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The Future of Legal

A Distinguished Panel of Legal Experts Talk Tech

A panel of top legal professionals speak to the exciting intersection of technology and the field of law, explaining how tech adoption can cut out busywork and enable lawyers to do more of the work they love.

Bahar Ansari

Founder and CEO, Case.One, Inc.

When and why were you first inspired to pursue a career in law? 

I have always been passionate about the law. I believe that education concerning understanding one’s rights and helping people protect those rights is fundamental to the advancement of society as a whole. That is why I am passionate about technology. To me, technology is a tool for attorneys to deliver their services in a faster, more cost-effective way. Technology makes lawyers and legal services more accessible in remote parts of the country or the world where those individuals would not otherwise have access to quality legal representation. Additionally, like any other industry, the more efficient the process and the service, the more cost savings on the part of the service provider, resulting in a lower price point for the end client. That means more time to take on even more clients, helping more people.

What brought you to your current position? 

I used to work for a mid-size law firm in Los Angeles as a litigation attorney where I handled a relatively large case-load. The lack of a proper case management system and a billing system made even the smallest tasks inefficient and time-consuming. Eventually, I left my job at that firm and started a small immigration law practice, with no case management or billing system. For a small size firm like mine, the options available in the market did not appear to be user-friendly and were somewhat pricey. I am not the most tech-savvy person, so I was looking for something straightforward, user-friendly and intuitive. During a conversation with a client of mine who is in the tech industry, I communicated my frustration. She connected me with a friend of hers, Alex Pelevin, who is a UX designer and who eventually became my co-founder. We then began working together to design and build a system with the needs of an everyday attorney as the end-user in mind. That is how emerged.

As a lawyer, you are not a data entry clerk. You should be able to rely on a program to automate your practice so you can focus on the legal matter at hand. A great program should provide you with the tools to forget the background part of managing a law practice, billing, calendaring, etc. by taking over that part for you. I think the benefit of having such system is invaluable to an attorney, and provides that piece of mind.

What are some examples of technology being implemented in law? How are these technologies bringing about change within the industry? 

Unlike many other major industries, the legal industry has seen a rise in implementing technology on a daily basis quite recently. It is almost impossible to find a law firm in the United States that fully automates all of their processes and organizes all of their work and records in a paperless format in a systematized approach. Many are still relying on basic office tools like Outlook calendar to organize all of their cases. Even though many have gotten away with using simple resources as such, we have noticed a common trend, which is the inability to scale and standardize their approach across a larger group of groups. One of the main reasons why this has been happening is the lack of communication between the legal technology providers and the end-user, in this case attorneys, paralegals, assistants, secretaries. Having identified this issue and concern amongst attorneys (and having gone through it myself), we have made the decision to develop all of our products solely based on customer and user feedback. This means that all of our products grow dynamically and change as the industries and the needs of our users do. That is one key piece that many forget when they speak about implementing technology in law, and that is, do you feel like your technology responds well to your needs?,, and do just that, and we are very proud to say that. Every month we reach out to our subscribers to collect their feedback and push out new updates and releases as often as every 2 to 4 weeks.

You will find a lot of panels and educational resources from the legal space that talk about implementing AI and machine learning to help issue decisions or create robot lawyers. The most popular words of the last two years have been artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and now chatbots. This is incredibly encouraging and points the industry in the right direction; however, it does not seem to tackle the core underlying issue, which is helping attorneys use technology to manage the overbearing workload that they deal with. That is where technology that focuses on innovating process automation comes into play. Technology like (Legal practice management software), (document assembly and generation), (search engine) and (intake chatbots) is what helps attorneys improve their day to day and allows them to start thinking about the bright future of AI in law. Most reports and trends show that the change has been coming about quite slowly, but with the more significant number of legal professionals trusting the cloud and cloud-based solutions (not just desktop applications) we are hoping that the legal industry will soon catch up with the financial and accounting sector.

Even though I believe AI and blockchain should not be the pivotal focus of the conversation when it comes to new technology in the legal industry, I strongly think that implementing innovative technology into features in software that help attorneys deal with familiar and routine daily tasks, timekeeping and deadlines, will actually push attorneys to adapting and welcoming new technology much faster.

How important is it for firms to have an online presence in today’s digital world? 

