ABA Journal

Business of Law

717 ABA Journal Business of Law articles.

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.

Coworking office spaces are becoming more popular in the legal industry

Coworking is different from renting an office in a commercial building or from another law firm. Rather than signing a lease, a lawyer pays a monthly membership fee. The lowest membership level provides a “virtual office” where an attorney uses the address on letterhead, gets mail and receives limited time each month for working or meeting clients.

Vermont’s new consumer protection law could be a harbinger for tech industry

In Vermont, prioritizing online consumer protection means shining a light on the shadowy world of third-party data brokers. A new state law requires increased standards and transparency of these companies that collect, buy or resell consumer data without having a direct relationship with the consumer.

The legal tech market is soaring, and nowhere is this more apparent than Y Combinator

After early bets on Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit, funder Y Combinator has accepted 19 legal tech organizations, according to an ABA Journal analysis.

Businesses double down on mandating diversity from outside counsel

As law firms grapple with surging calls for improved diversity in their partnership ranks, corporate clients have joined the chorus and added to the pressure in three ways: the carrot, the stick and moral suasion.

ABA Techshow proves lawyers don’t need unlimited budgets to beef up their tech and security

The overall theme of 2019’s iteration of ABA Techshow, which took place from Feb. 27 to March 2 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, was “future-proofing your practice.” In that vein, Sharon Nelson, president of Sensei Enterprises in Fairfax, Virginia, and Jeff Richardson, partner at Adams and Reese in New Orleans, stressed during their panel session that it was important not to get paralyzed by indecisiveness as a result of the abundance of technological options available in the marketplace.

Google Plus’ shutdown brings up ethical, legal questions about companies’ data retention obligations

Data stored in Google’s failed social network raises retention issues, not only for litigation purposes, but also for business continuity. Technologists and attorneys recommend data archival and contractual strategies to avoid losing important data.

Are law firms invoking obscure contractual clauses to delay lateral moves? Or does it just seem that way?

In recent years, there have been reports of BigLaw firms that invoked various contractual clauses to delay lateral partners from moving to new firms. Such headlines may create an impression that it’s a growing trend for law firms to enforce their notice provisions. However, three experts told the ABA Journal that holds are not new.

Freelance attorneys benefit from growing demand

A legal freelance option appeals to more attorneys every year. Lawyer Exchange, Montage Legal Group, LegalBee, Aggregate Law, Hire an Esquire and a handful of other companies were created to specifically connect freelance lawyers with law firms.

Wyoming and Vermont hope to attract tech entrepreneurs by passing laws favorable to blockchain

Wyoming enacted bills to entice the blockchain industry, while Vermont created favorable laws that attempt to clear up legal ambiguity surrounding distributed ledger technology.

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