Flattening the Legal Tower of Babel

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.

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.

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.


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