Law firms adapt notoriously slowly to the advance of technology. Firm libraries remained years after Westlaw and Lexis usurped print. Fax machines continued to whir after the advent of the PDF. The pyramid scheme of career advancement rolls on.
So it’s refreshing when law firms take the bull by the horns and seize on new technology. A few Biglaw firms have created smartphone apps as a new avenue for putting their work product in front of clients.
‘I’m excited because I can see my lawyer hasn’t slept in three days!’
Let the micromanagement begin! Clients always complained about bills, but over the last several years, clients elevated their complaints to outright micromanagement, objecting to “block billing” and refusing to pay for internal team meetings, even on massive projects.
I’ve said before that this billing regime saps lawyers of valuable efficiency. Not that lawyers are perfect, but constantly stopping to parse out billing for every individual task creates a bigger waste.
Now clients have a new technological tool to intrude upon the workday….
Ed. note: This column will be about entertainment, the law, and the intersection of those two things. If you know of a law-related personality you’d like to see interviewed here, please contact us.
Danzig here. So, we know a lot of lawyers are somewhat lovelorn and maybe even lonely — due to all those nights burning the midnight billable hour oil. And since apparently most attorneys are Jewish (this was news to me, but you learn something every day), what better way to combine those two factors into a new location-based mobile app for Jews looking for love?
That’s why this week Sam interviewed Luba Tolkachyov, the founder of Yenta, which so happens to fill that niche. Tolkachyov has recently been featured in the New York Post and Huffington Post.
Since we last mentioned the new Above the Law App, sponsored by WestlawNext, more than 3,500 of you have downloaded it. To everyone else, what the heck are you waiting for? Not many things in life are free, but our app is!
With the new app, you can now check Above the Law from anywhere you want. Trapped in a doc review dungeon? Check the ATL app. Bored at a deposition? Check the ATL app. Have no fear, because now you can spend your days reading the pages of Above the Law from the carefree comfort of your own wireless devices without your employer snooping on you.
Since we last mentioned the new Above the Law App, sponsored by Westlaw, 1,500 of you have downloaded the app. To the other 998,500 of you, what are you waiting for?
So far, we’ve gotten great feedback from partners around Biglaw.* They’ve said things like: “What’s an app?” and “How did you get into my office?”
But the ATL app isn’t just designed for partners who want to know how low they can keep bonuses this Christmas. Regular people can use it too. One third-year law student said, “I showed the app to my interviewer during OCI, and then we swapped stories about how helpful ATL is when we’re procrastinating.”**
* “Partners around Biglaw” may include homeless people within panhandling distance of the Lipstick Building.
** Obviously this quote is made up. The only 3Ls talking to interviewers on campus are the ones in violation of their restraining orders.
We have an app. Above the Law now has an app, exclusively sponsored by Westlaw. Turn up my symphony, turn up my symphony. Let’s drop the app link!
You can take a look at the Above the Law app in the iTunes store here. And if you have an Android, we’ve got an app for that, too.
You can now check Above the Law anywhere you want. On the beach. In the club. On a donkey in Mexico you are riding to get away from the bar exam. Obviously, we just want people to be able to access Above the Law from anywhere they want.
And if this helps you read Above the Law without your employer noticing, so much the better.
Thanks to all of our readers for your continued support.
* Stab your lawyer with a pencil once, shame on you. Stab him a second time, shame on me. Stab him a third time, they will strap you to your chair with a “stun cuff” so it doesn’t happen a fourth time. [Legal Blog Watch]
* A first-person account of why you don’t ever, ever want to end up in central booking. [The Crown]
* Telling opposing counsel you hope she “sleep[s] with the fishes” is mean and inappropriate. But on top of that, what the heck do you even stand to gain from saying that sort of thing? [Minneapolis StarTribune]
* If you want to complain about racial profiling at airports, there’s an app for that! [Prawfsblawg]
Since time immemorial (or at least since the advent of computers), PCs have ruled the law office technology world. As iPhones and iPads have become more popular, Apple products have begun encroaching on the PC’s long-standing dominance of the workplace.
But who would’ve thought that Apple would actually be taking over, even in the technophobic realm of law?
A new legal survey shows just how much attorneys love their Macs. Let’s look at the results, and maybe find some gift ideas for the holidays….
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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