We were all blindsided as 2020 unfolded, yet the momentum of technological change and innovation assured a steady stream of new products. I have identified five trends, which I have divided into three categories: unforeseeable, continuing and surprising.

The trends I believe are worth noting — Unforeseeable: COVID-19 impacts; Predicable: state court analytics and innovative workflow tools; Surprising: legal news re-emerges as a competitive focus among major legal publishers and tech marketplaces emerge.

Unforeseeable: COVID-Related Trends

COVID alone triggered four subtrends:

  • The emergence of local law and ephemeral publications. Major legal vendors were no more prepared to track county level health department issuances and Governors’ executive orders than the average law firm. To make things worse these “documents” were issued in a myriad of social media formats, texts, tweets, Facebook pages … . What’s a law firm to do?
  • Librarians and KM professionals stepped into the vacuum and established protocols for locating and harnessing the untidy universe of COVID-19 ephemera.
  • Law firms became publishers of original COVID-19 resources (leveraging the local documents harnessed by librarians).
  • Legal publishers turned out an unprecedented number of free legal resources covering COVID-19 issues. I covered this trend in an earlier ATL post.

Continuing Trends: State Court Analytics And Workflow Tools

Workflow Tools


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