Thanks to the International Legal Technology Association for inviting me to present a webinar on the use of analytics to manage licenses and spending.Digital Resources Analytics: Determining the Right Mix of Resources for Your Firm  

Date : Thursday, December 12th from 11:00am-11:30am ET.

Format: 30 minute webinar.

Description: Thanks to high renewal costs, licensing models that require firms to buy more seats than they need, and the growing number of specialty databases and newsletters that do that one thing better than competitors, law firm library budgets are very hard to control.  Using a combination of custom built and third party tools, one firm has developed sophisticated records, analytics and reporting around costs and usage to ensure that lawyers and administrators have what they need.  Come see The House that Jean Built in this snackable webinar session!

Speaker: 

Jean O’Grady, Sr. Director of Information, Research and Knowledge, DLA Piper

Registration at this link.

 

Today Fastcase and Ross Intelligence are announcing a content, research and development partnership which the founders expect to drive innovation for both companies. Fastcase which is celebrating its 20th anniversary has excently expanded beyond its primary law focus into analytics, legal news and secondary source publishing and alliances. Ross which made headlines with its A.I. search engine for legal research has recently launched its law school program and begun building alliances with bar associations and with Clio practice management software.

I interviewed Ed Walters CEO and Co- Founder of Fastcase about this new alliance. Walters describes this alliance in terms of a major market shift in the legal research and technology space. “In the 1990s the main way market dominance was building gigantic silos of data” epitomized by the Lexis and Westlaw platforms. According to Walters “The future will be owned by small, nimble companies that have inter-operable parts. The Fastcase-Ross alliance is about creating a new paradigm for the next 10 years.”

Ross will gain access to the Fastcase pipeline of case law, statutes and regulations across all 50 states. Walters described t he benefits of the alliance in the press release. Fastcase will benefit from Ross’s “trailblazing work in the field of natural language processing in machine learning. The partnership will enable Fastcase to collaborate on exciting new products and jointly create new solutions for unmet needs of the legal profession.”

Lexis and Westlaw (Thomson Reuters) invented the online legal research market and have dominated it for years. Continue Reading In Paradigm Shift Legal Research Innovators Fastcast and Ross Intelligence Form Development Alliance

Gavelytics  has just expanded their judges analytics product to include the 5 state counties within the boundaries of New York City (Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond and, New York). The expanded judge product also includes the ability to view the dockets underlying any of the product’s metrics. A user can, for example, quickly identify every case in which a judge presided over a motion for summary judgment in a tort case and view the relevant cases.

 

State law analytics is a hot area of development. There are two distinct branches of litigation analytics. Some litigation Continue Reading Gavelytics Launches State Litigation Analytics New York Judges–Posts Analytics Webinar Recording

One of the few silver linings of the 2008 financial crisis was that many lawyers were shocked into budget consciousness. Seemingly overnight, lawyers became willing to reassess old assumptions. Maybe they could live without personal copies of treatises. Maybe they would try online resources that they had resisted. The crisis has passed but the changed legal market place remains. Law firms that want to invest in new technologies must subsidize those investments with lean budget practices that continuously reassess all ongoing costs. No product is a “slam dunk” for annual renewal in 2019 without some “due diligence.”

Here are some tips to help your “harvest” saving which can be reinvested in “nextgen” resources.

Focus on ROI. Products such as Research Monitor and Onelog can provide invaluable insights into the number of lawyers who actually use web-based products.  Products are often maintained based on  Continue Reading It’s Budget Time! 12 Timely Tips to Help Manage Law Firm Costs

Ellyssa Kroski, the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute  assembled a group of law library and technology thought leaders to contribute to her new book “Law Librarianship in the Age of AI” which was released last week by the American Library Association.

I was honored to have the opportunity to write the introduction to the book.

“The 2018 Altman & Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey reported that only 38% of law firms are actively engaged in experiments to test innovative ideas or methods. This indicates that the vast majority of law firms have a vacuum in innovation leadership waiting to be filled. While all innovation does not require AI– algorithms and analytics will play an important role in the transformation of the business and practice of law over the coming decades. Hopefully this book with inspire reluctant librarians to grab a seat at the innovation table or even set out the innovation agenda at their organizations.” From the Introduction to Law Librarianship in the Information Age.

