Future of Law

Could a robot do your job?

Could a robot do your job?

That’s the question the ABC in collaboration with research house AlphaBeta have attempted to answer for every occupation in Australia, including solicitors.

Although I’d have to question some of the legal tasks they’ve identified as being easier to automate, what’s interesting is the comparison to other occupations, some of which I’d never thought could be automated.

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Flipping the Legal Profession

On Tuesday eve, the New South Wales Law Society released it’s flip Report into the Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession.

Quite a herculean feat I must say, boiling down the testimony of 103 witnesses over a six month period into 12 key findings and 19 recommendations within its 116 pages.

To sum up the disruptive forces at play, here’s Lawlab co-founder, Richard Bootle:

“Disruption to me seems to be something that everyone thinks happens to someone else – we’ve all sort of said [that] in the smug, snug complacency of the back seat of an Uber while watching the beginning of the end for [the taxi] industry.”

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The Evolution of In-house Legal Ops

Reese Arrowsmith, Head of Legal Operations at Campbell Soup Company, lays down (among other things) a great summary of the evolution of the legal ops function from its early beginnings in late 1990s to now.

In his words:

"According to the ACC Chief Legal Officers 2016 Survey, the percentage of GCs/CLOs reporting legal operations staff more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, reaching 48 percent last year."

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General Counsel: “Dear Law Firm Partner - it’s not me, it’s you. I want to see other people”

Couldn't quite pluck up the courage to post an update with an F-bomb in it, so you'll need to click for yourself.

But Legal 500's David Burgess pulls no punches in this post that polls various current and ex-GCs on whether they're actually seeing the much hyped innovation and tech collaboration spruiked by their own law firms.

Case in point:

"My law firm won an innovative award. The next day I rang it up to ask what new tech it was using. I was told - we don't have anything, just a really good bid manager for the awards"

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Australian Roadmap for Blockchain Standards

Following sign off by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), Standards Australia has released the Roadmap for Blockchain Standards Report.

In the words of Stone and Chalk Chairman and Chair of the ISO blockchain committee, Craig Dunn:

“We’re going to take a close look at relevant industry sectors like financial services, technology, logistics, and government services to assess what international blockchain standards are required to generate growth and to build efficiencies in these sectors.“ And it seems the light shines bright for blockchain in Australia, with Sydney playing host to the first international blockchain standards meeting next month.

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Transparency of Legal Services - Causes and Solutions

It's fair to say that the UK legal profession is now firmly on the competition watchdog's radar. And there are some worried faces in the room.

The CMA's beef with lawyers centres on the lack of transparency on pricing and service quality.

Lexoo UK Chief Executive, Daniel van Binsbergen reports on how new legal models (including Lexoo of course) are tackling these issues through fixed fees, technology and lawyer reviews:

"...the review system is not only popular with clients. Many lawyers are starting to truly like the idea. It is quite rare as a lawyer to get public credit for a job well done."

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