By Gabe Teninbaum
My name is Gabe Teninbaum (on Twitter at @GTeninbaum). I'm a professor, as well as the Assistant Dean for Innovation, Strategic Initiatives, & Distance Education, at Suffolk Law in Boston. I'm also a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. My work focuses on legal innovation, technology, and the changing business of law. Every day, I digest tons of content on these topics. The goal of this newsletter is to curate the most interesting, valuable, and thought-provoking of these ideas and share them with you.
If you like reading it, please subscribe. You're also invited to forward this to others who you think would benefit. Likewise, please email me with feedback, ideas, and tips so I can deliver what's most valuable to you.
The Appetizer: Sponsors
SpacedRepetition.com is a tool to help law students & bar preppers learn more using cutting-edge science. Called the single most effective technique to learn by the American Psychological Association. More than 17,000 users spread across every law school in the U.S.
The Main Course: 5 Things That Made Me Think This Week
How Data Analytics Can Change the Way Law Firms Do Business: this is a post by Lisa M. Mayo, who is the Director of Data and Analytics Ballard Spahr LLP. It explains their approach to identifying opportunities to create value, creating and testing ideas, and ultimately, launching products that they determine to have promise. It's remarkable how far-reaching their impact has been on the firm (and, no doubt, their clients).
Wilson Sonsini Bolsters Its Innovation Team: the international law firm, Wilson Sonsini, already has one of the coolest things going in law in the form of Six Fifty. SixFifty is a subsidiary that makes legal tech products that are terrific and well-respected. The firm also has a major office in Utah, which is home to a regulatory sandbox allowing new structures of legal organization to be tested. Among the leading proponents of these innovations was Justice Deno Himonas who, just this week, announced both that he was (a) retiring from the bench and (b) joining Wilson Sonsini. In short, continue to watch Wilson Sonsini.
Talbots Law Goes Employee-Owned: the UK law firm, Talbots, just did something really cool - instead of just being owned by partners (i.e. senior lawyers) like American firms are, it's now going to be predominantly owned by employees...all 274 of them. Their theory is that by cutting everyone in on owning their workplace, they'll do better, more efficient work, and employees will be happier and more productive. Of course, this isn't feasible in the majority of U.S. states (though the Times They are A Changin' - as an example, see Utah's regulatory sandbox, referenced above), but perhaps it should be.
American Legal Tech Awards, 2021: the winners of this contest are all terrific (as are the runners-up and honorable mentions). Law Sites Blog has information about each, and you can click on links next to thei names to learn more. ALTA's site will showcase winners by posting videos in the coming days that dive deeper.
Picture from an Upsolve Town Hall in the South Bronx: Millions of families have used Upsolve’s education, tools, and online community to overcome more than $400m in debt. Upsolve has gotten some well-deserved attention for this, too. For example, Time Magazine named them one of the best inventions of 2020. All of that sounds really neat - and it is - but this photo the company's CEO, Rohan Pavuluri, posted is even cooler. For all the talk of tech stacks and VC and awards ceremonies that I myself engage in, this was a straightforward reminder that these tools are made to help real people with real problems.
An Online, Hand-Drawn Tram Ride: it's hard to describe this animated website by Alexander Perrin, so just take my word for it and click the link the next time you have a few minutes. From there, use the left/rigt arrow keys to move. Take the tram for a ride. Go slow. Go fast. Stop at the stations and look around. There are so many little details in here that I won't ruin it for you by telling you what to look for.
It's free, but it's not cheap