Congratulations to all of those named to the Fastcase 50 this year. I am always please to see long term knowledge and library colleagues including June Liebert, Holly Riccio, Katherine Lowery, James Duggan and Nikki Shaver included in the roster. It also has to be noted that Fastcase recognizes their competitors including Rick Merrill of  Gavelytics, Ryan Walker of Casetext and Patrick Fuller and Vanessa Blum from ALM.

While the list includes many established legal technology companies and law firm it is also giving important attention and exposure to small pro bono initiatives as well as innovators in courts and law schools.

If you are in a law firm – reading through the list is a competitive intelligence exercise. It is fascinating to see the explosion of new titles and responsibilities evolving in law firms. There is a Director of an Innovation Lab (Holland and Hart), Senior Innovation Lawyer (Norton Rose), Head of IncuBaker (BakerHostetler), Director of Orrick Analytics (Orrick, Herrington & Suttcliffe).

I am most fascinated by aptly named Art Lein, Courtroom Sketch Artist – possibly the first visual artist included in the Fastcase 50. Take a moment to look through his website  Courtartist.


Here is the press release:

Fastcase Announces 2021 Fastcase 50 Award Honorees

Recognizes 50 Innovators, Visionaries, and Leaders in Law


Washington, DC (July 12, 2021) – Legal intelligence company Fastcase today announced the honorees of the 2021 Fastcase 50. The award recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous, innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.

 View the 2021 winners at

Fastcase is delighted to introduce the Fastcase 50 Class of 2021. Each year since the inaugural awards in 2011, the Fastcase 50 award has spotlighted the often under-recognized efforts of pioneers and architects of the future of law and legal technology. The honorees for the Fastcase 50 Class of 2021 represent a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, law librarians, judges, legal researchers, innovators, and people who are passionate about reforming and automating the law.

“The past year has presented challenges that provided opportunities to advance the law, and even accelerated some innovations into the mainstream,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “We celebrate the diligence, discipline, passion, and creativity of these Fastcase 50 honorees. We are as proud as ever to spotlight the eleventh class of the Fastcase 50, highlighting now 550 people who have inspired our profession, since our first class in 2011.”

Congratulations to this year’s class of Fastcase 50 recipients:

Jason Adaska, Chief Technology Officer, Juris Futura; Director of Innovation Lab, Holland & Hart

Haley Altman, Global Head of Corporate Development, Litera

Roy Austin, Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel, Facebook

Brad Blickstein, Principal, Blickstein Group; Co-Head of NewLaw Practice Group, Baretz+Brunelle

Joe Borstein, CEO and Co-Founder, LexFusion

Vanessa Blum, Newsroom Innovation Director, ALM Media; Executive Editor, Radar

Bryon Bratcher, Director of Practice Solutions, Reed Smith LLP; Managing Director, Gravity Stack

Miriam Childs, Director, Law Library of Louisiana, Louisiana Supreme Court

Ming W. Chin, Justice (ret.), California Supreme Court

Ben Crump, Founder and President, Ben Crump Law, PLLC

James Duggan, Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School

Tonya Evans, Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law

Lluis Faus, Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman, vLex

Sam Fletcher, Research Scientist, Kira Systems

Ivan Fong, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Policy Officer and Secretary, 3M

Patrick Fuller, Vice President of Legal Intelligence, ALM Intelligence

Maria Hall, Director, Los Angeles Incubator Consortium

Danielle Holley-Walker, Dean and Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law

Al Hounsell, Senior Innovation Lawyer, Norton Rose Fulbright

Ben Jackson, Co-Founder and COO, Immigrants Like Us

Jay Kim, Managing Partner, Kim Vaughan Lerner

Hannah Konitshek, Business Operations & Strategy,

Brian Lee, Serial Entrepreneur; Co-Founder, LegalZoom

Sang Lee, CEO; Co-Founder, Thine, LLC; Owner, Volta Talent Strategies;

Art Lien, Courtroom Sketch Artist, Courtartist

Dominique Shelton Leipzig, Partner, Privacy & Security and Co-Chair, Ad Tech Privacy & Data Management, Perkins Coie LLP

Mirra Levitt, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Priori

June Liebert, Director of Information Services, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Katherine Lowry, Head of IncuBaker and Director of Practice Services, BakerHostetler

Jelena Madir, General Counsel, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Nicholas Magnanelli, Research & Instructional Services Librarian, Yale Law Library

Rick Merrill, Founder and CEO, Gavelytics

Laura O’Bryan, Co-Owner, MyVirtual.Lawyer; Co-Founder, MVL for Attorneys

Dyane O’Leary, Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Director of Suffolk University Law School Legal Innovation & Technology Concentration, Suffolk University Law School

Holly Riccio, Director, California Judicial Center Library

Nick Rishwain, Vice President of Business Development & Relations,; Creator, LegalTechLive

Margo Schlanger, Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law, Michigan Law

Anita Carr Shapiro (In Memoriam), President Emerita, Practising Law Institute

Nikki Shaver, Managing Director of Innovation and Knowledge, Paul Hastings

Evan Shenkman, Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer, Fisher Phillips

Daryl Shetterly, Director of Orrick Analytics, Orrick, Herring & Sutcliffe LLP

Barry Simpson, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Bar Association

Alex Smith, Global Product Management Lead, iManage RAVN

Brad Stern, County Attorney, Washington County, Wisconsin

Devin Stone, Attorney, StoneLaw DC

Jessica Stuart, Senior Product Manager, Pro Bono Net

Marcos A. Tapia, Shareholder, Tiffany & Bosco, P.A.

