I am an optimist by nature and I have remained skeptical of  dark forecasts which predict the future based on one dominant trend  (AI comes to mind) while ignoring multiple factors that are likely to moderate or change an expected trajectory.  Imagine my surprise and delight to read about a  recent study on the future of work that predicted that both lawyers and librarians are two of the careers  which are expected to experience increased demand through 2030. The Future of Skills” Employment in 2030 was produced as the result of a collaboration by Pearson – the educational publisher, NESTA-  a global innovation foundation and the Oxford Martin School.

The report even highlights the surprising inclusion of librarians in the high growth professions: Although traditional libraries have evolved ” we’ll still need people: librarians, to help us navigate information both old and new. But like many occupations, the skills profile of a librarian is likely to shift substantially in the years ahead.”

The paper addresses the following research question “Given the likely drivers of change in future labor markets, which occupations would grow or decline in demand by 2030 and what will their skills profile be?

Key trends influencing US and UK labor markets include: technological change, globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality and political uncertainty. Human experts and machine intelligence algorithms analyzed the future of employment and skills.  Here are the results:


Jobs in Demand 2030

Frankly I find it surprising that there appears to be so little  overlap between the US and UK lists of top jobs. Some of this I assume can be attributed to the study having used the standard employment categories provided by the UK and US governments. Maybe Personal Appearance Workers (6 US) have an equivalence with “Sports and Fitness Occupations” ( 3UK). But where are the UK Lawyers and Librarians –  Shall we just blame their disappearance  on Richard “The End of Lawyers” Susskind.

21st century skills that will be in demand in the marketplace in the US include interpersonal skills, teaching social perceptivenss, service orientation and persuasion . Higher order skills cognitive skills  in demand include: complex problem-solving, originality, fluency of ideas and active learning.

Skills in Demand 2030


The report drew six conclusions:

  1. 1. Only one and five workers or an occupation that will shrink
  2. 2. Only one in 10 workers are in occupations that are likely to grow.
  3. Seven and 10 workers are jobs where there is greater uncertainty about the future.
  4.  First century skills will be in demand but a more nuanced understanding of which skills will be in cremate greatest demand is required.
  5. Our research Definitively shows that both knowledge and skills will be required for the future economy.
  6. Occupations and their skill requirements are not set in stone. Occupations can be redesigned to pair unique human skills of productivity gains from technology to boost demand for jobs.

This will not be a slam dunk. The report provides recommendations for educations, policymakers and individuals can take to better prepare for a very  uncertain future.  Collage degrees may lose some status as other kinds of skills related credentials emerge which can be acquired throughout the course of a career in order to adapt to emerging demands and opportunities. Jobs will not be set in stone and even the job titles that survive are likely to be radically transformed as their are paired with advances in AI.







In law, it seems that frustration is often the mother of invention. Gavelytics is the brainchild of Rick Merrill a former “Big Law” real estate litigator who wanted to get better insights into the rulings and habits of California Superior Court judges. Merrill began developing Gavelytics two years ago when he left Greenberg Traurig. Gavelytics leverages AI, machine learning and lawyer expertise to deliver their unique brand of California analytics.  All I can say is “hallelujah” — someone is finally taking on the challenge of state court analytics.

In a recent interview, Merrill described Gavelytics as being a product “developed by lawyers for lawyers,”   and designed to address the fact that most lawyers have very little insight into the behavior of state court judges behavior.

Gavelytics currently covers Los Angeles and Riverside County Superior Courts. They are planning to expand coverage to the 16 most important of California’s 58 counties.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this video on their website:


  •                 Motion Analyzer compares each judges rulings  to the overall average rulings  of other judges on over 100 motion types
  •                 Judicial Workload – compared to the average judge workload
  •                 Gavel Score – is an indicator of  whether a judge tends to rule for plaintiffs or defendants.
  •                 Sec. 170.6 analyzer. The California Code of Civil Procedure gives parties the right to make a perempory motion to disqualify a judge which must be granted. Analytics into how often both plaintiffs and defendands make such motions provides insights into how often and on what types of cases  and by which party has each judge been removed in a 170.6 challenge.
The Gavelytics Dashboard

The Use cases

Gavelytics can be used for standard analytics use cases including.

