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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #121

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​

  • Legalpioneer Chrome extension: the Law Sites Blog has a really interesting write-up on a a new extension for the Chrome browser that allows you to do research on thousands of legal tech products in a new way: "Say you are reading an article online about contract lifecycle management and want to know what companies offer products for that. A new extension for the Chrome browser puts the answer a click away. With the new Legalpioneer Chrome extension installed, highlight a word or phrase on any web page to search and explore a database of more than 5,500 worldwide technology businesses serving legal professionals and the law." Remarkable - I've tested it and it works as reported Plus, it's free. You can learn more at or download the extension via Chrome using this link.

  • The Hyperactive Hive Mind: Cal Newport has a new book out on the corrosive impact of constant chatter among colleagues on email and Slack, which harm both an organization's productivity and individual well-being. His diagnosis of the problem, and cure, are well summarized in this podcast interview with Ezra Klein. The conversation, of course, isn't specific to law firms or legal work...though from my experience, it is a particularly acute problem in the field, so worth a listen/read.

  • Interview with Paulette Brown: the "Law in Black and White" podcast has an excellent new interview with the former ABA President and Locke Lord partner, Paulette Brown. Her insights on race and gender in the legal profession are thought-provoking. The best take home for me, particularly in terms of organizational inclusion, is that you need a specific, defined strategy with measurable goals. I was also interested to hear her describe how an increasing number of clients are putting specific emphasis on the desire to have women and people of color handle their matters - a push that will hopefully promote more opportunity.

  • Upgrading LinkedIn profiles: I typically focus on fancy tools and technologies coming down the pike, but I'm also very interested in making better use of those that we all already have access to. LinkedIn is a perfect example, and this piece on Above the Law by Wendi Weiner on making your lawyer/legal professional profile better with a few straight-forward tweaks is helpful. If the name of the game for using LinkedIn is to be noticed, connect with peers, and be scouted...this seems like a slam dunk of an article to implement.

  • Patent Drop: every week, this free newsletter gives a summary of 3 new patents from big tech companies and a wider list of all patents from these companies. Totally fascinating to see about the ideas that are in the works - and a great way of getting a peek into the future before it’s been built and released.

  • Moon Disaster Deep Fake: it's well-known that the U.S. government had a contingency plan developed if the moon landing had been a disaster resulting in the death of the astronauts on the lunar lander. The plan included a speech that William Safire wrote for Nixon to deliver from the Oval Office to the grieving nation. Thankfully, executing that plan wasn't necessary...however, a team at MIT, using the newest in machine learning tools to create a "deep fake," have simulated an entire broadcast where a computerized Nixon (introduced by a computerized Walter Kronkite) delivers Safire's speech as it was written. It's eerie and disturbing and fascinating all at once. Check it out here.



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