Could a robot do your job?

Could a robot do your job?

That’s the question the ABC in collaboration with research house AlphaBeta have attempted to answer for every occupation in Australia, including solicitors.

Although I’d have to question some of the legal tasks they’ve identified as being easier to automate, what’s interesting is the comparison to other occupations, some of which I’d never thought could be automated.

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GC Launches Bootstrap Legal

Amy Wan is the former General Counsel of a real estate crowdfunding platform, Patch of Land, and a real estate securities attorney.

Her clients faced two common problems: #1 they needed their legal documents quickly and #2 the legal fees couldn’t be justified for smaller deals.

Her solution: use automation to help draft legal documents for small real estate projects up to $2 million.

Clients can now complete a form and receive a private placement memorandum (PPM) and other legal documents within 48 hours, signed off (for now I suspect) by Amy.

In her words:

“I didn’t understand why no one was automating the creation of PPMs… I felt like we could do it cheaper, faster and better.”

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How to Make Your Agile Legal Team a Success

How to Make Your Agile Legal Team a Success

If you’re an in-house lawyer or GC thinking about how to improve your team’s legal operations – here’s one for you.

Frances Dunn is Senior Legal Counsel at Netwealth Investments, and she’s been using the ‘agile methodology’ to manage her legal team's workload for the past 14 months.

And from what we’ve seen, she’s absolutely nailing it.

So we just couldn’t resist the urge to pick her brains and ask if she’d share what she’s learned with you.

We’re so glad she said yes.

Analytics for Your Legal Bills

Anyone who has pored over legal bills striking out time entries might appreciate this piece of kit.

After 2 years beta testing with banks and insurance companies, IBM Watson has released it’s Outside Counsel Insights engine into the wild (although I’m yet to actually find this elusive creature on the web).

So according to the PR folks, here’s what it does:

it reads “every single word of text in every single line item of every single legal bill” to “see very quickly where a firm had deviated from the spirit and letter of the [company’s billing] guidelines… no more hiding inefficiency in a dense mass of billing data.”

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Decompress, from Work

Here’s a great reminder from Progressive Legal Founder, Ian Aldridge on why we need to take regular breaks from work, come up for air and decompress.

In his words:

“In diving, they call it "off-gassing” - you take surface intervals between dives (and now and then a day or two off diving) to allow your body to process and expel the gas in your body and stress so that you can continue to dive. The same goes for business…"

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Set Yourself Free with Workflows

Here’s a fantastic, in depth interview exploring the challenges, time frames and the ultimate pay-offs you can expect by implementing workflows in your legal team.

Spoken from the perspective of two boutique law firms who’ve taken their obession with workflows and embarked on the long search for the holy grail, and found it:

“This is your path to freedom. This is how you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t want to do and that the client doesn’t want you to do.”

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The Fine Line of In-house Privilege

Some good news for in-house lawyers – you can wear several hats in your business (and have some skin in the game), and still be sufficiently independent to attract legal professional privilege.

But as Leneen Ford at Norton Gledhill notes, there are still a few steps you should take to avoid losing confidentiality of documents or communications.

Here’s her take on Associate Justice Daly’s view of the issue more broadly:

“at one end of the spectrum are lawyers who report to the general counsel in an autonomous legal department, whose contracts refer to the lawyers’ independence and who act without any regard to the business operations of the company. At the other end are in-house lawyers who also act as key decision-makers within the business. In many cases, in-house lawyers will fall somewhere between the two.”

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