  • Preparation for a client pitch
  • Deciding on filing a perempotry challenge to transfor case to a new judge
  • Developing a strategy based on a judget history
  • Managing client expectations regarding timing and outcome

Future Developments

Merrill indicated that they expect to launch analytics for all 16 of the most important superior courts in northern and southern California by the second quarter of 2018. Longer term they plan to expand coverage  to other states and federal courts. Since they now occupy a unique lead position in state law analytics, I hope they focus on adding products in state courts handling the majority of commercial litigation. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and Delaware would be at the top of my list.

Visit the Gavelytics website for more information or to schedule a demo or trial.

In late September Bloomberg Law announced several new research features which leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to accelerate case law research.  The The new “Points of Law”  feature allows attorneys to quickly find language critical to a court’s reasoning to support their legal arguments . This feature was immediately available to all current subscibers to Bloomberg Law at no additional cost.

The Bloomberg Law platform now features one million points of law and is updated throughout the day. “Points of law” results are generated by the application of machine learning to the Blaw database of 13 million published and unpublished state and federal court opinions. Researchers can either start  there research with a point of law or start with a keyword then sort by relevance or most cited.

Bloomberg Law Points of Law


This new feature was created is response to the market demand for workflow enhancing tools. “Points of law” research results highlight the relevant language in each opinion. The press release describes the benefit as “enabling attorneys to Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Launches AI Enabled Research Features: Points of Law and Citation Maps


Thanks to Vable for hosting this webinar where I will speak on the transformation of libraries into “insights engines.”  Below is the text of their announcement.  Register for the Webinar  here.

Join Jean O’Grady and Vable on October 12th for a very special webinar, where she’ll be guiding you through the library’s role in your organization’s competitive advantage.

Jean will be discussing the value of the library as an insights center, as we look forward at what’s to come for the information industry and how you can get ahead. Don’t miss out on the chance to quiz an industry leader.

  • Speaker: Jean O’Grady
  • Date: Thursday October 12th
  • Time: 4.30pm BST / 11.30am EST
  • Duration: 1 hour including Q&A

Jean P. O’Grady is currently Sr. Director of Information, Research & Knowledge at DLA Piper US, LLP. She has over 30 years of experience developing strategic  information  initiatives for large law firms. In 2011 she launched a blog “Dewey B Strategic” which focuses on promoting Jean O'Gradyawareness of the strategic importance of librarians, libraries and knowledge managers to the organizations they support.  She has written provocative pieces on a variety of law firm management, publishing and technology issues which have sparked important debates in the industry.

Today Lex Machina is releasing a new module which covers district court bankruptcy appeals. Until now all prior Lex Machina modules have focused on federal trials. The Bankruptcy product covers 18,000 bankruptcy appeals filed since 2009. This is Lex Machina’s first foray into appellate analytics.

The Lex Machina CTO, Karl Harris is quoted in the press release: “Although there are relatively few bankruptcy appeals cases at the district court level compared to commercial or employment litigation cases, the stakes are incredibly high for all those involved, so it is imperative that attorneys know the lay of the land before entering the courtroom. With Lex Machina, attorneys will now be able to get critical insights into the behaviors of district court judges, allowing them to provide the most informed counsel and formulate the best case strategy.”

Bankruptcy practice is highly specialized and Lex Machina developed the new module based on feedback received from top bankruptcy litigators. The new product incorporates 10 practice-specific tags and 15 unique “dispute appeals” categories, which will enable attorneys derive insights a competitive advantage throughout the appeals process. Since bankruptcy appeals are much less common than traditional appeals it is more challenging for attorneys to gain insights into judges and outcomes.

As part of the product development process, Lex Machina interviewed top bankruptcy appeals lawyers to better understand their needs and incorporated their feedback directly into the new offering. As a result Lex Machina developed 10 new filers and 15 appellate categories.

  • The new case tags include: Bankruptcy Appeal; Individual Debtor; Business Debtor; Adversary Proceeding; Chapter 7; Chapter 9; Chapter 11; Chapter 12; Chapter 13; and Chapter 15.
  • The new dispute appeals categories include: Procedure and Jurisdiction; Malfeasance and Remedies; Officers; Administration; Lift of Automatic Stay; Debtor’s Rights and Duties; Plan and Disclosure Statements; Objection to Confirmation; Property of the Estate; Dismissal and Conversion; Discharge and Dischargeability; Claims and Liens; Objection to Proof of Claim; Avoidance; and State or Other Federal Law.


