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The blockchain is the technology behind "cryptocurrencies" like Bitcoin and it could quickly make its way into the legal tech sphere. No, don't worry, blockchains aren't another "robots will replace lawyers" fad. Nor are they another way to ease your eDiscovery woes.

Instead, blockchains are being touted as a way to aid encryption and authentication in legal documents and within firms. And that could have a significant impact on how you actually practice law.

If you've seen video of self-driving cars cruising through the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco and it slightly terrified you, you weren't alone. Self-driving cars still struggle with things like rain. Can they really handle Bay Area bikers or New York pedestrians?

But whether you fear or love self-driving cars, they're probably here to stay. And now if they stay, they'll be both supported and regulated by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that the government will be investing nearly $4 billion in test projects and creation new regulations for autonomous cars that could be in place within six months.

What Will 2016 Bring to the Legal Industry?

Will this be the year lawyers are replaced by computers? Are law firm destined to be attacked by hackers in 2016? We hope not!

In the spirit of camaraderie, we feel it's our obligation to highlight some of the most likely legal predictions for 2016.

Law Firms Generate Huge Business for IT Companies

Professions that revolve around providing services generally plan to increase their spend on Information Technology in the coming year, according to new research by CompTIA.

Among the industries included in the study are law firms who joined the burgeoning group of professional services sectors that have opted for a more direct management style of the IT in their businesses.

Federal Drone Regulations Die Before Takeoff

Last month, we wrote about the government's mandatory registration of all civilian drones -- and the groaning that ensued. Now, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation penned a document announcing plans to solicit public comments and suggestions in a soft-power campaign to make sure all hobbyists register their drones so they can be traced.

Submissions for the public comment have already ended. But has any federal program regulating drones actually taken flight?

Most attorneys aren't exactly early adopters of new technology. Plenty of us don't rush to install the newest software when it comes out. (I know a few lawyers who would still use MS DOS if the world would allow them.) But, those of us who are slow to update might be forced to soon.

If you're still using an outdated operating system, Chrome is about to kick you off -- which is great news. There's no better time to update your aging software than today.

5 Tips for Hiring a Legal Tech Consultant

Don't fight the technology: master it. Or get someone who is a master to the job for you.

Small firms are depending on technology more and more to help them keep their business running smoothly. We've previously written about considering a social media dashboard to help you manage the social media accounts associated with your firm, so we're squarely in the camp that technology is your friend.

But you're lawyers Many of you might not have the necessary skills to handle a major tech crisis. And even if you did, we hope you're so busy with clients that you can hire a technology consultant instead. Here are a few suggestions for hiring the right consultant for your legal tech needs.

Harvard, not content to be the world's premier owner of books bound in human flesh, wants to unleash its giant law library on the world. The university announced this week that it will be digitizing its massive law library in order to create a complete, searchable database.

Oh, and it will be free. Suck it, Lexis and Westlaw, says Harvard. (Westlaw, of course, is a valued legal resource and sister company to FindLaw. We wish them only the best.)

Are you supplementing your legal practice by selling Amazon reviews for $5 each? It might be time to find a new side gig, before you get sued.

The online retailer filed a complaint in Seattle court last Friday, suing 1,114 John Does for breach of contract and unfair trade practices. The Does are accused of selling fake Amazon reviews for $5 and up on the website Fiverr.

No Longer a 'Toy': Feds Require Drone Registration

If you're the owner of one of the 1 million drones out there in the United States, get ready to have another one of your vehicles registered with the US Government.

The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Association announced yesterday that they would require drones to be registered -- ostensibly to promote safer, friendlier skies.