Technologist - FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog


Future Legal Jobs That Will Replace Traditional Lawyer Roles

Lawyers are beginning to worry that the legal tech wave will render many law jobs obsolete. One thing is for sure: mundane tasks like demand letters are already on their way to the computers. So what tasks will be left for humans? And what future jobs will lawyers likely be holding?

To maintain job security these days, it's all about adaptation.

New Black Hat Cybersecurity Buzzwords

In the pithy words of Monzy Merza at TechCrunch, the annual Black Hat briefings are an opportunity for the hoi-polloi "to drink from the firehose." While the lions' share of know-how and information will no doubt be devoured and processed by the brainiest of cybersecurity experts and hackers, the rest of us must play the part of vultures -- eating the scraps.

And that assumes we can digest what's left. Blink, and some new threat is already out there on the internet threatening your data and network. Here we'll discuss some of the recurring terms that featured at this year's Black Hat briefing.

If you’re looking to modernize the way you schedule appointments, you might want to check out Microsoft Bookings. The new Office 360 application out of Redmond lets you schedule and manage appointments online. Bookings eliminates the need for clients to call in to schedule a check-in, or to ping pong emails back and forth to set up a time to confer with opposing counsel.

The way Bookings works is not so different from how you might schedule a haircut, doctor’s appointment, or dinner reservation these days — online and fairly seamlessly. Could it work for a law firm?

The Ultimate Impact of Sex Robots

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Technology continues to advance to help humans in so many countless ways. And now we are getting to the point that we are not simply dealing with cold machines, but we are dealing with features and contraptions that are becoming quite human.

For example, we can talk to Siri on our Apple devices, and a human voice, programed to our liking by gender and accent, will talk back to us. And when we call all sorts of businesses, we are guided through various prompts by a human voice that is powered by voice activation software. Who knows, is it possible that some people can become smitten by these voices, like the protagonist in the movie "Her"?

Who Owns the Creation of an Artificial Intelligence?

This question is becoming increasingly relevant every day: who owns the product of an artificial intelligence?

Why, the owner of the machine, of course. But is that answer really quite so obvious? After all, who owns the machine if the machine itself is difficult to define? And even more curious, can an intelligence be owned? And should it?

It's back to the drawing board for Uber and thousands of its drivers. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen rejected a proposed settlement between the two yesterday, saying that the agreement falls short of what is "fair, adequate, and reasonable."

The drivers' class action lawsuit alleges that Uber had misclassified its drivers in California and Massachusetts as independent contractors, instead of employees, denying them the protections of state and federal labor laws. The settlement left the question of the drivers status unanswered, in exchange for a potential $100 million payout and some small changes to Uber policy. Chen's rejection of the settlement is a significant blow to Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney representing the drivers, who has been criticized for allegedly selling the Uber drivers short.

Looking to spur some innovation in your legal practice? Maybe it's time to take some advice from Matt Homann, founder of Invisible Girlfriend, an actual, real-life company that offers a digital version of a real girlfriend "without the baggage." (Don't worry, there's an Invisible Boyfriend service too.)

What's the founder of a sort-of-sad fake girlfriend company know about the law? Well, before he was creating digital fauxmance, Homann was a solo practitioner, and he's dedicated years to thinking about innovation and the law. Homann recently spoke to the Atlanta Association of Legal Administrators about innovation in law firms, and some of his ideas seem worth considering.

Wearable Tech Is a Security Nightmare

As time goes on, technology has not only assumed a larger role in the layman's life, but in the lawyer's as well. Today, wearable tech is all the rage -- and whenever something is all the rage, that's when professionals should let cooler heads take the lead. Because any sane-minded professional should realize that wearable tech presents an enormous security risk.

Are Your Note-Taking Apps a Security Risk?

Note-taking apps are part of the recent trend of enabling people to document every aspect of their lives for posterity and future use. Everyone knows that with convenience comes diminished security. But what steps do you need to take to ensure your day-to-day musings aren't being hacked?

LinkedIn, the Facebook for resumes, has filed suit in the Northern District of California against 100 unnamed individuals accused of using bots to scrape information from its website. The suit accuses the Doe defendants of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal anti-hacking law.

The lawsuit comes just barely a month after the Ninth Circuit expanded the reach of the CFAA, ruling in two cases that the CFAA could criminalize unauthorized password sharing and could impose civil liability for misusing a social network. The LinkedIn suit, though, could seek to push the reach of the CFAA even further.