Having an online presence is crucial for any business’ survival in this age, that’s out of the question. The question is where to focus your online presence and what audiences to target. I believe that many law firms oversee the trends that are so important for the millennial generation. After all, it is the largest generation in history, and it will make up the majority of not only their client base but also their staff fairly soon. Millennials expect a presence on social media. They expect to have on-demand access to their information and any resources required at their fingertips. They want to be able to contact their law firm on Facebook or even Instagram. I know all of my clients expected that and used those tools, and more and more law firms face that challenge. Law firms should abandon the focus on a classic online presence that steers towards websites and focus on social media as well as educational mediums that will bring you a following and recognition — but most importantly trust. Going away from press releases to blogs is one step that law firms can take to adapting their only presence to fit the mark of the current digital landscape. Publishing short articles on LinkedIn, sharing insights on Facebook, those are the little attempts that a firm can take at building a marketable online presence. Having an up to date website with activity on it is not only crucial for attacking individual clients, but also corporate clients, where the makeup of the employees of the legal department is also changing and attracts rapidly young and fresh talent. The list of marks that a law firm (of all sizes) can make goes on: podcasts, online resource guides, webinars, articles, studies. There is plenty of domains and mediums that a firm can choose to implement to grow and establish their online presence.

What excites you about the future of legal technology? 

Everything. I think it is an exciting space because I do have to have a passion for changing how things have been done for decades — if not longer — and spreading awareness. I am very inspired by the power that technology can bring and by the opportunities that it can offer. There are currently solutions out there that can cut down something that attorneys would spend hours doing to just 10 minutes. is one of them. replaces the need of having to review hundreds of files and records for each case and allows you to find key facts and information in seconds. We were able to achieve that by offering blink-search technology with built-in OCR that essentially gives results to attorneys and milliseconds and lets them find any information right away. And that does not worry me like some individuals. On the contrary, it excites me, because I know that attorneys would rather spend those 3 to 5 hours on better preparing their cases, furthering their education, vacationing, seeing their kids or whatnot. I think the most inspiring part about legal technology is that it does not and will never replace attorneys, but it does create technology that can replace some of the labor that can be applied someplace else. Legal technology will empower them and elevate their work to the next level. That’s really the goal here. It is to create a space and solutions that are welcoming of different needs, tech savviness levels and expectations and marry a process with software. I also get very excited when I see individuals in various practice areas and firm sizes take that step and accept technology as their primary tool. In the legal industry, so much emphasis is placed on the attorney’s knowledge, analytical thinking and creative and logical problem solving that many forget about the small things that get in the way of attorneys’ ability to strive and pursue their cases with enthusiasm and zest that you come with to law school. I am a firm believer that legal technology can convert the legal profession from a tedious and high demanding process and paper-pushing job to an environment where attorneys have the time to pursue other ideas and become entrepreneurs. That is precisely why legal technology is that exciting and why we are ready to put in maximum effort towards spreading the word about it and promoting its implementation across all levels.

How are you helping implement tech into the industry? 

Existing solutions are costly and designed for ‘old-school’ attorneys. And there was no product on the market that would suit everybody from a young solo practitioner to a huge company’s law department in terms of money and usability. was launched as a cloud-based all-in-one legal technology solution that allows an attorney to work on collaborative litigation, exchange information, manage time and billing, create invoices and monitor ongoing tasks all within one simple platform from anywhere. Our primary goal is to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs, providing access from any device and any place. We have managed to achieve this goal, along with tools to automate mundane tasks of managing a legal practice.

Not long ago we announced the integration with Amazon’s Alexa. It enables lawyers to make entries and call up information within’s Legal practice management application. The functionality includes the ability to enter billing details, authorize users, find a case by name, add and search tasks, add and search events, and add and search notes, all using Alexa voice commands. Also, we just launched brand new products (a stand alone document assembly engine), (a document and knowledge management application) and (the first legal chatbot builder).

Another critical component of my mission to help make these changes is offering solutions at a price point that is scalable for businesses of all sizes, whether small and new or large and established. Our products are the only ones on this market that offer free unlimited users. That is really what we are known for. We could have charged users for user licenses, just like most of the software out there does, but we chose not to because we believe in our missions and core values of our platforms. To promote innovation, you have to breathe it and make it accessible. When an attorney has to worry about adding a license for a software (and many use more than one software solution) whenever they want to scale their business, we become genuinely concerned and offer them an option that removes this obstacle.

Arthur Luxenberg

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Weitz & Luxenberg

When and why were you first inspired to pursue a career in law? 

