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The theme for LexThink.1 is “The End of Irrelevance.” All talks must address ways to overcome the challenges the legal profession is currently facing. Submissions are closed.

The Decline of the Machines – What the Unabomber Can Teach Us About Legal Learning

The Decline of the Machines – What the Unabomber Can Teach Us About Legal Learning

Matthew Homann:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

Big Data or Big Brother?

Big Data or Big Brother?

Big Data Analytics has fascinating ramifications when applied to social media and analyzing business-driven behavior and client relationships. Take search giants (i.e., Google) and social shares (i.e., Facebook) and how they customize and analyze our consumer behavior. The benefits for businesses of all sizes is astounding, from a solo practitioner to a firm with thousands of attorneys. While facing this exciting frontier, however, will we need perceptive evolutions in privacy to move in tandem with this emerging landscape to ensure Big Data doesn’t become Big Brother?

Eric Hunter:  Bio / Web / Twitter

Legal Services in a Global Village – Jurisdiction Changes Everything

Legal Services in a Global Village – Jurisdiction Changes Everything

The building blocks of the legal profession – law school, bar admissions, professional regulation, ethics, discipline and malpractice liability and insurance – are all undergoing revolutionary changes.

Your parents got legal services from a lawyer that grew up around the corner and had an office on the other side of town. That lawyer was educated in the US, admitted to practice in the same state and a member of the local Rotary Club.

Your kids will buy legal services – or even get them for free – from a lawyer, a non-lawyer, or even an automated online service on a server that could easily be on the other side of the world.

ThIS presentation will ask ten challenging questions the legal profession must answer as we move to the provision of legal services in a global village.

Dan Pinnington:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

Flattening the Legal Tower of Babel

Flattening the Legal Tower of Babel: Fishing for a means to remove language barriers from the law.

Today it is a mantra that the legal profession is going global and the world is becoming flat, yet the law remains the poster child for parochial national divisions — every country and jurisdiction has its own law, with its own structure, in its own language. This creates greater barriers to global legal cooperation and competition than any tariff or policy ever could.

I will discuss how using a meaning-based language to express basic legal concepts could allow a computational approach to creating a universal legal translator. I’ll also discuss a possible first step of this project — building an open source statutory taxonomy — and consider its huge implications for legal research and comparative law. Finally, we’ll consider what this all means for competition and public policy.

Philip Rosenthal:  Bio / Web / Twitter

The Future of Virtual Law

The Future of Virtual Law

Is it too early to talk about the future of virtual law practice? This is not about more supposed Starbucks lawyers. It is not about lawyers sitting on the couch wiping Cheetos grease on their shirt while watching Dowton Abbey reruns and waiting for Google to shove clients toward their online client portal.

The future of virtual law firms is the collision of full-service representation and the online delivery of legal services. It is about removing barriers for client access to lawyers. It is about delivering sophisticated work in innovative ways. It is about utilizing creativity when building a law firm but not forgetting about the old-school hustle necessary to make it happen. It is about outsourcing effectively, collaborating with branded networks and using expert systems for decision making. That is the future of virtual law.

Chad E. Burton:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

Gaming the System: Are lawyers ready to game-up?

Gaming the System: Are lawyers ready to game-up?

Whether its mind games or online games, we amuse ourselves with games every day. When a game does not exist, we make it up – from “Hi, Bob” to beer-pong.

Digital games are becoming ubiquitous whether we simply entertain ourselves with online solitaire or join a group to overthrow a foreign government on a Massive Multi-play Online Game (MMOG).

So, can lawyers game-up? This talk focuses on the changes that can result from the use of MMOGs to help expand access to legal services and solve broader social problems.

Will Hornsby:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

Knowing Unknowns – The Key to Intelligent Lawyering

Knowing Unknowns – The Key to Intelligent Lawyering

In bygone days, lawyers who read and understood every piece of possible evidence were able to represent their clients very effectively. With the explosion of ESI, this is virtually impossible even in non-complex litigation. The rise of machines has helped with “predictive coding” and “technology assisted review.” Yet it is still probable that relevant evidence will not be located, and key evidentiary relationships not found. Technology is needed to promote intelligent lawyering by being able to find “unknown unknowns” – outlier documents and relationships that word searches and text analytics cannot find. This type of technology would disrupt the entire ECA, text analytics, and predictive coding in ediscovery.

Roe Frazer:  Bio / Web / Twitter

Don’t Do What You’re Good At

Don’t Do What You’re Good At

The most common career advice is “do what you’re good at.” And you probably listened, right? Which is fine. But do you ever wonder, “Is this it? What happened to putting a dent in the universe, and all that? Why aren’t I happier? Why does it feel so much like work?”

It turns out that “do what you’re good at” is bad advice. But don’t worry. It’s not too late. Speaker, writer, and recovering lawyer Jay Shepherd will give you the five steps you’ll need to be happier, disrupt your legal marketplace, and maybe even change the world. Vote for this proposed talk (and get your friends and pets to vote, too), and then learn the five steps in Chicago on April 3.

Jay Shepherd:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

LegalZoom is Eating Legal’s Lunch

LegalZoom is Eating Legal’s Lunch

LegalZoom generated $156mm in revenue in 2011. This would land them solidly in the AmLaw 200. But rather than selling big corporate mergers or litigation, they are simply selling the small stuff: incorporations, trusts, wills and trademark filings. That’s roughly 1.5 million matters — or 2 clients from every practicing U.S. lawyer every year. If you narrow it to the top 50 metro areas, it’s more like 5 clients. LegalZoom is eating your lunch. What are you going to do about it?

Mark Britton:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter

The Death of the Office

The Death of the Office

Disruption, as an entrepreneur, is one of the most exciting words we use. The idea of creating a product, or a way of thinking, that is so new and unique that it causes an entire industry to take pause and re-evaluate the way it has always done things. Disruption is going on in the legal industry and it is causing chaos on many fronts. There is consumer facing disruption and firm facing disruption.

I will share my take on the disruption going on in the legal industry as it relates to the internet and the new way of delivering a variety of services. I hope to at least get every lawyer in attendance thinking about things they can do to stay ahead of the destructive path of disruption and actually thrive in this new landscape.

Matt Spiegel:  Bio / Web / Twitter

Disruption in Publishing. A Librarian’s Perspective

Disruption in Publishing. A Librarian’s Perspective. (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Free Law)

Unfortunately, Sarah was ill during the evening of LexThink.1 and was unable to give her talk.

There’s a revolution going on out there. A publishing revolution. And who’s leading it? Mild mannered librarians and computer nerds. Open access, open law, open source…what does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means in the near future the primary law of the united states may not be held hostage behind a corporate pay wall. Imagine a world in which information already paid for by the taxpayers is free to use. Think about the transformation of law into data and what sort of products could be created with a free and open data set. It’s time to find out what’s happening and join the revolution.

Sarah Glassmeyer:  Bio / Blog / Web / Twitter