Kroski’s books is a collection of essays  authored by professionals whose names are known on the legal tech speaking circuit: Bob Ambrogi, Steve Lastres, Scott Baily, Saskia Mehlhorn and Jamie Baker.

The book provides a great introduction to the nuts and bolts of AI and a survey of issues confronting legal information professionals. Chapters cover: an overview of AI tools in law,  how librarians are embracing AI, the impact of AI on legal research, AI in Legal Education, the risk and ethical challenges of AI and the future of AI in law libraries. One fun chapter teachers readers about machine learning by using machine learning to examine Shakespearean plays.

While the book is targeted primarily at knowledge and library professionals, could also help law firm leaders and Law School Dean’s to understand the critical role that law librarians can and should play in selecting the right AI tools for their organizations.

.Order the book here.

Today LexisNexis is releasing results of an independent study commissioned by LexisNexis.  The study was conducted between August and September 2019 and included responses from 5,061 law students at 201 law schools. The survey was  conducted” to better understand  future lawyer attitudes, behaviors and key drivers of user preference in relation to legal research.”Access the full Next-Gen Legal Tech Report  here.

The press release states that the results indicate that Lexis Advance is preferred over Westlaw for legal research.   Since the report did not include a copy of the survey instrument,   I can not tell if Lexis is providing the results of all questions or only selected questions.  In addition, some questions refer to law students, others refer to “new lawyers” so i wonder if I am seeing the results of multiple surveys. I will report on the “preferred platform” results when I receive responses to my questions from Lexis.

In this post I will only be reporting on the results related to the drivers of preference and recommendations

Research Methodology

LexisNexis Legal & Professional commissioned PwC Research, a global center of excellence for primary research and evidence-based consulting services and part of PwC LLP in the UK, to undertake data collection and aggregate results for the LexisNexis study. 83,909 U.S. law students from 201 law schools were invited to participate in the study which ran between August 12, 2019 – September 9, 2019 and from which 5,061 responded.

Drivers of preference:  Ease of Use and finding information quickly are the top two drivers of use.

 

Next Gen Lawyers

  • 76% find analytics helpful for research
  • 77% say visualization tools make it easier to find research results.

 

Law Students Value Analytics. 76% of students said that legal analytics are helpful!

Only yesterday, I participated on a panel discussion on legal analytics. We speculated on how long it would take for lawyers to graduate from law school with an understanding of legal analytics. I am thrilled to see that law students are not only being exposed to analytics in law school but are grasping the value of analytics in practice.

Next-Gen Legal Tech Survey Recommendations

  • Equip attorneys with technology tools they value – so they work faster and smarter.
  • Provide access to training programs for new and established to users to learn new technologies.
  • Embrace the “know how” of they digital natives and look to them to contribute to training programs across the firms

Lexis has been a pioneer in adding a wide variety of visualization tools for legal research. These tools include:  color coding research terms to ease navigation, the predictive legislation “gauge,”  Lex Machina docket analytics charts, and Ravel Context judicial analytics charts. The impact of these research features is reflected in the survey results.

Stay tuned for a follow up post on the platform preferences reported in the tech survey.

Legal organizations spend an estimated $3 billion dollars on technology according to a recent study by Mitretech
Catching the Wave: :Legal Technology Spend at $3 Billion and growing. Driving product adoption remains a challenge across law firms of every size.

Clients demand that law firms focus on knowledge management, analytics and legal project management and there is a burgeoning market of new products to address these needs. An email blast or an offer a free Danish and bagels no longer motivates lawyers to leave their offices and sit through a demo. Product deployment alone does not assure adoption and a return on investment. In order to optimize the adoption of products there are multiple strategies which can be used to drive the adoption and aid in the determination of ROI.

