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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #135

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​

  • Productizing Legal Work: Forgive the self-promotion, but I've got a new textbook for law students (that doubles as a book for legal professionals)! For millions of people, creating an estate plan no longer involves a high-priced attorney. Instead, they can log into LegalZoom and get the job done for a fraction of the cost. The same goes for filing a tax return: no need for a CPA, TurboTax can do it for you! At the heart of these tools is a technique for converting work that has traditionally been done by a professional for a limited number of clients to work that can be shared, licensed or sold to a much wider audience. People create productized services in order to help more people and create new revenue streams. Consumers, in turn, get access to valuable services at lower cost. While creating productized services was once challenging and expensive, a new generation of facilitating tools enable any enterprising person - including law students and lawyers - to productize services with greater ease than ever before. This book unpacks the concept and impact of productizing services and provides a step-by-step introduction to the process of productizing legal work. It's available as a physical book or eBook on the Wolters Kluwer website, Amazon, or about anywhere else you might buy a book.

  • Clio Announces Finalists for its Launch//Code Developer Contest: There are over 200 apps that integrate with the Clio case management system, which allows Clio, in turn, to serve all sorts of needs for law firms from all sorts of niches. To encourage more cool tools to come into their ecosystem, Clio is offering a $100,000 prize for a tool that pairs with their system. They have now announced the 5 finalists, and will announce the winner at their annual conference next month. Read up on each of them here - inspiring stuff. I haven't been lucky enough to use all of them, but I can attest to the excellence of LawDroid, which has done remarkable work during the pandemic to keep important parts of the legal system functioning.

  • Why User Interface and User Experience Matter to Legal Tech Adoption: This interview with Nicole Bradick of Theory & Principle, and Andy Wishart at Agiloft, is a case study in legal tech collaboration. It's fascinating and valuable to hear about why contract lifecycle management company would invest in changing its product to be more user-friendly. Plus, I go way back with Nicole (she's guest lectured at Suffolk Law so many times that she's one punchcard punch away from earning Suffolk Law sweatshirt) and the work she's done over the years has been terrific.

  • The Disruption of Legal Services is Here: Goulston & Storrs's John Arsneault illustrates how the influx of funding into legaltech companies is accelerating the disruption of legal services (hat tip to Nate Schorr of the Legal Tech Fund for this one. The Nate's News newsletter is among my favorites).

  • GCF Learn Free: I try to spend a few minutes a day learning new skills, and lately that time has been devoted to Excel. There are a zillion options for courses one might take to do so. In the past, I've enjoyed LinkedIn Learning content. They've got tons on Excel and many other things, but I wanted to try something different. Turns out that the charitable organization, Goodwill, has its own learning platform to help people improve their lives and professional prospects. The Excel content - as well as content in other tech-related areas - is excellent. As the name suggests, it's all free, though I'm sure they'd appreciate your tax deductible donation.

  • Gravity Points: Need a 5 minute distraction? I've got just the thing. Gravity Points is a website that simulates the effect of gravity by allowing you to create small gravity centers across your screen. Then, even smaller floating objects will flock to these gravity centers and orbit them. The more gravity centers you plot, the more these forces will start to compete, making your screen all the more chaotic. The gravity points ultimately absorb one another to create a black hole. I'm sure there's some deeper philosophical point to be made here about order and entropy, but I just think it's a fun distraction.


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