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Lawtomatic Newsletter Issue, #139

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​

  • Grand Re-Opening of the Office of Access to Justice: On Oct. 29, President Biden re-established the shuttered Office of Access to Justice as a standalone unit within the Justice Department. This is a small, but important, step toward helping millions of non-rich Americans get necessary support when facing serious civil legal crises (like eviction, family law matters, and consumer debt litigation). Molly McDonough has blogged about the opportunity ahead and created a list of priorities the Office might consider addressing.

  • LexConnect Directory: a common question for legal techies is “what technology should I be using for X?” There’s really no comprehensive source that helps us to understand the difference between matter management and document management, for instance, much less which tools perform these functions. Beyond that, many of the directories are, “pay to play,” meaning that providers have to pay a fee to list themselves, or users have to pay a fee to access the information, creating barriers to entry. LexConnext decided to do something about it by building on the good work of Yerra Solutions (now Elevate) to create this free community resource. They expect this will continue to grow as new providers list themselves and their community builds out the knowledge center (hat tip Stephanie Corey).

  • What Carries Over? Here's the transcript of a fascinating conversation among three of the most interesting legal futurists out there (Richard Susskind, Jonathan Zittrain, and moderated by David Wilkins) about post-Coronavirus law, online courts, and the future of justice.

  • LSAC Acquires IFLP: one of the coolest legal innovation programs in all of academia is the Institute for the Future of Law Practice, aka IFLP ("I-Flip"). From online training, to a bootcamp on legal innovation for legal interns, IFLP has been helping students prepare for, well, the future of law practice. And now, in a peanut butter meets chocolate moment (great individually, even better together), IFLP has been acquired by the Law School Admissions Council, aka LSAC. Those crusty old gatekeepers to law school admissions don't look so crusty with this move. LSAC has taken a more holistic approach to preparing people for a future in law, and in this post, LSAC's CEO, Kelly Testye, and IFLP Co-Founder, Bill Henderson, explain the "how" and "why" the two organizations are coming together.

  • Everyone is Wrong About the Metaverse: there's been a lot of chatter in the tech world about Facebook's announcement of the Metaverse (and their rebranding as Meta). Maybe the most interesting take I've heard was by Shaan Puri, who was an executive at Twitch and is now a podcaster and investor. The thread is here and posits that the metaverse envisions a time when our online identities are more important to us than our physical world identities. This has all sorts of interesting implications for society, and with law as a microcosm of society, could be some very interesting things for legal professionals, too: everything from how law firms market themselves, to how lawyers interact with courts (see also the Susskind, Zittrain, Wilkins convo above), to how damages are assessed in various cases.

  • 52! If you've ever shuffled a standard deck of playing cards, the odds are that the resulting order of the cards is totally unique. As in, never before done in human history. I had to watch this short TikTok twice to get my mind around it. Remarkable.

It's free, but it's not cheap


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