Legal Technology for Small Law Firms - Strategist
Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Legal Technology Category

Sure, attorneys aren't the biggest early adopters of new technology. You won't find many esquires who are well-versed in artificial intelligence or nano-architecture, for example. But it turns out that we're also terrible at technology basics. The Legal Tech Assessment, a program developed to test attorneys' skill at simple office tasks like redacting information from PDFs, has proven time and again that lawyers often fail at basic law practice technology, wasting time and client money.

In the 14 months that the LTA has been around, no firm has had all of its attorneys pass the tech test -- until now. The boutique business law firm, Keesal, Young and Logan, has become the first firm ever to have all of its lawyers pass the assessment.

You follow a judge on Twitter. (There's plenty of them to be found.) He tweets about life on the bench. You tweet about cats and the occasional courtroom victory. The judge even retweets you on occasion.

If this tweeting takes place while you have a case pending before said judge, have you both engaged in ex parte communication or created the appearance of bias? At least one Ninth Circuit appellant thinks so.

When it comes to law and technology, if you throw a rock, you'll hit someone claiming that legal tech is about to revolutionize practice. But it's not just Big Data and virtual paralegals that are changing how things are done.

Even in DUI defense, new technology is amplifying attorney resources and reshaping the balance of power in discovery, especially when it comes to video footage and audio recordings.

Inmate Calls to Lawyers Are Taped, Hacker Reveals

A massive trove of inmate conversations was hacked and extracted out of Securus Technologies, a leading provider of jail and prison phone services, raising deep questions about privacy and constitutional protections. The hack reveals that Securus had also been recording attorney-client communications, a potential violation of constitutional rights.

The revelation has been described by one ACLU director as the "most massive breach of attorney-client privilege[d communications] in modern U.S. history."

Where to List Your Law Firm Online

Ah, the Yellow Pages. Even millennials might remember this vaguely comforting tome of a book. Did you know that the Yellow Pages continues to live on in the world of online directories?

Although it sounds crazy, law firms might want to consider updating their listings in the Yellow Pages online directory. Even though people tend to default to Google or Bing these days, online business directories are relevant to the health of your firm.

FindLaw Ranks as Top Directory for Personal Injury Lawyers

What's the top online directory for personal injury lawyers? In terms of Google's traffic rankings, FindLaw comes out on top. That's according to the findings of Dan Weeks at Lawyer Marketing Score, who gathered the Google traffic from five major cities.

Although we weren't  surprised to find that we came out on top in this study, we were surprised by a few other pieces of information that were reported. Also, this is a good chance to reflect on the (terrifying) power and Google's algorithms.

Code the Deal, UCLA: Legal Hackathons Innovate With Tech

Today is the start of the Code the Deal Hackathon hosted by the UCLA School of Law. Code the Deal LA is the second such event produced by Legal Hackers, which brings together lawyers, developers, professionals, and geeks all around.

Law and geeks. Doesn't that sound like fun? It's a matter of personal taste.

There's no need to pore through newspapers for the day's best news. You don't even have to scour the web or check your bookmarks. Newsletters -- that's right, newsletters -- save you time and effort by bringing a curated collection of the best, most relevant news right to your inbox.

There's no place better to get your newsletters than from the Internet's #1 site for free legal information. FindLaw has 41 different newsletters for legal professionals. There's a newsletter for your every need, from "Cool Jobs" -- no lame ones! -- to immigration case summaries, to developments in environmental law. Out of all those, here's a handful we think all legal professionals could use:

Conflicts of interest can be a major roadblock in your legal practice. Sure, they limit the amount of clients you can represent (a generally good idea), but they also can create major ethics headaches. Which is, of course, why you have screening procedures -- and screening software.

But not all conflicts screening programs are a fit for every firm. Whether you use legal management software or a simple spreadsheet depends on a host of factors, from the size of your practice to the types of clients you handle. With a little work, though, you can find the perfect Goldilocks software -- one that's not too complicated, not too cheap, but just right for your firm.

The federal Judiciary Conference is looking to bring the Federal Rules of Evidence into the 21st century. The Ancient Documents Rule is on the chopping block and likely to get the axe.

At the same time, the Conference is looking to make the introduction of electronic documents even easier, adding them to the list of self-authenticating documents under Rule 902. If the changes are adopted, you would no longer need to bring a witness in to court in order to authenticate electronic documents.