David Tollen

David Tollen is one of the industry’s leading authorities on software licensing and cloud computing agreements. He’s the author of The Tech Contracts Handbook, a best-selling manual on the subject from ABA Publishing. And he’s the founder of Sycamore Legal, P.C., an IP and IT boutique law firm in San Francisco. David also runs Tech Contracts Academy™, offering a variety of services and tools to help businesspeople and lawyers understand, negotiate, and draft tech contracts. David has a wealth of experience in the IT agreement space and is works to help individuals better understand what a technology contract is and isn’t and the differences between types of tech contracts.

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A Blog Update

When I started my blog, I thought that I was starting it for one clear goal. That goal was to provide a means for me to write about what I have learned from working most of my career in-house and working with contracts. However, as I began writing and sharing my own knowledge, it became clear that there was actually another goal I had in mind that wasn’t clear to me at the time. That goal was to learn about the changes impacting the legal industry and then to share what I have learned with others.

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Finding your way in legal tech

The legal world is one associated with many stereotypes like the image of an individual toiling away in a closed-door office reading pages and pages of documents long into the night with the phone ringing off the hook. Sadly, while the long hours have not yet gone away for many, the tools and processes that lawyers use to perform their work has. Technology has encouraged and sometimes forced upon us many of these changes.

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Data and the Law

The practice of law has, for a long time and, perhaps for some, blissfully existed in a what would appear to the outsider like a static world. The mere mention of change would send shivers down the spine of even the most hardened cutthroat big law firm partner. For those on the outside or the outskirts of the legal profession, whenever you had a problem involving a law, you simply called a lawyer and the lawyer was tasked with solving the problem. Few questions, if any, were asked. Even through the 20th century this remained by and large the way things were when it came to practice of law. 

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Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman is a well-known and very highly regarded expert in the area of internet law. He currently is a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. He also has worked as general counsel of an internet start-up and as a technology transactions attorney for a firm in Silicon Valley. I asked him about his thoughts on the relationship between the law and the internet, regulating the internet, and lawyers applying the law to the internet. 

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David Rueff

David Rueff has practiced law for more than 20 years. He also is a certified project manager through the Project Management Institute (PMP®) and is certified in the Toyota Manufacturing Production System (Lean). David leads a team of attorneys and project managers to implement project management for Baker Donelson clients, in-house corporate legal departments and disaster recovery programs. He was responsible for the development of the Firm’s patent pending legal project management model – BakerManage®, the Firm’s Lean model– BakerLean™ and the Firm’s proprietary budgeting tool – Budget Designer™. I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his project management expertise and how lawyers can apply project management to the practice of law. 

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Susan Lambreth

Susan Lambreth is a founding Principal at LawVision and the Founder of the LPM Institute.  She is nationally recognized as one of the top leadership, practice group and project management consultants for law firms. For over 25 years, she has helped law firms of all sizes improve their profitability and enhance their lawyers’ leadership and management skills. She is also the author or co-author of six leading books on practice group management and legal project management. 

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Matt Volm

I recently spoke with the CEO of an intriguing legal tech startup called Tali. Matt Volm describes himself as a recovering accountant, rookie fly fisherman, and technology entrepreneur with an MBA from the Berkeley – Haas School of Business. I love taking ideas from concept stage to execution and learning a whole lot along the way.”  Tali is a legal tech startup. Tali is a productivity assistant enabled by voice. Tali seeks to automate time entry for lawyers and other professionals. 

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Patrick Lamb

Patrick Lamb is a true legal innovator. He is a founding member of ElevateNext Law, a business law firm aligned with Elevate Services to build the future of legal services delivery. From maximizing the role of data analytics and project management to unparalleled efficiency and use of non-hourly pricing, ElevateNext is designed to be the “Amazon of law firms.” Prior to ElevateNext, he was a founding member of Valorem Law Group, a business litigation law firm. Valorem pioneered the use of Value Fees for business litigation, believing fees can be fixed and incentives created for any business dispute. Valorem was named by BTI Consulting as one of the 22 firms “Best at Delivering AFAs.” 

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Jordan Galvin

Jordan Galvin is a true innovator and someone who welcomes change and disruption. She is currently Fellow and Innovation Counsel at LegalRnD —The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University College of Law. She soon will be moving to Mayer Brown and taking on the role of Knowledge Management Resources Lead. 

