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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #130

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

  • 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​

  • My New Favorite Sports League: I was ecstatic to see that there's going to be a No Code Sports League, as reported by Artificial Lawyer. It's the creation of Houman Shadab, a Professor at New York Law School and director of its Innovation Center for Law and Technology. Basically, the league will have live competitions where ‘no-code athletes‘ compete head-to-head by developing apps and solutions in real time. I can't wait to watch this, and perhaps coach a team (or compete!). Plus, the trash-talking (and learning) opportunities will be amazing. I've used the streaming platform, Twitch, to watch coders write programs in Python and to listen to them talk through what they're doing, and this is something that sounds like it captures the best of that, while being something directly relevant to legal professions.

  • Speaking of Competition...did you hear about Afterpattern's Legal Production Competition?: the team at Afterpattern (formerly known as are holding a legal product competition. I have no formal affiliation with this company, but it's a terrific product that I teach my students. In a nutshell, it's a contest that any law firm, company, or law student in the United States can participate in, and all they have to do to do so is submit a form telling them about their idea for an online legal product (think: an online form that automates a legal document, a bot that provides court information). The winner is awarded $5,000, a year subscription to Afterpattern, and 20 hours of tutoring on how to use our platform.

  • ​Interested in Launching an Academic Law & Tech Center? Available 5/19 at 2p ET? Along with some really terrific academic legal tech folks (April Dawson (NCCU), Jeff Ward (Duke), Nicole Morris (Emory), and Laura Norris (Santa Clara)), I'll be participating in a webinar on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 2:00 – 3:15 PM ET on the topic sponsored by the AALS Section on Tech, Law, and Legal Ed. So, if you want info on the structure and development of these centers, or advice if you're considering opening one, this should be time well-spent. You can register here. It's free and you needn't be a AALS member.

  • Business Models Brainstorm: I was thinking about the different ways law firms make money this week (billable hour, contingent fee, flat fee, etc., etc.), and read this article from Harvard Business Review in an effort to get a sense about all the other business models that are out there. Then I tried an interesting thought experiment that I wanted to share. I started asking myself how a law firm [or substitute your organization of choice] would make money if forced to try to do something randomly chosen from the list. Several of my results were ridiculous, but one in every two or three at least seemed to have a kernel of potential. Worthy trying.

  • Dechert/IDEO Collaboration:IDEO is the biggest name out there in design field so it was cool to see the announcement that they're now collaborating with Dechert on a legal innovation program. 40 people – a mix of lawyers and business services professionals – will participate in the inaugural session, which will run from June to November. It's a fairly significant time commitment, with 48 hours of classroom instruction, plus an equal amount of time spent on independent work, nearly 100 hours total.

  • Salem Stop Light Cam: the City of Salem, Massachusetts is well-known for the Witch Trials and as a hub for Halloween enthusiasts. But what about as a world capital of traffic violations? Turns out that there's an intersection in town where almost no one ever actually stops at the stop sign. Why is this relevant? Because there's now a Stop Sign Cam that streams 24/7 live footage where you can watch people blow the sign. And more than that, there's a dedicated community of others - more than 275,000 have signed up reports the Boston Globe - who will join you and critique the drivers using Twitch's chat feature that runs next to the video.



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