of work that included receiving input…
As we emerge from the pandemic, it is clear that the workplace of 2021 and beyond is going to be drastically different than the workplace of yesteryear. To help businesses address this new era of workplace legal challenges, SixFifty, the technology subsidiary of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, is releasing Employment 2.0, an automated legal toolset for employers to create policies and assessments covering a broad range of employment issues. Employment 2.0 includes: An automated employee handbook with over 50 policies that account for the law in every state. Automated COVID workplace policies and…
These days, the duty of technology competence requires lawyers not only to know how to use Zoom, but also to remember that it can record you. It seems a lawyer inconveniently forgot that fact when he flipped the bird during his opponent’s appellate argument on Zoom, and then denied it. It was an expensive lesson, as the combination of those two acts — of flipping the bird and then denying it — cost him $3,000. It all happened during an oral argument on Zoom before the Michigan Court of Appeals. According to the court’s subsequent order, attorney James Heos…
 The past year has seen the launch of several legal technology marketplaces, but Theorem LTS aims to be something more — an integrated legal technology ecosystem to power workflow-driven tech adoption by law firms and legal departments, as well as a marketplace for vendors to sell their products and connect with customers. Founder Joshua Maley is a former lawyer and venture investor who started the company because he perceived that legal professionals had no viable way to understand all the products and services available to them on the market, and specifically at the point of pain within their workflows.…
There is no denying that some law firms view alternative legal services providers such as Factor as competitors, particularly for corporate legal work. But over the past year, Factor has demonstrated that it can have highly productive partnerships with law firms, as it did in a unique partnership with Allen & Overy to provide LIBOR remediation, and then did again in a partnership with Akin Gump to manage transactions for a renewable energy fund, a partnership that reportedly resulted in cost reductions of 60%. Now, building on these experiences, Factor is launching a productized, tech-enabled Legal Transaction Optimization service…
A first-of-its-kind tool introduced last year to automate the drafting of litigation briefs has been named new product of the year for 2021 by the American Association of Law Libraries. The product, Compose, introduced in February 2020 by legal research company Casetext, helps attorneys automate the creation of the first draft of a litigation brief. Casetext says it can cut brief-writing time by 76%. Compose launched with the ability to create core federal court procedural and discovery motions. It later  expanded to add employment law briefs and product liability briefs. Casetext also launched a Compose add-in
As companies plan for safely returning to the office, two new resources — including one that is free — are available to help legal professionals advise them with access to comparative federal and state legal requirements and case law. One of these new back-to-office resources is an expansion of the COVID-19 State & Federal Compare Smart Chart, a comprehensive, free resource that Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. first launched shortly after the onset of the pandemic as a way of supporting legal and compliance professionals. The other new resource is an expansion of the COVID-19 resources available at…
Palo Alto, Calif., based Intapp, a major provider of cloud-based business applications for larger law firms and financial services firms, filed papers Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. For the legal technology industry, where IPOs have been few and far between, the news is significant. Although it is becoming increasingly common for legal technology companies to talk of plans for future IPOs, few have actually completed them. iManage went through an IPO nearly 20 years ago, in 2002. In 2019, KLDiscovery became a public company.…