During my undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania and Yeshiva University, I became interested in the behind-the-scenes work that takes place before a lawsuit makes its way to the courtroom. I was fascinated by the complex process of building a successful complaint or defense. After I enrolled in law school, I saw becoming a lawyer as an opportunity to help people and fight for justice where it might otherwise go unserved. That is ultimately why I founded Weitz & Luxenberg with my partner Perry Weitz in 1986. We shared a belief that every client — especially the most vulnerable — deserves a lawyer who is compassionate, committed and prepared to fight for what is right. This belief has guided our work at Weitz & Luxenberg for more than three decades.

What brought you to your current position? 

Before founding Fastcase, I had a really fantastic job as a lawyer in a big Washington law firm, Covington & Burling. About half of my job was as a patent litigator, which meant translating the science behind some controversy to a judge who was likely an English major in college. The other half of my job was helping software companies understand how the world was going to regulate the early internet.

But one night in 1999, a very prominent client of the firm asked me to do online legal research, but they didn’t want to incur the high cost of legacy legal publishers. I looked for hours for an alternative way to access American law, but couldn’t find one. When I complained about it to my neighbor at the firm, we decided that the internet would transform information publishing, so we left our firm to democratize the law and make legal research smarter at Fastcase.

What are some examples of technology being implemented in law? How are these technologies bringing about change within the industry? 

: Digital technology has transformed all of our lives. For the legal field, which is typically one of the more conservative and change-adverse industries, it has given consumers a greater voice and more power to take action. Now more than ever before, consumers are driving cases and becoming powerful agents of change.

If you were concerned 20 years ago about the safety of your drinking water, where could you go to be heard? Your impact was largely dependent on word-of-mouth or a local media outlet picking up the story. Now, you can broadcast your own story with the click of a button and reach thousands — if not millions — of people overnight. That is why we’re seeing entire communities mobilized on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which are incredibly powerful tools. Communities are also using technology to crowdsource their own research, and as a result, are not solely dependent on health departments or state environmental agencies, for example, weighing in. They can speak out and demand action with more urgency. As lawyers, it’s critical that we recognize this change. We must appreciate the extent to which technology has empowered consumers and increased their demand for accountability, and we must rise to meet their needs.

How important is it for firms to have an online presence in today’s digital world? 

It’s essential. More and more, we’re seeing that clients are finding us from our website, on Facebook or through online advertising. Clients are using the internet to evaluate their options, which puts the onus on us to maintain a robust online presence that clearly communicates our values and successes.

However, on the other side, the internet favors those with a knowledge of SEO and digital marketing, which does not always benefit clients searching for quality representation. Potential clients can be drawn in by online advertising without realizing they are not even reaching a qualified attorney in some cases. Technology can make it easier to find an attorney, but it doesn’t replace the need to look at a firm’s track record, its areas of expertise and its courtroom experience.

What excites you about the future of legal technology? 

I’m excited to see how technology challenges us to become ever-more creative and strategic about our work. There is no doubt that we are just at the beginning of this transformation, but I’m confident that our guiding principles at Weitz & Luxenberg will enable us to leverage new technology in unique ways to provide the most benefit to our clients.

Nicole Black

Lawyer, Author and Legal Technology Evangelist,

When and why were you first inspired to pursue a career in law? 

I first considered becoming a lawyer while in high school. I was inspired by the career of one of my parents’ friends, Ed Menkin, a criminal defense attorney. His courtroom war stories were fascinating, and what really stood out to me was that he truly made a difference in his clients’ lives, which was something I admired. Then, in college I participated in a summer internship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse. That experience solidified my interest in attending law school so that I could become a lawyer and, as cliché as it might sound, make the world a better place.

What brought you to your current position? 

I began my legal career as an assistant public defender and then moved onto a private law firm where I was a civil litigator. However, throughout my life and legal career, I’ve always had an interest in technology.

For example, when I was in middle school I learned to code in BASIC so that I could program my family’s TRS-80 to play Pong, and in college I took a programming course and learned to code in Pascal. Then, in 1995, while studying for the bar exam, I taught myself HTML so that I could create a rudimentary website, and in 2002 I even designed a website using Dreamweaver software for the law firm for which I was employed at the time.

But it was in 2005 that my focus began to shift from practicing law to the intersection of law and technology. At that time, I decided to hang a virtual shingle and created a website for my newfound solo law practice. I also launched my legal blog, “Sui Generis,” and over time, began to write about the effects of technology on the legal industry. Soon I began to meet other like-minded lawyers, at first through my blogging efforts and then through social media. In 2007, I started to write a weekly legal technology column for the Daily Record, and from that column and my blogging efforts, book contracts followed. I co-authored “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier” with Carolyn Elefant, and I also wrote “Cloud Computing for Lawyers,” both of which were published by the American Bar Association.

