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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #106

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 mewith feedback, ideas, and tips so I can deliver what's most valuable to you.


The Appetizer: Sponsors

  • Law students: Do you want to get good grades in your classes and pass the bar exam? DO YOU? If you care at all about your future, sign up for This 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. Named one of the world's Top 20 Legal IT Innovations by ALM.

The Main Course: 5 Things That Made Me Think This Week​

  • LexFusion: there are a lot of legal tech vendors offering all sorts of software and services, from contract lifecycle management to timekeeping tools.  Here's an interesting solution to help firms and law departments wade through the choices: two legal tech veterans (Joe Borstein and Paul Stroka) formed LexFusion to represent only one company per category, so that all the companies are complementary, not competitive.  Then, they'll seek periodic meetings with buyers to help them understand the products available to help them cut costs and increase profitability.  For those who don't have the time, energy, or inclination to compare/contrast every product in every category, having trusted experts available to help them with their analysis is a promising - and likely time, energy, and money saving - proposition.  Full details on LawSitesBlog.

  • Jason Tashea's JusticeTech Download: every week, one of my must-read sources of content is the JusticeTech Download newsletter.  Jason seems to catch every interesting story at the intersection of tech/law/criminal justice, and the newsletter also contains the single best list of legal tech job openings I know of, as well as a useful list of upcoming events. It's all free, too.  Beyond that, Jason had a terrific piece he wrote himself this week on Justice Systems as a Digital Platform.

  • Gartner Hype Cycle for Law/Compliance: when new technologies emerge and people become aware of them, the team at Gartner Research has mapped the trajectory of that response and dubbed it the "hype cycle." They've identified steps like a "peak of inflated expectations," and "a trough of disillusionment," and so on.  Every year, Gartner charts this information for all new technologies impacting society. Now, they have created a hype cycle specific to legal/regulatory, together with a report explaining their findings.  

  • Write-up on Duty of Technical Competence: the folks at WordRake have put out a really good, free eBook written by Ivy Grey, analyzing the requirement that attorneys maintain technological requirement now written into the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and adopted by a majority of U.S. jurisdictions.  I'm still hoping more states add teeth to this requirement, but it's a vast improvement from no rule at all. The eBook explains how the rules operate and how lawyers should incorporate it into their work.

  • Low-Code/No-Code: a recent episode of the always-excellent Kennedy-Mighell Report is one of my all-time favorites.  They covered the "should attorneys learn to code?" question from a different perspective; namely, that being able to "code" nowadays looks a lot different than it did a decade ago thanks to the growth of "low-code" and "no-code" products.  In essence, this class of tools allows people to build things using intuitive platforms that don't require any "real" coding. I think of it like the world moving from cakes being make only from scratch with eggs and sugar and flour, to one where you buy a cake mix, add an ingredient or two, and assemble it.  Very empowering, and far easier to manage.

  • Cubed: I'm excited about a new memoir from Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik's Cube, reviewed here by the NY Times.  He's quite a character.  Apparently, there's no clear narrative and the author didn't want to have chapters or even a title (his editors prevailed on the latter two issues).  You can read a sample via Amazon here.  As a cube-related bonus, Netflix has an amazing documentary on the lives of speed cubers.  Check out the trailer

*** If you enjoy this newsletter and know others who might also like it, please forward it to them.  It's free to subscribe, so the more, the merrier.

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