Eliminating the Obstacles to Adoption This step is often overlooked. It is important to recognize at the outset that policies and the technology itself can create obstacles to adoption. Obstacles to adoption include: imposing client charges of use; Continue Reading Best Practices to Drive Lawyer Adoption of Technology

On November 12th  (11 am PST, 2 PM est.)  I will be moderating a discussion on the value of legal analytics in the practice and business of law.   A panel of research experts and thought leaders will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the development of legal analytics products. Specific topics will include the  “use cases” for analytics, driving lawyer adoption, success stories and introducing legal analytics into the research librarians toolkit.

The panel is comprised of research experts and thought leaders from ALM 100 firms.

  • Martin Korn, Director of Research and Knowledge Services @Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Michael Saint Onge, Regional Director, Research & Library Services @Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Brian Blaho,  National Manager of Research Services @Reed Smith LLP

Register for the webinar here.

Blue J Legal had a small booth at the American Association of Law Libraries conference in Washington, DC this summer.  Yet… they had one of the most impressive new offerings in the exhibit hall.  Tax Foresight  can predict the likely outcome of a tax controversy with at least 90 percent accuracy.  The product uses AI – specifically “supervised machine learning” to analyze tax law and rulings and accurately predict the treatment of new tax situations.

One of the co-founders Benjamin Alarie, an associate dean at the University of Toronto was asked to judge the 2014 IBM Watson Challenge at the university. The event is  a contest between students and startups to create “commercial implementations for the technology company’s AI-powered super-computer.”

Alarie was intrigued with the possibility of applying AI to tax law. He was joined by co-founders Brett Janssen and Anthony Niblett in creating the first prototype  in 2015. They decided to design a product that was narrowly focused with deep analysis and highly useful to tax practitioners. Blue J’s development team includes law professors, lawyers, data scientists, management consultants, and engineers. In 2017 they launched Tax Foresight for Canadian market which was followed by Employment Foresight and HR Foresight. In 2018 they launched the US version of Tax Foresight.

 

Here is how it works

Input your scenario – Fill out a questionnaire identifying relevant facts of each your legal issue

Run the Analysis – AI analyses all the prior case law and rulings and makes prediction about your scenario.

Support Your Position – Tax Foresight will provide a custom prediction with explanations of the result and cite to the related precedent.

Document and Share – Download the Foresight Prediction reports and share it with colleagues and stakeholders.

Scenario Planning – Tax Foresight allow allows a lawyer to modify the facts and see the likely outcome in a variety of scenarios. Changing the variables allow a lawyer to see which factors are most likely to influence the outcome.

No Black Box Over the years they have expanded and modified the product based on lawyer feedback. Initially the product just provided the prediction without providing explanatory text. It is no surprise to me that tax lawyers wanted to know why they got that answer. So the company built out the features which expose the cases on which the outcome was based.

Supervised Machine Learning.  How does Tax Foresight analyze past rulings and accurately predict the treatment of new tax situations? They are not “boiling the ocean.” They have selected 18 of the most challenging issues facing tax lawyers and accountants including such topics as determining whether an worker is an employee or a contractor. The product is built using a technique referred to supervised machine learning. They have lawyers who read all the documents. Lawyers and data scientist extract factors that go into a case law decision and create structured data. They use an algorithm to predict outcomes within 90% accuracy. Each issue has its own unique algorithm. The product continues to learn as new case law is continuously added and analyzed.

Tax Foresight Features include:

The analysis module allows you to find an outcome based on filters.

Navigate a feature is based on the statute and it brings you to the answer. They also include the last updating date.

Question answer module usually or has about 27 questions focused on the factors that are likely to drive the outcome. Lawyer can skip up to 3 questions and still get a result.

Scenario testing allows lawyers to interact with the Question Answer Module and model a best case scenario and worst case scenario..

Build a memo.  The results appear in a memo format explaining the outcome.

Similar cases feature highlights faces that match your case on the most important factors.

Shareable Documents can be shared out internally downloaded into a configurable PDF there’s always an order trail you can add the firm name to the memo.

Topics – Tax Foresight covers 18 different topics including transfer pricing, worker classification, deductibility of business expenses.