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Professor Michael L. Bloom

Professor Michael L. Bloom is the founding director of the Transactional Lab & Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. The clinic is an experiential program giving students the opportunity to work on transactional matters for large multinational companies. Prof. Bloom is also the founder of Praktio, a provider of interactive, online learning games and exercises for developing practical contracts skills and knowhow. Praktio recently joined with two other training tools to form the Legal Launch Kit to help law students acquire the skills they now need to be effective in the rapidly changing law practice world. Professor Bloom is also the co-author of two books on contracts from a transactional perspective: Contracts and Commercial Transactions; and Contracts: A Transactional Approach, both published by Aspen.

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Sterling Miller

Sterling Miller is a highly experienced General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and in-house attorney. He is currently General Counsel of Marketo, a marketing automation firm. Sterling is also the author of the highly-regarded Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel blog and author of the book Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel: Practical Advice and Successful Strategies

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Adi Prakash

Adi Prakash is an experienced leader in the transformation space, having spent many years working with C-level organizational leaders defining and executing transformation initiatives spanning the gamut from Business Process Re-Engineering to Machine Learning and Analytics. His previous roles have included CTO and Head of Legal, eDiscovery & Corporate Responsibility technology at JP Morgan Chase, Head of Controls Functions technology at Och-Ziff Capital Management and Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Trade Surveillance Technology at UBS amongst others. He now is the Chief Innovation Officer for Yerra Solutions tasked with running their Global Client Services and Innovation division.

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Catherine Bamford

Catherine Bamford is in her words a “Legal Engineer.” She is working at the intersection of legal practice and legal technology helping both law firms and law departments improve the delivery of legal service through the smart application of legal technology. She is the co-founder and CEO of the legal tech consultancy firm BamLegal. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about her career path, her views of legal technology, and about her current work. 

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Gerald Glover III

Gerald Glover III  “discovered his passion for legal technology at Suffolk Law School while researching how to increase access to justice. After earning his degree, he went on to work at a company specializing in document automation, where he developed project management, data analytics, and software-building skills. Since joining DWT De Novo, he has sharpened the team’s ability to engage with and evaluate vendors. Gerald’s dedication to improving solution adoption supports DWT De Novo’s ongoing work to transform legal service delivery.” (https://denovo.dwt.com/gerald-glover/)

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Bruce MacEwen

I recently spoke with Bruce MacEwen to get his take on a number of issues facing the legal industry and the practice of law. Bruce MacEwen is a leader in the legal consultant industry, having published nearly 2,000 articles on topics relevant to the field. He also founded Adam Smith, Esq. in 2003. Bruce has also written several books including most recently Tomorrowland: Scenarios for law firms beyond the horizon (2017). 

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Chad Burton

Chad Burton is a former litigator and now a leader in the legal industry, especially in the areas of legal tech and developing new models of legal service delivery. As a big advocate of legal tech, he has been quoted in numerous publications and was named to the Fastcase 50 list of global legal innovators in 2014. As he puts it, Chad has “an unhealthy obsession with experimenting with the latest legal and productivity technologies. If there’s a possibility it can be leveraged to better practice and serve clients…” I spoke with him about his company, CuroLegal, his views on legal tech, and ideas about where the practice of law is heading over the next few years. 

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Professor Daniel Martin Katz

I had the pleasure of having a wide-ranging conversation with Professor Daniel Martin Katz. Professor Katz is a leader in the legal innovation and legal analytics space. He also is a leader in training lawyers to operate with 21st-century technology and systems and, to that point, is a strong proponent of teaching law from a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating science, math, and technology into the teaching of law. 

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Lucy Bassli

Lucy Bassli likely needs little introduction. For those who do not know her or her work, you should. She spent a little over 13 years at Microsoft, most recently as Assistant General Counsel, Legal Operations and Contracting. She made news recently by leaving that role to start her own business www.innolegalservices.com and to become Chief Legal Strategist at LawGeex. She is a renowned expert on contracting and what is now known as legal operations. She also has a clear and evident passion for “moving legal services into the modern era by focusing in legal department efficiencies, alternative legal service providers, metrics and data-driven process improvements.” She has spoken extensively on these topics and, on a personal note, she has been someone I have long admired. I had the pleasure of recently speaking with her about her work.

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