Alvin Tedjamulia, CTO, NetDocuments

Ryan Walker, Chief Technology Officer, Casetext

Jennifer Wondracek, Director of the Law Library; Professor of Legal Research and Writing, Capital University Law School


To view profiles of each of the winners and to learn more about the Fastcase 50 award, visit


About Fastcase

Fastcase is a comprehensive legal intelligence company, founded in 1999 and based in Washington, D.C. Partnering with the bar associations of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Fastcase serves more than 1.1 million lawyers from around the world. The company provides an innovative research suite of primary law, dockets, treatises, legal blogs, analytics, workflow tools, and legal news. For more information about Fastcase’s smarter legal tools, visit the company on Twitter at @Fastcase or visit

LexisNexis has announced the launch of  Legal News Hub, the latest enhancement to the Lexis+ ecosystem.  Although Lexis has enjoyed a dominant position in the legal news market, they have faced increasing competition in the past year with the  launch of significant new legal news initiatives from Thomson Reuters. Fastcase and ALM.

The Lexis Legal News Hub will now appear as a new module on the Lexis+ “experience dock. ” The Legal News Hub adds Law 360 current awareness functionality to Lexis+. This means that lawyers can get access to Law 360 content as part of an integrated research experience on Lexis+. Law 360 now covers Continue Reading Lexis+ Legal News Hub Integrates Law360 Content into Research Ecosystem

Thomson Reuters is releasing a powerful suite of new tools to enhance workflow within Practical Law.  .   The new features include Dynamic Search, Knowledge Maps, Quick Compare,  Interactive Matter Maps and What’s Market Analytics. Several of the features such as Dynamic Search and Quick Compare parallel developments and tools already available in Westlaw Edge. Erica Kitaev, senior director, Product Management, Thomson Reuters provided me with an overview of the product features.

Paul Fischer, president of the Legal Professionals segment of Thomson Reuters is quoted in the press release:  “By putting AI, analytical tools and proprietary visual navigation technologies in service to our attorney authored content, we’ve created entirely new capabilities to help our customers thrive during this time of rapid change.”

Dynamic Search offers a natural language search powered by machine learning and algorithms that were trained on Practical Law content. Users can be presented with three different kinds of answers. Machine learning answers provide a direct answer and links to the applicable passage of text. Keyword results also  appear under the answer card.  If a user encounters a typeahead question the result Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Launches Practical Law Dynamic Tool Set

Today the American Association of Law Libraries announced the release of it’s 2nd State of the Profession Survey. The Survey was created and administered by a State of the Profession Special Committee which created three different versions of the survey for academic, firm/corporate and government legal information professionals. The report was designed to gather insights on the opportunities and challenges facing legal information professionals across a wide variety of roles in academic, law firm and government organizations. The members of AALL include law school professors, CKOs, Law  Library /KM Directors, researchers, Continue Reading AALL Releases 2nd State of the Profession – Highlighting Tech Leadership and Resilience Through the Pandemic

Last week Wolters Kluwer released their 2021 Future Ready Lawyer: Moving Beyond the Pandemic. Download the report here.
When: June 24, 2021 at 11 am EST
Register: At this link
Here is information on the session and panelists:
Given the new financial pressures on businesses as a result of the pandemic, there will be a brighter spotlight on legal professionals and the performance of law firms moving ahead. Executives will need to navigate information globally while also ensuring they deliver the highest value and ROI.
Join our distinguished panel of thought leaders as they discuss global trends, progress, and challenges across the legal profession globally with a focus on the future.
  • Diederik Benschop, Leader of the Center for Tax and Legal Knowledge, EY
  • Sarah Fahy, Global Head of Research & Library, Allen & Overy
  • Saskia Mehlhorn, US Director, Knowledge Services, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Jean O’Grady, Knowledge Strategy and Insight Leader, DeweyBStrategic Founder
  • Bas Kniphorst, Managing Director, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, Benelux
  • David Bartolone, VP & General Manager, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S.

Today Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.   is announcing an expanded version of its COVID-19 State & Federal Compare Smart Chart™ which is   focused on “return to work” issues. New areas of coverage focus on a wide range of back to office content and caselaw related to the pandemic, accessible for all Cheetah™ and Cheetah™ for Corporate Counsel subscribers. The new back to office content compares corporate and local health policies on topics such  as vaccination requirements, face mask and shield requirements, social distancing and capacity limitations, specific restrictions by type of business.

