Artificial Intelligence: the number one topic for discussion among my lawyers when we ask them about future and current trends in the legal industry. Or as they like to refer to it, “technology.”

While a few people are still talking about it like it’s something that’s going to happen or will affect us in the future, the majority have accepted that AI is already here. Whether they’ve adopted certain pieces of it (see this discussion we had earlier in 2017 on AI), or they’re still trying to figure out what it means for their firm, there are some standard questions and ideas that law firms, lawyers, and other legal professionals should become comfortable with, if you’re not already.

To aid in this process, the Legal Marketing Association has been providing some additional resources on AI, and brought together some of the top minds in LMA to host a Twitter chat last week on the “Next Big Thing: Artificial Intelligence.” While I’d argue that it’s more just “The Big Thing” since it’s already here and being adopted by firms, and more importantly, their clients, the discussion was a robust one, with some excellent food for thought. The following is my summary of the discussion. 
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence: What Law Firms Need to Know

alex-knight-199368For many of us in the legal industry, a hot topic of the moment is artificial intelligence – less because we’re actively using it, and more because we know we need to understand it, at least enough to be able to speak about it intelligently with lawyers, colleagues and clients. AI is not new, and once again, legal is one of the industries that’s lagging behind – but you know what that means: it’s rife with opportunity.

With that in mind, a large group of us packed into a conference room at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference to hear a panel of experts talk to us about how AI is changing the practice and marketing of legal services. Before we dive into my recap of the session, though, a little homework for you – head over to Jordan Furlong’s post on Getting Over Technology, and continue to look to him as a resource. The key thing that Jordan says, and underpinned the comments of the panelists at LMA is:

The truest observation ever made about technology remains this one from American computer scientist Alan Kay: ‘Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.’ British author and technophile Douglas Adams famously expanded on Kay’s comment: ‘Anything that’s in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented when you’re between 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.’

These two quotations should be borne in mind anytime you start talking about technology in law firms. Law firms are stuffed to the rafters with technology, and always have been.”

So basically, no, Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling (my friend, Lance Godard, agrees, even in the face of JP Morgan’s COIN announcement). But AI is here, the pace of change is FAST, and the time for opportunity is now. 
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence: Changing the Practice and Marketing of Legal Services