Lex Machina Bankruptcy Appeals Analytics

Unique Insights

Owen Byrd, the chief evangelist and general counsel at Lex Machina provided me with a preview of the product. One of my favorite things about seeing a new Lex Machina module is hearing, is hearing Byrd exclaim “ no one has ever seen this data before!” Byrd highlights some of the unique insights of the bankruptcy product in the press release: “If you’re a creditor trying to decide whether or not to file an appeal, knowing whether a particular judge has a tendency to affirm or reverse the lower court’s ruling will have a significant impact on your appeal strategy. “Similarly, having concrete data at your fingertips about the expertise of opposing counsel or how often larger creditors, such as banks, win their appeals could weigh heavily into your decision-making. “

Bankruptcy Appeals Report

Lex Machina will be releasing a comprehensive report on district court bankruptcy appeals in October, containing insights and analyses of bankruptcy appeals cases filed between January 1, 2009 and September 30, 2017. The company  also released a blog post today that provides a sample of data points to be featured in the upcoming report, including:

  • More than 17,000 cases have been pending since 2009.
  • Nationally, U.S. District Court judges are more likely to affirm the Bankruptcy Court’s decision (30% of cases pending since 2009) than to reverse, remand and/or vacate (7%)
  • The most common issues in bankruptcy appeals include Administration, Objection to Proof of Claim, and Dismissal and Conversion.

Legal Analytics for District Court Bankruptcy Appeals Webcast

Lex Machina will be offering a webcast Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics for District Court Bankruptcy Appeals webcast, scheduled for September 28, at 10:30 am PDT/1:30 EST. Register for the Webcast here .

LexisNexis has spent the past five years on a treasure hunt, acquiring some of the most innovative legal tech start-ups. My refrain in every post about these acquisitions has been – when and how will LexisNexis start integrating the key features of these products into their existing product lines. Today LexisNexis is announcing important enhancements to Lexis Practice Advisor leveraging their acquisition of Intelligize in September 2016. Additional enhancement to Lexis Practice Advisor include a new and more intuitive home page, enhanced navigation and post navigation filtering. The new Home page enables lawyers to begin their navigation by jurisdiction or topic.

New Lexis Practice Advisor Home Page

The new interface enables users to navigate content by practice area, content type or jurisdiction. In addition, content is organized along a task-based hierarchical tree, which allows users to either browse a comprehensive collection of practice area content or quickly drill down to find more nuanced, specific results.

LPA currently includes guidance such as practice notes, annotated forms, clauses and checklists across multiple practice Continue Reading LexisNexis Announces Lexis Practice Advisor Transactional Search Powered by Intelligize and Other LPA Enhancements

ALL President, Greg Lambert ( CKO, Jackson Walker) and Josh Becker, CEO, Lex Machina  and I will be speaking at an upcoming webcast panel sponsored by Lex Machina. We will exploring budgeting strategies, tools and techniques.

Date: Thursday October 5th, 12 pm (EST)/9 am PST.

Here is the program Description:

We all know how budgets are tight and budget season is a stressful time of the year. While you need to secure funding for for your existing products, you are expected to innovate and keep your firm ahead of your competition from a Knowledge Management perspective. New tools that help you to differentiate your firm include Legal Analytics, Machine Learning and other new legal technologies. But how can you convince your partners to provide the funding?

During this 30-minute webcast our speakers will reveal their budgeting approaches and techniques. Get answers to questions such as:

♦ How do you negotiate a successful 2018 budget?
♦ How can you measure the value of technology?
♦ How do you convince your partners to give you the funding?

Register Here.

I was beginning to wonder if Wolters Kluwer Law & Regulatory was planning taking a rest from their aggressive schedule of innovation. Well I was wrong, I just learned that WK is preparing to introduce predictive analytics for federal legislation in their Federal Knowledge Center. The legislative analytics will be powered by artificial intelligence (AI) tools developed in collaboration with Skopos Labs Inc., a software company specializing in predictive analytics.

Since the beginning of 2017 Wolters Kluwer has announced a dizzying variety of enhancements, alliances and products including a  Smart tasks for corporate know how, The Federal Legislative Knowledge Center, A new cybersecurity product and alliance with KTMine to offer IP analytics and a partnership with KMStandards to launch an AI workflow tool for M&A clause analytics.

