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Recently in Law Firm Software Category

There's rarely much debate over whether attorneys are justified in passing through case related expenses and other case related costs to their clients. Good retainer agreements hold clients liable for attorney fees, attorney expenses, and case costs. However, attorneys sometimes wonder where a piece of software, or a smartphone app, falls on the spectrum of case costs or expenses?

Under the ABA model rule 1.5, which governs fees, there is no prohibition against charging clients the costs for software you obtain, or use, for their matters. However, the rule does call for costs to be clearly communicated before being incurred. So if items or categories that arguably include software are not listed in your retainer, you may want to get written permission before spending that client money. Also, if the software is for general use, like Microsoft Office Suite, or Adobe Acrobat, billing these to a client is likely to raise a red flag.

Chatbot Opens Up 1,000 Practice Areas

If you don't know who Joshua Browder is, you might want to check out his new chatbot now.

Browder, a 20-year-old Stanford student and legal innovator, is changing the way the law works. He created a chatbot -- an interactive program that answers questions in real time -- that has beaten 375,000 parking tickets. For free.

Now his bot, DoNotPay, is opening up 1,000 legal areas. That might trouble some lawyers, but Browder is also offering the program to attorneys.

Are Law Firms Embracing AI? Not So Much, Survey Concludes

In a profession reluctant to leave black robes and white wigs to history, it's not surprising that lawyers have not kept up with technology.

Even the most progressive law firms have a long way to go before a robot takes over the scrivener's job. While all attorneys have smart devices, relatively few really know how to use them.

According to a recent survey, law firms are using less artificial intelligence than brain power. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

Startup Offers AI Robots for Patent Lawyers

Is it ironic that a smart robot is replacing patent lawyers?

Or maybe it is more sardonic, especially for patent lawyers who have a problem with a robot that can do their job in seconds. But according to a startup called TurboPatent, that' exactly what RoboReview can do.

If it's true, patent attorneys should at least be grateful that the software robot is not well-dressed or funny. Otherwise, some lawyers would be out of a job.

Law Firm Shares Best Practices for Startup Early-Stage Investment

If you have the next big thing but not the big thing budget, a BigLaw firm has just what you've been waiting for: a startup package of financing documents.

Cooley, exclusively through its microsite "Go," has released a free repository of documents for investors and business owners. The documents are for companies in the United States and designed for those incorporated in Delaware.

"It's a way for entrepreneurs and early-stage investors and business owners to access what the firm considers to be best practices for early-stage investment and to streamline the process for committing capital at the seed stage," according to TechCrunch.

Legal Tech Startups Founded by Lawyers

To build a better mousetrap, you have to know something about mice.

It's true in the legal tech business, too. After all, how can you create a better way to monitor a court docket if you don't really know how it works? Michael Sander, who created Docket Alarm, learned that lesson when he was working at an expensive New York law firm.

"Twice a day, we had a paralegal go to the court's website, enter a case number, see if there was anything new, and repeat that nine times," he told Wired.com.

Google Assistant Is Ready to Assist Your Law Practice

If you have fallen in love with Siri or Alexis, you can still take a peek at Google's digital assistant and be faithful to your first love.

These voice-enabled programs perform many of the same functions, but their makers are always trying to improve each model. Apple got to the market first with Siri on the iPhone; then Amazon breathed life into Alexis, the voice of the home-based Echo device; and now Google has released a new version of the Assistant.

So what's the fuss about Google's latest release and why should any Siri or Alexis lover care? Well, the Assistant is smarter. It can even learn to talk like a lawyer.

Thunderbird Email to Stay Under Mozilla's Wing, For Now

After Mozilla gave birth to Firefox, the popular web browser, it created an email client in Thunderbird.

But as the two grew up, Thunderbird turned out to be a problem child. Concerned about its effect on the family, Mozilla started to push Thunderbird out of the nest.

Five years have passed, and Thunderbird is still hanging around. For now, Mozilla is keeping the email client under its wing but with conditions and not for long. The Mozilla drama is a study in the challenges of freeware.

When Lawyers Fear Legal Tech, Business Suffers

If the shark is at the top of the ocean food chain, what are sharks afraid of?

Starvation, that's what. It doesn't matter how many teeth you have if there is nothing left to bite.

Lawyers can relate. As technology takes away legal work, lawyers feel the threat of starvation. But the real danger is for lawyers who don't adapt to the changing times. Clients expect lawyers to keep up with technology. Even basic tech tools can significantly increase efficiency.

Without embracing new tech, lawyers may become toothless in an ocean with fewer sources of food. The good news is that technology isn't expected to take all the legal jobs anytime soon, and there's still time to adapt.

How Using AI Can Be Your Marketing Boon

Kevin O'Keefe, a 20-year veteran of legal marketing, recently had an epiphany about artificial intelligence. Emerging from an annual Legal Marketing Association meeting, he realized it was the first year anyone had mentioned AI.

"AI and machine learning may have been discussed in relation to e-discovery, but this year there were multiple sessions with legal technology and software presenting on AI," he said.

What does that mean? It means lawyers haven't really been using AI to market their law firms.