Tax Foresight can be used for both controversy work and tax planning work. Right now they offer analysis of 18 complex tax issues and will add additional issues in the future. Since the word “prediction” has been used somewhat loosely in the legal market to describe products which provide historic trends, I am pleased that there is finally a product which shows us weighted and scored predictions of specific legal scenarios.

If your firm has a tax practice, I recommend giving Tax Foresight a look. You will also have the opportunity to see a sophisticated new approach to AI enabled legal research.

Pricing is based on the size of the tax group.

 

Every vendor I deal with talks a good ROI game. Very few know how to deliver it. Even fewer  have built the delivery of ROI into their sales and pricing strategy. Well I finally found such a company in the legal tech space.  I was

recently introduced to Alex Babin, the Founder and CEO of a company called ZERO. According to Babin  law firms will not be charged for the ZERO product until the product delivers efficiencies (ROI) equal to the cost of the product. He offered the bold promise: “Don’t trust us trust the numbers in your billing system.”

ZERO is an integrated suite of email tools that uses AI to reduce the time spent on some of the most common and mind-numbing tasks that waste valuable lawyer and staff time.  It works in both a desktop and mobile environment. It is an email management solution which was built for lawyers. According to Babin The challenges of mobility and billable time are core to the solution. Due to the lack of automation, most attorneys or their assistants spend hours filing and managing emails. 60% of the secretaries time is spent managing documents according to a case study in  ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine.

According to the ZERO website  “Accurate data categorization, helpful suggestions and predictions, and a personalized approach to automating one’s daily email routine with edge computing became the DNA of ZERØ’s products.”

ZERO offers a suite of smart features that can process thousands of emails with speed and precision.
It employs enterprise grade security on mobile devices and  processes data on the device without moving it to the cloud. AI determines the right DMS destination.  Lawyers  can file emails individually or in batches or completely automatically. Changes in filing can be executed quickly and easily.

Babin highlighted that every feature of ZERO is built around delivering ROI. ZERO is the first email management system designed for attorneys. It took four years to build the technology. They launched at  the  2018 ILTA   Conference and their primary focus has been on marketing to the biggest law firms.

Benefits include

Easy email Compliance. The system uses  AI  to file emails in the DMS.  According to their study it will save each lawyer half an hour a day.

Reverse Billable Time “Leakage.”. Right now there is no easy way to capture time on a mobile device. ZERO creates an automatic narrative. ZERO captures all client related email work done on a mobile device. Billing entries are created automatically for all work including date, client matter, elapsed time and a complete narrative. These entries can be moved directly into the time entry system.

Avoid Misdirected Emails We have all heard the nightmare stories of lawyers inadvertently sending emails to the wrong person and even accidentally emailing confidential emails to journalists. ZERO includes security feature will prevent a lawyer from sending it to the wrong person by flagging suspect recipients and asking for a final confirmation.

ROI Reporting It sends each user an email describing how much time they have saved!

Doing the Math on Savings The ZERO website offers two savings scenarios:

 

  • Law firms can expect to gain significant hard revenue from ZERØ. A law firm with 1,000 attorneys and a blended billable rate of $300/hour can increase billing by $93,960,000 per year per lawyer (assuming 261 working days) by ensuring that all attorney time spent emailing from a mobile device in captured. In other words, this hypothetical law firm is currently leaving $93,960 of revenue per lawyer on the table.
  • Law firms can also save a substantial amount of money on cost avoidance. This same hypothetical law firm saves a total of $78.3 million per year in non-billable labor hours by having the administrative task of mobile time capture automated.

ZERO has a video explaining how they deliver ROI at this link

Getting to Yes With ROI For several years I have been harping on ROI  and pleading with the vendors of research and workflow platforms to deliver ROI data. Maybe it is time to up the ante and ask them to consider the new model offered by ZERO – the vendor shows them the money in product savings as an assurance that ROI will be delivered. There is no easier way to ‘get to ‘yes’” in a law firm procurement negotiation than to promise savings which exceeds the price.  This is a “no brainier.” ZERO has developed not only an incredibly interesting product but a potentially game changing ROI delivery method.

Want More information on Zero? ILTA will be hosting a ZERO Product Briefing webinar on November 8th. More information at this link.