LawNext

LawNext

LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, who is internationally known for his writing and speaking on legal technology and innovation. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice.

Episodes

September 26, 2022 44 min

For those who have to go to court without a lawyer, navigating the justice system can be daunting. Courtroom5 is a unique justice tech company that addresses that problem by providing pro se litigants with the training, tools, documents and support they need to represent themselves. For litigants who need extra help, it also offers access to à la carte lawyer services.

Our guest this week, Courtroom5’s cofounder and CEO Sonja Ebron...

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Devshi Mehrotra was a computer science undergraduate at the University of Chicago when she and classmate Leslie Jones-Dove developed JusticeText, an platform that makes it easier for public defenders to review and analyze the massive quantities of police body cam and other video footage that is becoming increasingly common in criminal cases. 

At the time, Mehrotra never envisioned it as a company or a career. But a year after gra...

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Last week, Oakley Capital, a major European private equity investor, said that it had acquired majority ownership of vLex, the international legal research platform that lays claim to having the largest collection of legal information on a single service. 

On this episode of LawNext, host Bob Ambrogi is joined from London by Masoud Gerami, managing director, vLex Global Markets, who oversees vLex in the UK, Ireland, Asia Pacific, A...

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On her LinkedIn profile, Natalie Knowlton describes her work as “succession planning for an outdated legal industry.” It is an apt description for someone who has spent her career studying reform of the U.S. legal system — and particularly now, as she launches Access to Justice Ventures, a think tank devoted to reinventing the legal system to provide justice for all by eliminating systemic barriers. 

For the past 14 years, Knowlton...

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In the world of legal technology, perhaps no company looms larger than Thomson Reuters, whose products such as Westlaw, Practical Law, HighQ, Findlaw, 3E and many others span virtually every aspect of law practice and are used by legal professionals throughout the world. 

Our guest this week, Kriti Sharma, is chief product officer, legal tech, at Thomson Reuters, a role she stepped into less than a year ago, in October 2021. She is...

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Should the legal industry have a common set of data standards for classifying the work we do? The SALI Alliance – short for Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry – believes we should, and it recently released version 2.0 of its Legal Matter Standard Specification, which sets out an ontology of some 10,000 tags. 

The argument for standards, SALI says, is that they will simplify and improve the delivery of legal services by pr...

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Last week, on the last day of the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, the nationwide organization of law librarians and legal information professionals, Elizabeth Adelman took office as the association’s new president. A key focus of her term will be on increasing the pipeline of those coming into the profession and working to enhance diversity within both the AALL and the profession at large. 

As she comes...

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For 28 years, John Mayer has been executive director of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, or CALI, a non-profit consortium of some 200 law schools that describes itself as “the innovative force pushing legal education toward change for the better.” Along the way, CALI’s mission expanded to include addressing access to justice, primarily through its development, in partnership with Chicago-Kent College of Law, of A...

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It was a mighty bold move for the legal technology company Mighty. After seven years in business serving personal injury lawyers, the company recently pivoted to launch Mighty Law, a law firm that directly competes against those PI firms by offering lower fees, greater transparency, and tech-driven efficiencies. 

For founder and CEO Joshua Schwadron, the move was motivated by what he sees as the misaligned incentives of PI lawyers...

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Sang Lee believes that algorithm-based assessments can help law firms make better, more ethical and less-biased decisions when hiring associates and laterals. The SaaS company she founded in 2019, Thine, leverages custom hiring algorithms and industrial and organizational (IO) psychology to create assessments that it says can reduce inconsistencies in how law firms evaluate candidates, promote equity, and create pathways to greater...

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LawVu is a New Zealand company that says it is revolutionizing legal operations by waging war on a multiplicity of point solutions and providing in-house legal teams with the first truly connected platform for matter, contract and spend management. 

LawVu recently conducted a survey of in-house lawyers and legal operations  professionals and found that 77% of them spend more than an hour a day just jumping between systems in order ...

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The law practice management platform Litify is unique in several ways. For one, it is built on top of Salesforce, the sales and marketing automation platform used by many Fortune 500 companies. For another, it was developed by a team of people who came out of Morgan & Morgan, the largest plaintiffs’ law firm in the United States. 

Since its launch in 2016, Litify has raised $50 million in Series A funding, acquired the e-billin...

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As this episode is being released, news is breaking that is likely to have a profound impact on the law practice management market: AffiniPay, the parent company of the electronic payments platform LawPay, has acquired the law practice management company MyCase, along with several other practice management products that MyCase acquired over the past year.  Just ahead of today’s announcement, the CEOs of the two companies sat down f...
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    If ever there was a process ripe for disruption, notarization would seem to be it. A function that may date back to Ancient Egypt, it has changed little for centuries – still typically done in person, on hard-copy paper, using physical seals, and recorded in written ledgers. 

    Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO of Notarize, believes society has grappled for too long with how to scale this simple process of authenticating signatures. His co...

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    Lawyers are largely limited to practicing law in the states in which they are licensed. But now, calling that rule anachronistic, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers has asked the American Bar Association to amend the model rules that govern law practice to allow lawyers admitted in any U.S. jurisdiction to practice law and provide legal advice to clients anywhere in the country.

    “Our proposal advocates that a la...

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    No one has worked harder, worked longer or had more success at the cause of making government information accessible to the public than Carl Malamud and his organization Public.Resource.Org. From putting the SEC’s EDGAR database online in 1993 – effectively shaming the SEC into putting it online itself two years later – to his 2020 U.S. Supreme Court victory defeating the state of Georgia’s claim of copyright in its official legisl...

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    Last week, Filevine, the Utah-based case management company, raised $108 million in a Series D funding round. Founded in 2014 with an original focus on litigation and personal injury law, the company has been steadily expanding its platform into other areas of law practice — including larger firms, insurance defense, corporate legal, and government — and it plans to use this funding to further fuel that expansion. 

    Filevine’s cofo...

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    For 23 years, Pro Bono Net has been working to harness the potential of technology to connect pro bono attorneys to those most in need of their services and to provide legal tools to help individuals advocate for themselves. In 2021 alone, the non-profit helped more than 8.4 million people connect to a legal resource and helped self-represented individuals create more than 900,000 legal documents and court forms. 

    It does this thro...

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    In his day job, Jonathan Pyle is the contract performance officer at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, where he is responsible for compliance, reporting, and implementing new uses of technology to analyze, streamline, and expand service delivery. But in the legal tech world, Pyle is better known as the developer of Docassemble, a free and open source document assembly application that has been widely adapted for a range of application...

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    She has been called the patron saint of solo and small law firms. For two decades, Carolyn Elefant has helped solo and small firm lawyers start and build their law practices. You know her as the creator of MyShingle.com, the longest-running blog on solo and small law firm practice, and she just released the third edition of her book that is a bible for lawyers going off on their own, Solo by Choice: How to Start a Law Firm and Be t...

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