2017 PLLIP Summit: Navigating the Critical Nexus of Knowledge and Legal Technology

By Jennifer Stephens, Technology Services Librarian at Haynes and Boone, LLP, in Dallas, TX. Jennifer was one of the recipients of a PLLIP Summit Grant.

This year’s PLLIP Summit was co-chaired by Alicia Pappas and Jeremy Sullivan, who said that the genesis of this program was their interest in demonstrating the technological proficiency of law librarians and information professionals, and their ability to work with emerging technologies.

Keynote address
Professor Gabriel Teninbaum, Suffolk University Law School

Professor Teninbaum spoke on the direction of legal technology and how law librarians and information professionals can help shape IT. He gave examples of how law firms and legal departments have innovated and turned projects into workflow improvements and marketing wins.

Examples he used included:

  • Using big data to forecast when HR policies could lead to litigation.
  • Partnering with clients to test new technology on existing matters.
  • Breaking down contract review into steps to find process improvements.
  • Developing a Yelp for hiring law firms.
  • Creating interactive guides on how to launch a startup (example from WilmerHale).

All of these led to new work and “marketing cred.”

Teninbaum concluded his presentation by listing his four strategies for staying ahead:

  • Stay educated – take advantage of free or low cost education, and then apply it.teninbaum
  • Re-imagine rules to improve service – ex: Limited License Legal Technician program in Washington state allows non-lawyers to practice in limited spheres to allow low-cost legal services.
  • Create something new – find a problem and create a solution to solve the problem.
  • Prepare for the future – ex: When Casey Flaherty was at Kia Motors, he saw that law firm associates were spending too much time manually crafting documents, which prompted    him to create a legal assessment tool to measure proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Can Librarians Help Legal Organizations Become More Data Driven?
Professor Daniel Katz, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Professor Katz spoke on using data driven services to go beyond the rules-based models. His work seeks to link rules-based models with expert systems to combine rules with the dynamics that underlie a class of activity. His example was the driverless car: there are rules to follow, but also situational dynamics that lead to actions that the AI (Artificial Intelligence) needs to learn so it can adapt to future driving situations.

Katz spoke to the rise of legal analytics to help predict which cases or types of cases will katzgo forward to help lawyers and clients determine how to handle cases and ultimately how to balance risk management. His thesis is that law and finance will intersect and interact more in the future as we find ways to employ AI to turn vast quantities of unstructured data into ways to predict potential litigation and forecast settlement or litigation.

The Librarian Speaks: Promoting a Technology Agenda

  • Margaret Bartlett, Information Resources Librarian, Locke Lord, panel coordinator
  • Mark Gediman, Director of Research Services, Best Best & Krieger
  • Gina Lynch, Director of Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence, Paul Weiss
  • Nancy Rine, Director of Research Services & Conflicts, Fried Frank

Each panelist offered their experiences in how they work with IT departments to achieve and promote ways to leverage technology and knowledge to further the goals of the firm.

Mark Gediman is currently involved in enterprise search within the firm, spending time coordinating more with IT & training departments. He went through a firm-mandated reorganization, reporting to the CIO. Library and IT had good working relationships already, and the library was able to offer attorney user experience perspective to balance IT’s systems expertise. The library has a role in the KM projects team, helping with taxonomy and best practices.

Gina Lynch was with Bingham, where she worked extensively with knowledge management. She is currently at Paul Weiss, where she oversees research, business intelligence, and knowledge management. She has reported to CIOs in several firms and sees it as a positive. The CIOs can see the sweet spots in technology, and the library can be the intermediary with the attorneys, promoting change. The library can help with the message of how new technologies can help with best practices and can offer just in time training.

Nancy Rine became the first library director at Fried Frank in 1996. She currently has a staff of ten, eight of which are librarians. In her time, she has taken over the conflicts department, research services, and help desk, assigning different librarians as manager rineof these different services. The library went through a self-imposed reorganization, based on relationships with the IT department, as a way to provide better overall service and opportunities for the combined staff. IT has software and project roll-out expertise, library has practice group and organization expertise.

Thriving in a Period of Change
Mary Abraham, Columbia University

Abraham spoke to change, and how we can find ways to thrive in periods of change. She said that management often offers rational reasons for change and training on how to use new technologies, but fails to address the sense of loss that people experience. She offered a different way to approach changes:

  • Relate – create supportive relationship, shock absorbers for the change, which fosters sense of hopefulness.
  • Repeat – coach through learning and practice to master new skills.
  • Reframe – help create new system of beliefs, positive reinforcement, greater investment in future than the loss.

She gave a number of examples of how to help transition through changes and how to help reframe the outlook from change to transition. Abraham recommended selling the problem, then how a new technology or process will help solve the problem. She Abrahamrecommended building diverse networks, to provide mutual support, much like the NATO agreements and the alliances in the two World Wars. Management needs to understand what makes their employees tick, how to understand their context better. Finally, she stated that the pace of change is relentless, but we can build a better foundation to support changes.

Related links:

Sign up for Gabriel Teninbaum’s Lawtomatic newsletter:

Daniel Katz’s slides from PLLIP Summit:

Computational Legal Studies webpage (Daniel Katz):

Mary Abraham’s blog:  Above and Beyond KM:

Free courses on topics such as big data, process improvement, project management, visualization, and analytics that may be of interest to information professionals and others in the legal field:

Introduction to Project Management

Project Management: The Basics for Success

Initiating and Planning Projects

Budgeting and Scheduling Projects

Managing Project Risks and Changes

Data-driven Decision Making

Computational Thinking and Big Data

Data Visualization with Advanced Excel

Leadership Through Design Innovation

Design Thinking for Innovation

Data Analytics for Lean Six Sigma

Process Improvement

Six Sigma Principles

Six Sigma Tools for Define and Measure

Six Sigma Tools for Analyze

Six Sigma Tools for Improve and Control

Process Mining: Data Science in Action

Additionally, these courses are available for PLI subscribers (or can be purchased):

Project Management for Lawyers 2017  http://www.pli.edu/Content/OnDemand/Project_Management_for_Lawyers_2017/_/N-4nZ1z10oxf?fromsearch=false&ID=311583

Artificial Intelligence – Transforming the Legal Services Landscape http://www.pli.edu/Content?path=/Transcript/Artificial_Intelligence_Transforming_the/_/N-b2Z1z0zzss?Ns=sort_date%7c1&ID=T1790990&q=%22big%20data%22

TechLaw Institute 2017: The Digital Evolution http://www.pli.edu/Content/OnDemand/TechLaw_Institute_2017_The_Digital_Evolution/_/N-4nZ1z10oxc?No=25&Ns=sort_date%7c1&ID=313266

Big Data for Lawyers: How to Use Data Visualization in Your Practice http://www.pli.edu/Content/OnDemand/Big_Data_for_Lawyers_How_to_Use_Data_Visualization/_/N-4nZ1z10ied?No=25&Ns=sort_date%7c1&ID=311766

Legal Process Improvement http://www.pli.edu/Content/OnDemand/Legal_Process_Improvement/_/N-4nZ1z1056r?fromsearch=false&ID=316417

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