Legal technology became my passion, with a focus on educating lawyers about using technology in their law practices. I spoke at conferences across the country and also covered the legal technology space as a journalist. While covering the Legaltech New York conference in 2012, I met with the founders of MyCase, and was so impressed with the software — especially its built-in client portal, which was ahead of its time — that I ultimately accepted a job with them.

I’ve been employed by MyCase as the Legal Technology Evangelist for nearly six years now, and it’s been so fulfilling to be able to continue with my passion — educating lawyers about using technology — all the while being part of the MyCase team as it grew from a small startup to a well-established, innovative software company that helps solve lawyers’ business problems by streamlining their law practices, reducing their administrative tasks and helping them get paid for their hard work. 

What are some examples of technology being implemented in law? How are these technologies bringing about change within the industry? 

Cloud-based legal software is a primary example of technology that has truly been a game-changer. With it, lawyers are able to run their law firms from any location, 24/7. Because cloud-based software is now widely available, it’s leveling the playing field by providing solo and small firm lawyers with affordable access to computing power that was once only accessible to large law firms.

Practically speaking, this means that with cloud-based online storage law firm documents and information are instantaneously accessible to lawyers from any internet-enabled device, whether they’re in court, on the road or working from home. MyCase customers often tell me that 24/7 access to their firm’s information is crucial to running their law firms in 2018, since that means that administrative tasks are automated and streamlined and can be accomplished from anywhere, whether it’s capturing billable time, invoicing clients or accepting credit card payments online. Another thing I hear often from lawyers who use MyCase is that they really appreciate the ability to easily communicate and collaborate with clients and colleagues in a secure, encrypted online environment.

Another emerging technology that has the potential to be as impactful to lawyers as cloud computing is artificial intelligence. New software tools are being rolled out that incorporate machine learning, and as they become more readily available, the legal profession will reap the benefits of having computers handle the more tedious aspects of practicing law, thus allowing lawyers to focus on more interesting, higher level analytical issues.

How important is it for firms to have an online presence in today’s digital world? 

For most lawyers, an online presence is a necessity in 2018. For a small number of lawyers who may already have a thriving practice in a niche area, the time investment to create and maintain an online presence simply may not be worth it. But those lawyers are undoubtedly in the minority.

Before the internet, legal marketing was a bit simpler, although oftentimes more costly. Yellow Page, park bench and billboard ads — along with radio and TV spots — were par for the course for some law firms. If lawyers wanted to reach a lot of people, those were their primary channels and none were cheap. The advent of online marketing changed everything. This is because the online world offers more than simply an online billboard for law firms — instead it offers multiple ways for lawyers to connect with other lawyers, referral sources and potential clients. The internet is a powerful platform that provides lawyers with tremendous reach, often at an affordable price — or even at no cost. Simply put, for most lawyers an effective online presence is a marketing necessity in 2018.

How is technology changing marketing for the legal industry? 

The internet and social media have affected marketing for all types of industries and the legal profession has not been immune from these changes. These days, legal consumers no longer are turning to the Yellow Pages to find a lawyer; instead, they run a search on Google. That’s why, for most lawyers, online marketing is an affordable way to reach potential clients and bring in business. Whether it’s law firm websites, social media channels or online lawyer directories, attorneys have more options than ever when it comes to marketing their law practices. Much like cloud computing, online marketing has leveled the playing field in many respects.

What advice would you give to small law firms that may be feeling the pressure as the industry is shifting? 

The world may be changing, but rest assured, some of those changes provide solo and small firm lawyers with incredible opportunities. Certainly, technology is a primary impetus behind the change, but it’s also the great leveler. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of all that technology offers to position your law firm for success.

For example, there are now available powerful — and affordable — technology tools to help lawyers practice law and provide their clients with the best possible legal representation. Whether it’s contract analysis software or online legal research platforms, there are a host of tools designed for the law practice needs of solo and small firm attorneys.

Likewise, technology also helps lawyers manage the business side of their law practices more effectively and efficiently. With cloud-based legal software, small law firms have access to affordable, powerful computing platforms that provide them with 24/7 access to their law firm’s data. Lawyers are able to instantaneously access documents and case-related information, capture billable time on the go, send invoices and accept client payments online, and streamline law firm and client communication. This levels the playing field, allowing competition with larger firms in ways never before possible.

