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
BizLaw Swallowed PeoplelLaw: there was a fascinating, though bleak, Twitter thread this week led by John Grant and Bill Henderson discussing the reasons the Access to Justice gap has exploded in recent decades. Read John's tweet (and what follows) here, then Bill's long-form analysis of the situation here. Short answer: more resources are going into representing businesses than individuals now...by a lot...making it harder for individual people in need to get legal support.
Legal Ops, A View From the Inside: David Cambria, formerly of Baker McKenzie, now at PwC, has been dubbed the "Godfather of Legal Operations." In this video talk (which dates back to pre-mask days but was only recently posted) as part of Bucerius's summer legal operations/tech program, David shares insights on the state of the legal market and the role of Legal Operations both in-house and within big law firms. He touches on the implications of Behavioral Economics for the market for legal services and the importance of leadership and change management. It's a cool opportunity to hear how it all works from a seasoned expert. Bucerius has put several other worthwhile (free) lectures from their program online, which you can view here.
Talk Justice Podcast: the Legal Services Corporation has an excellent podcast series on Access to Justice. The most recent episode features 3 experts (my colleague at Suffolk Law, Quinten Steenhuis; Teri Ross, the Exec. Director of Illinois Legal Aid Online; and Vivian Hessel, Chief Information Officer of Legal Aid Chicago; plus an expert moderator, Jason Tashea) discussing legal tech topics like data security, user-centered design, and the digital divide, which were at the forefront of this year’s LSC Innovations in Technology Conference. I wasn't able to make it to the LSC conference this year, so I especially appreciated the chance to hear some experts talk about some of the most important themes.
Innovation + Law Twitter List: one of the challenges I face every week is the firehose of information at the intersection of law/innovation/tech/entrepreneurship. I suppose, In some ways, this newsletter is my attempt to narrow down the top things to prevent others from having to work so hard to separate wheat from chaff. I was excited to discover Jess Shpall Rosen had created a law/innovation Twitter list, which does a really nice job of focusing in interesting and valuable accounts to follow on Twitter. I'm enjoying following it and if you're on Twitter, you will too.
GravityStack to Challenge Big 4: a constant them in legal tech for the past few years has been the growth of the Big 4 in legal services. At each step of the way, there have been stories about their efficient consulting and advisory arms chomping away at business traditionally done by law firms. And now, a shot back from BigLaw! The law firm Reed Smith's techie wing, Gravity Stack, is launching its own tech advising consultancy. Is it working? Their managing partner is quoted in this Artificial Lawyer article as saying "I think firms would be surprised to discover that our Business Advisory Solutions team has won RFPs for data forensics, CLM implementations, and transformation projects against some of the biggest consultancies, ALSPs and Big Four accounting firms." Interesting!
Longest Running Genetic Experiment: there's been a genetic study of selective breeding of corn going back to 1896 at University of Illinois, but those scientists only get 1 generation a year. A team at Michigan State has been running an experiment on E. coli that dates a mere 33 years...but E. coli advances 6 or 7 generations per day. This video describes how the study works, and what they've discovered over 74,500 generations (via Kottke.org - one of the most fascinating pages on the internet).
I'm booking a limited number of speaking engagements for 2022 (I speak to groups, as you might imagine, about law/innovation and creating organizational changes to embrace it). If you'd like me to come talk to your firm, department, or organization, please reach out and we can see if there's a fit.
It's free, but it's not cheap