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
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The Main Course: 5 Things That Made Me Think This Week
LINK for Lawyers: there's an interesting new org for mid- and upper-level legal ops professionals that seems like a nice hybrid between serving as a guide for best practices, a resource on legal tech tools, and as a networking opportunity. It's especially interesting because the board is made up of legal ops leaders from major corporations, and their partner orgs are some of the most influential in legal tech (and law more generally). Check it out here. Membership is free, but "exclusively available to mid-senior level in-house legal ops professionals." I'll be curious to see how CLOC and other orgs serving legal ops professionals respond.
Adobe Kickbox: when people at Adobe come up with a new idea they want to develop, they go to the "Kickbox." The Kickbox has a fire alarm logo, that one is to open it in case of an emergency idea they want to work out. Inside, they find a guide that offers a process to develop the idea, Post-Its, a pre-paid credit card for supplies they might need, a Starbucks gift card, and some candy. The theory is that creative people might not way to deal with bureacracy to test an idea. Instead, the company wants to get them prototyping, testing, and interating without too much to slow them down. According to this piece from Fast Company, over 1,000 employees have opened one, and 23 have had ideas good enough to be passed along to senior management. Bringing this back to law: I wonder what process - if any - legal organizations have to foster, and promote, new ideas. Perhaps a version of this concept would be a start
The Metaverse and the Law: no one knows exactly what Facebook's Metaverse will ultimately turn out to be, but all signs point to an immersive new digital universe that allows people to interact in ways that they haven't historically. Ken Crutchfield from Wolters Kluwer wrote up a thoughtful analysis of how the Metaverse might impact law and legal work. We're still definitely collectively in the hypothesizing phase of this discussion, but Ken does a strong job of laying out what seem like feasible possibilities.
Casey Flaherty on Technically Legal: I always enjoy Chad Main's Technically Legal podcast (and I've even been a guest in the past - thanks, Chad!), but this week was particularly good. Casey Flaherty works at LexFusion, and has previously worked at Baker McKenzie and KIA Motors. In short, he's been around and knows lots of interesting things. My favorite part of this podcast (starting around the 14 minute mark) was the discussion about Casey's theory that organizations often turn to technology as an avoidance mechanism for addressing issues with process and culture.
Colorado Virtual Courthouse Tour: the team at Northeastern Law School's NuLawLab, along with Colorado Legal Services and HELM Studios, have created a really neat virtual courthouse tour. The project was funded by a Technology Innovation Grant provided by the Legal Services Corporation. My favorite part about it is that it's not just some sort of map or collection of pictures, but instead is a truly detailed simulation on how to navigate and interact within a courthouse, courtroom and with court personnel. This will make life better, and less stressful for people who are not frequent visitors to the courthouse. Hopefully, it will also improve the level of service the court staff can provide.
Long Now Talks: the Long Now Foundation encourages people to think beyond the long-term future of humanity and the planet. Their projects include a clock that will work without human intervention for 10,000 years and an archive of over 1,500 languages that will preserve their grammar and vocabulary for future generations. I've been a member for several years, and one of my favorite benefits is that they host talks from really interesting people that they post - with no paywall - online. My favorite recent one is by Neri Oxman, but check them all out.
It's free, but it's not cheap