The Federal Developments Knowledge Center  was designed by Wolters Kluwer to serve as a comprehensive tool to provide lawyers with deeper insights into proposed legislation and regulation. Features include: smart charts, breaking news, primary source documnts, and impact analysis on executive orders, regulations and legislation.

Since statutes and regulations have always been the backbone of Wolters Kluwers suite of products, the application of predictive analytics to this core strength is a logical product trajectory.

Predictive AI for Legislation The AI enhancements will enable lawyers to quickly assess proposed legislation, and predict its likelihood of passage in the chamber of the Congress in which it presently resides, as well as its likelihood of ultimate enactment ( passage by both chambers and the signature of the President. ­)

The analytics, which will be available this fall within Federal Developments Knowledge Center have been developed using natural language processing of the legal text and computational assessment of hundreds of external positive and negative factors that affect a particular bill. The tool also provides background on a bill’s relationship to similar legislation and relevant sections of the Code of Laws of the United States.

Analytics as Differentiator

Analytics offerings are becoming a “must have” enhancement for  legal research products. “Analytics competency ” is also becoming a differentiator for lawyers and law firm in the business and practice of law.  I look forward to learning more about this innovative new predictive analytics  product from Wolters Kluwer and Skopos Labs.






Here is a rundown of the articles in the most recent issue of Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations.

Strategic Content Management, or How to Stop Being a Gatekeeper

By Elaine Egan, Director, Global Libraries & Information Services, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York, NY and Kathy Skinner, Director of Research & Information Services, White & Case LLP, Palo Alto, CA

Retaining and Growing Clients – What’s Next? by Silvia Coulter, Principal, LawVision Group, Manchester, MA

Tactics for Strategic Partnerships and Building Institutional Knowledge Interview

by Elaine Egan, Director, Global Libraries & Information Services, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York, NY, with Marlene C. Gebauer, Director of Knowledge Solutions, Greenberg Traurig, and Chris Laut, Director of Law Libraries and Knowledge Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance

 Learn Your Firm’s Secrets: Conduct Exit Interviews

By Sharon Abrahams, National Director of Professional \Development/Diversity and Inclusion, Foley & Lardner LLP, Miami, FL

 Can An Attorney Be Replaced by a Machine?

By Don Philmlee, Legal Technology Consultant, Washington, DC.

Outsourcing Trends in Business Development

By Bradley Christmas, Managing Director, NSource, Chicago, Il.

Shortly after launching their Commercial Law Analytics product in June of this year , Lex Machina released their first Commercial Litigation Report which traces the trends in commercial litigation in federal courts since 2009.

Since Lex Machina introduced their initial product which analyzed patent litigation, all of Lex Machina’s modules have relied on the “nature of suit” NOS codes in Pacer to identify relevant cases. As Pacer researchers know – there is no NOS code for commercial law cases and they are mixed in a catch all code 190 for “other contract” cases.

Commercial Law analytics posed special challenges. Lex Machina had to develop their own parameters for defining commercial law. That definition identifies litigation between 2 business entities involving breach of contract or business tort. They used a combination of human and machine screening to identify over 63,000 cases filed in federal courts since 2009 which meet their criteria. Lex Machina has a team of attorney analytics who review documents such as damage awards which require interpretation.


Key Trends

  • Since 2009 there has been a steady decline in commercial cases files each year which Lex Machina interprets as tracking with recovery from the recession.
  • Most of cases involve breach of contract (44%) or cases which combine breach of contract and business tort.
  • 20% of commercial cases also involve an IP claim.
  • The Northern District of California with (4,257) cases beats our other commercial centers Southern District of New York (3,855) , Northern District of Illinois (2,546), and the District of New Jersey (2,438).
  • The decline in litigation has occurred across all of the top districts.
  • The FDIC is the leading plaintiff or defendant.
  • Retailers (Amazon, Ross, Home Depot) are the among the leading defendants
  • Greenberg Traurig is the top law firm representing both plaintiffs (333) and defendants (401).
  • DLA Piper is the top firm representing defendants with 299 cases.
  • $6.5 billion in contract damages was awareded during the period covered.
  • Half of commercial damages were awarded on default judgment.


The full report is available for free from Lex Machina at this link.