“The latest updates to the Smart Chart come at a critical time as vaccination rates continue to climb, companies develop official back to office policies, and state and local jurisdictions set different mandates around COVID-19 precautions,” said Ken Crutchfield, Vice Continue Reading Wolters Kluwer Expands Post-COVID  “Back to Work” Smart Charts, Litigation Tracking and Alerts

 New feature identifies cases which are contrary to an opponent’s arguments

This week Thomson Reuters released another feature to Quick Check. How much easier can cite checking get? Quick Check Contrary Authority helps lawyers zero in on vulnerabilities of an opponents brief. Quick Check Contrary Authority identifies uncited cases that oppose the arguments in an opponent’s brief.

Quick Check Thomson Reuters brief checking tool was released as part of Westlaw Continue Reading In The Brief Checking Wars Thomson Reuters Ups the Ante with New “Contrary Authority” Feature

American LegalNet,Inc (ALN) was founded in 1996 as a platform to provide law firms access to State, Federal, Court, and Agency  U.S. court forms. I was already familiar with the exhaustive catalog of federal and state litigation and administrative forms which ALN provides in their Forms Workflow product. I recently had the opportunity to meet with ALN founder Erez Bustan and got a full tour of how ALN has transformed into a robust litigation workflow solution addressing some of the labor-intensive processes associated with docket filing and management. In March 2021 they launched ALN Cloud which offers an integrated cloud and mobile litigation experience. The ALN Cloud offers a simpler and Continue Reading American LegalNet Launches Integrated Cloud Platform for Efilings, Forms, Smart Dockets, Alerts and Court Rules Management

 Today Thomson Reuters announced the launch of HighQ Contract Analysis. The produce speeds contract review and analysis with machine learning technology. to answer the specific questions legal professionals want to address – in an easy-to-read report.

According to the press release, HighQ Contract Analysis  leverages machine learning and pre-trained models “to help attorneys increase efficiency, reduce risk, and accelerate the contract-review process for transaction due Continue Reading Thomson Reuters Launches AI-Powered HighQ Contract Analysis

PLLIP  has announced an appropriate theme for the 2021 Virtual Summit: Hindsight is 2021: Responding to Chaos and Change.. The PLLIP Summit has a track record of providing valuable strategic content as well as an extraordinary netowrking opportunities for the research and knowledge professionals who oversee private law firm and corporate law libraries and knowledge services.

The Summit will be held July 16, 2021, via Zoom, and will begin at 11:30amEastern/8:30am Pacific. More details about the day’s programming can be found here.

How to Register: To register for the 2021 Summit, please visit the AALL registration page here.

* Complimentary registration for unemployed members, unemployed nonmembers, and student nonmembers is available by contacting and are subject to verification. You will receive a promo code that must be entered on the online payment form. (Complimentary registration for student members are automatically applied.)

Speakers include:

April Rinne will deliver the keynote: Responding to Chaos and Change.  April is an acclaimed speaker, thinker, advisor and writer. She is known today for her many keynotes each year to business, industry, investment, policy and educational audiences around the world, and for her role as a bridge: between startups and governments, between developed and developing countries, between those excited about change and those resistant to it. She is also an impact investor, mental health advocate, yoga teacher and insatiable handstander. April’s handstands underscore her upside-down perspective on the world: they help her see differently, stay flexible, and bring joy (and occasionally amazement) to others. Earlier in her career she served as a global development executive, microfinance lawyer, and hiking and biking guide.

David Lat  is well known to the PLLP community. He previously provided a lively and hillarous talk at  at the 4th Summit in 2013 . Lat is a lawyer, writer provocateur. He founded the  the legal marketplace “must read” Above the Law website and now publishes Original Jurisdiction, a newsletter on Substack descibed as news, views and  colorful commentary about law and the legal profession. Other writing includes articles for newspapers and magazines, including the New York TimesWashington Post, and Wall Street Journal as well as a  novel Supreme Ambitions, set in the world of the federal courts. Before entering the media and recruiting worlds, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Brianna Leung draws from over two decades of experience in leading human-centered organizational change in professional and legal services firms. An engaging presenter and facilitator, Brianna is driven to help people succeed and realize their goals by gaining a better understanding of the human factor. As Director of Strategy and Marketing for Much Shelist, a full-service national law firm, Brianna serves as the centralized point of leadership dedicated to driving client-centric growth by aligning strategic planning, marketing and business development efforts across the organization. Prior to joining Much, Brianna consulted for GrowthPlay, a marketing and sales enablement firm. She also founded Red Bird Strategy, LLC, a firm specializing in leadership training, team building and change management strategy. Throughout her career, Brianna has held multiple national leadership, sales and marketing positions which give shape to her perspective on managing the people side of change.