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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #117

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

  • For law students who want to retain more of what they study (2-4x as much vs cramming) and save time (50% less time vs. cramming), the science of spaced repetition is for you. 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.  More than 15,000 users spread across every law school in the U.S.

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

  • AI for Lawyers: I've just received my copy of AI for Lawyers, by Noah Waisberg and Dr. Alexander Hudek of Kira Systems. It's terrific. It explores how AI is adding value, improving expertise, and opening up doors for new legal careers. It's written in a way that is simultaneously accessible to people who haven't thought about these issues deeply, and satisfying to those who have. Here's a link on Amazon, which includes a free excerpt if you click the "look inside" button.

  • Lawyers, Tech + the Means of Legal Production: I always like pieces that give me a wholly new perspective, and the Artificial Lawyer has a good one this week. In this piece, he identifies all the inputs that go into making something in the legal sector ( e.g. a contract, or completing a legal work process like a due diligence review). He considers the combination of people, methods and technology that accomplish this, and describes how these relationships are shifting.

  • Vote for ABA Startup Alley Finalists by Friday, 2/12/21: You can help pick the legal technology startups that will be selected for the fifth-annual Startup Alley at ABA Techshow 2021. Even if you miss the deadline or don't care to vote, it's worth visiting the Law Sites Blog summary of the entrants. Some really inspiring ideas!

  • Strategies for High-Quality Legal Software: I'm very interested in using technology to scale legal services (in fact, I've got a book under contract on a related topic, productization of legal services! More to follow later this year.). A key part of many of these projects is having a strong process in place for developing the software, and in this Legal Evolution blog post, Kenneth Jones (CTO of Tanenbaum Keale LLP and Xerdict Group LLC) and Matthew Jones lay out several key drivers of quality in legal technology. The piece includes tips on how to best develop software, the value of common legal standards, how to best take advantage of legal marketplaces, and options for deploying individual legal applications in the cloud.

  • Justin Kan Reflects: when legal tech company Atrium failed (in spite of $75m in VC funding) and a quasi-celebrity CEO in Justin Kan, responses ranged from sadness, to shock, to schadenfreude. Earlier this year, Kan shared his candid take on what went wrong and what lessons he learned from the experience. I thought this was interesting not just because of the post-mortem, but also because it's interesting to hear from an experienced Silicon Valley player discuss his foray into legal tech. Summary with links here.

  • “I’m not a cat”: if you haven’t seen it yet, allow me to have the honors of sharing it with you. So long Bernie’s mittens, welcome “I’m not a cat” lawyer. Clip and story here. And, because I feel like *lots* of people are being emailed this clip, I want to offer a lagniappe upon the lagniappe with one other item: this demonstration of how patterns and fractals emerge in random sequences is mesmerizing.



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