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Good writing is often simple writing. That maxim works as well for legal writing as it does for 'The Old Man and the Sea.' But as lawyers, it's easy to let simplicity get lost under a pile of legal complexities, terms of art, and subordinate clause after subordinate clause.

In the process, your writing can sometimes become almost unreadable, even to other lawyers. Thankfully, there are a few ways to quickly and simply check your work's readability -- and to fix it up if it's becoming a bit too complex.

How can you spot emerging trends in legal technology? You could look at the companies that successful startup accelerators are supporting, like Y Combinator's recent support for a "Turbotax for Immigration." Or you can look at public collaborations, like that between Harvard Law School and the legal research startup Ravel Law. Or look at the tech law firms themselves are using, like the few big firms who've started to employ artificial intelligence.

Or you can look at where the talent is going. Legaltech News's Ricci Dipshan recently did the latter, identifying four legal tech trends as evidenced by recent hires.

Despair, misery, ceaselessly changing puzzles, and constantly impending doom. No, it's not your first year as a new associate, or even the next season of 'Game of Thrones.'

It's Vidar, a role playing computer game "where everyone dies." And it sprang from the mind of Dean Razavi, who, until just a few weeks ago, was working as a litigation attorney for Katten Muchin Rosenman. "Razavi always knew he would be a lawyer," according to a recent profile in the video game blog Kotaku. And he was. Up until the day he walked out of the doors and became a video game designer.

There has been lots of talk about artificial intelligence in the legal sphere lately, much of it centered around the idea of robot lawyers and the end of attorneys as we know them. All this, despite the fact that we're still a ways away from deploying AI legal tech in any large-scale, meaningful way.

But at ILTACON, the annual gathering of the International Legal Technology Association, some technology leaders proposed a slightly different vision of the legal tech future. AI isn't going to unleash an era of robot attorneys, at least not anytime soon. But it could quickly become the next spellcheck -- technology you could live without, but probably shouldn't.

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.

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?

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?

You can hold depositions in three states, in a single day, all from your office. You can interview potential associates without flying them into town. You can see what your cat does while you're at work all day. The future is here -- if you've got the right video conferencing software.

And no, not all video conferencing platforms at the same. You can't share your screen while streaming in Facetime, for example, and you're not going to get much in the way of customer service if you're getting face-to-face on Gchat. Indeed, when it comes to video conferencing, some of the small names are much better than the big guys.

If you want to find the cutting edge of law and technology, don't only look to BigLaw Bitcoin practices, AI innovators, or even lawyers turned techies. Look to corporate legal departments, as well.

A shift in corporate culture is driving in-house legal departments to "invest more than ever before in refining their operations to deliver more efficient and predictable legal services," according to Inside Counsel. And, in doing so, many of those legal departments are forging the legal tech frontier.

Cloud Tech and IT Is Evolving Fast, to Small Firms' Benefit

Most attorneys don't practice in a massive firm, but go it alone or work with a few partners. That's about 84 percent of us. That's right, four out of five lawyers (plus change) are having to handle a significant amount of our own law firm functioning.

But fear not, it looks like the demands of the market have created a solution that might give some smaller players in the game some hope. Legal tech is starting to take small firms seriously, to the small practitioner's benefit.