Business of Law

666 ABA Journal Business of Law articles.

Gunshot detection technology company voluntarily submitted itself for an audit after privacy concerns
Facebook’s woes may have driven big firms away, but small firms and solos still see it as a great way to advertise
Amazon’s Ring doorbell cameras may help deter package thefts, but critics worry about overreach

According to the New York Times, more than 90,000 packages a day are stolen or disappear without explanation in New York City alone, up about 20% from four years ago.

What can lawyers do to combat their bad PR?

If you’re a lawyer, you’ve probably encountered hundreds if not thousands of lawyer jokes. While laughing at lawyer punchlines is all fun and games, it can also lead to dire consequences if the public distrusts attorneys enough not to hire them.

Recent spate of big-money guaranteed contracts for lateral partners raises eyebrows and concerns
Why have automated timekeeping programs failed to gain a foothold in the industry?

The technology’s promise to lawyers that they would never have to enter another timeslip has remained unfulfilled. But new time-capture software with artificial intelligence composed of machine learning and natural language processing is rolling out.

Attorney balances his firm’s demands with duties as a judge in local, federal and tribal courts

To borrow an analogy from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., if lawyers are baseball players and judges are umpires, then Greg Smith not only calls balls and strikes, he also throws them and tries to hit them. Smith is a family lawyer in Tennessee. When he’s not practicing law, he’s interpreting it—serving as a judge at three different levels of government.

China’s all-virtual specialty internet courts look set to expand into other areas of the law

Built to more efficiently resolve the increasing number of online disputes finding their way into the Chinese court system, internet courts also act as an incubator for a judiciary going through rapid change.

Some states are allowing people and companies to use blockchain to authenticate documents

Looking to capture a slice of the emerging blockchain market, states have enacted new laws and procedures for recognition of signatures, documents and contracts stored on the technology as legal instruments for verification.

For Kirkland junior associates, mock trial program creates court experience

The firm created the Kirkland Institute for Trial Advocacy, a lengthy civil mock trial program for associates that includes professional actors as witnesses, partners playing judges and hired jurors.

A group of Harvard law students is trying to get rid of mandatory arbitration clauses

The People’s Parity Project launched in 2018, when the #MeToo movement began drawing attention to mandatory arbitration employment disputes involving sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Do DIY divorce apps deliver? Services promise an easier process

Companies including Divorceify, Hello Divorce and Wevorce purport to simplify the divorce process by using tech to automate document production; providing resources for custodial issues, financial planning and housing; and offering counseling and hand-holding.

#AppellateTwitter lawyers chat, help one another and even develop business

AppellateTwitter has become a community for appellate lawyers looking for help, information or friendship. In recent months, lawyers have taken to #AppellateTwitter to seek help with the rules for amicus briefs in Minnesota state court, post orders of the Texas Supreme Court, discuss getting chastised by a judge, post employment opportunities and catch up with colleagues who have been too busy to post.

San Diego lawyer launches all-female, all-partner virtual firm

The fledgling virtual firm Vanst Law in San Diego has no office, no break room and no conference room of its own—so the partners get creative about finding ways to stay collegial. “Our firm culture is extremely important to us. We can’t meet at the watercooler, but isolation isn’t a problem,” says founder and CEO Cynthia Morgan-Reed.

Law firms are developing their own tools and software to better serve clients

BigLaw firms and boutique practices have increasingly shown an eagerness to enter into the technology products and services market. Subsidiaries and joint ventures specifically focus on creating and selling a variety of technology-based legal products and services.

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