In other words, the times may be changing, but if small firm lawyers make the most of those changes and strategically incorporate technological advancements into their law practices, they’’ll no doubt succeed — and profit — in the years to come.

Robert Weiss

Partner, Neal Gerber Eisenberg and President, ITechLaw

When and why were you first inspired to pursue a career in law?

In college, I discovered that writing and arguing were two very fulfilling, and even pleasurable, activities for me. I really enjoyed, too, delving into the nuances of a position or point of view and advocating for the position or point of view. I realized that these affinities come together very nicely in the field of law, so I determined to pursue a career as a lawyer.

What brought you to your current position? 

In the beginnings of my career, I practiced as a general corporate and securities lawyer, working for a law firm on Wall Street. I then decided to return to the Midwest, where I have roots, and had the opportunity to join a boutique law firm that focused exclusively on software-related transactions and disputes, and the IT industry. That firm was too narrowly focused and struggled in the face of the tech boom and bust cycle of the early 2000s, so we all dispersed, and some of us landed at my present law firm, Neal Gerber Eisenberg, a larger, full service firm based in Chicago. I now head up the technology transactions practice group at Neal Gerber.

Also, regarding my career, for a long time, I have been involved with the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw), a not-for-profit that is the leading global organization for legal professionals focused on technology and the law. I was a member of the Board of Directors of ItechLaw for a number of years and am currently serving as president of the organization.

What are some examples of technology being implemented in law? How are these technologies bringing about change within the industry? 

There is a lot of development activity in this realm, and a variety of technology products directed to the legal market are now commercially available. Some examples are:

Machine learning-based software tools and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled applications are being used by law firms in connection with the conduct of due diligence in corporate transactions, to speed and facilitate the review of documents. Such software tools and applications for document review serve to automate functions like tracking consent to assignment requirements in contracts. [Tracking such consent requirements is an important element of due diligence in M&A transactions.]

AI systems that quickly sift, index and summarize a multitude of documents, which can be very useful in litigation (and the discovery process, in particular). Software programs that can be taught to identify important or relevant information in contracts (such as expiration dates, renewal notice requirements or warranties) and automatically compare such provisions in different contracts. AI applications that support an attorney’s record keeping and filing process — such applications can sift through a lawyer’s email inbox and automatically segregate and file all emails into the appropriate client file. In addition, many law firms have adopted cloud-based data hosting and document management systems, allowing lawyers to work remotely and collaboratively. This, though, brings with it new security and confidentiality risks that have to be assessed and mitigated.

I think, in general, that technological developments are likely to supplement rather than replace the services of lawyers. The above-described technologies will reduce the rote work and drudgery that have long been a part of many lawyers’ jobs, and free up their time to focus on strategic thinking and analysis. Also, some of the new tools promote efficiency and enable attorneys to better estimate the cost of discrete projects or tasks. This, in turn, allows lawyers to provide clients with more certainty about cost and opens up more possibilities for offering clients fixed fee engagements and other alternative fee arrangements.

How important is it for firms to have an online presence in today’s digital world? 

I think it’s critical for firms to maintain an online presence. Branding and visual identity is very important to the younger generation, who live their whole lives online. A website is among a law firm’s most important visual assets and branding platforms. A law firm’s online identity takes on even more importance given how many people access the web via a mobile phone or tablet device. Emailed newsletters and client alerts are valuable. We have gotten a lot of good feedback from clients that they appreciate such information. Most law firms have discovered, also, that it is very important to participate in social media. But it should be noted that while having an online social media presence can be a good marketing channel for attorneys, it does bring some risk, too. Social media posts or blog posts can be considerably more casual and offhand than the type of content that a lawyer would normally put in a letter or memorandum, and such postings do not often undergo the vetting that they should. For example, some lawyers have been the subject of official complaints and proceedings for allegedly violating state ethics rules for such things as criticizing a judge online and improperly disclosing confidential client information on a blog posting.

What excites you about the future of legal technology? 

As the amount of data that we have to deal with continually grows, it is becoming beyond human capacity to digest it all. I am excited by the prospect of technology advances removing some of the tedious aspects of being a lawyer. I expect that technologic developments directed to the legal profession will free us up to spend more time engaged in a wide range of activities, including thinking strategically, innovating new solutions for clients, honing our writing, learning more about the clients’ businesses and developing creative and mutually beneficial pricing proposals to accommodate the increasing need on the part of clients for cost certainty and budgetary control.

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