A. Quote of the Week

The technology will be the prep cook for the chef who is the lawyer.” (Martin Tully)

B. Articles to Read

1. A Candid Discussion About Legal Operations

My Closing Remarks from CLOC's 2018 Institute (Mary O’Carroll, Head of Legal Operations at Google)

Key Quote:

“When I first got to Google, we didn’t have a good way of tracking our outside counsel spending, so we invested in building an outside counsel dashboard. This won us awards and a lot of attention. It helped us win “Most Innovative Dept of the Year”... that’s right… “Most Innovative.” In what other world does a dashboard that reports your budgets vs actuals somehow “innovative”?! Do you think a marketing department has ever won an award for having a means to track the spending on its marketing campaigns?” 

Why it Matters:

Times are changing when it comes to legal services delivery. In her closing remarks at CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium)’s 2018 Institute, Mary O’Carroll, the Head of Legal Operations at Google, reflected on how much progress has been made in legal operations over the past few years (and how low the bar was in the past), yet also how much more progress needs to be made. This article is definitely worth a read.

2. So How About Those Law Schools

What “Teaching Legal Tech” Could Mean (Ken Grady)

Key Quote:

We have three years to teach law students what they need to know to hit the streets “practice ready.” Some want to shrink that to two years, to save money and eliminate some law school boredom. Either way, we need to decide how to make the best use of the time a student spends in law school. Exposing them to tools like tech, project management, process improvement, and data analytics will help them as they learn how to manage matters.”

Why it Matters:

It’s pretty evident that the desired skillset for the modern lawyer is changing (albeit slowly). And it’s pretty well accepted that most law schools are not churning out practice-ready lawyers. So how best for law schools to teach these newer skills that are becoming key components of legal services delivery? As Ken Grady notes, in an ideal world, law schools will incorporate legal tech/project management/process improvement into existing law school courses, rather than creating new courses. But, as law firms have learned, altering the status quo is easier said than done.

3. It’s Not Just Law: Disruption in the Insurance Industry

Bionic Organization: Creating a Culture Where Humans and Machines Work Together (PwC)

Key Quote:

As insurers mainstream innovation, they will need to make cultural and operational changes. Those that are keen to adopt new core systems, AI and automated processes will flourish. Developing the necessary capabilities requires close collaboration between humans and machines.”

Why it Matters:

Replace ‘insurers’ with ‘law firms.’ Replace nothing else. And you’re talking about the legal industry. Despite the claims of many lawyers, law is not that unique. The legal industry is susceptible to the changing tides that are affecting nearly every other industry. Organizations that recognize the changing times and dedicate the appropriate resources will thrive; those that stick to the status quo may be in for a bumpy ride.