The legal profession is hardly immune to the changes being wrought by technology. And Stanford University’s CodeX Center—a partnership between its law school and computer science department—has been a significant contributor to those changes in recent years as an incubator for legal tech startups. Among the companies that have roots at CodeX are Bay Area legal analytics firms Lex Machina and Ravel Law.
CodeX also has tried to give lawyers and other industry professionals a glimpse over the horizon with its annual “FutureLaw” conference. If there was an overriding theme at this year’s event on April 6, it was that the current law firm model is unsustainable and isn’t serving the needs of clients or society generally. University of Southern California Law Professor Gillian Hadfield, in a keynote, said that one survey of large company general counsels showed 70 percent would not recommend their primary law firm and that 80 percent are reducing the work they send out.
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In this podcast, we take you inside the FutureLaw conference to hear from some of the speakers and attendees about how technologies like legal data analytics are evolving, how law firms can make themselves more efficient by embracing them, and what the limitations are. It’s not all doom and gloom. “I don’t think that the law firm or the lawyer will go away, that they will be completely disrupted and there will only be robo-lawyers,” said Roland Vogl, executive director of CodeX. “I think a lot of those technologies that we’re talking about are lawyer-enhancing.”
Ben Hancock is a San Francisco-based reporter for The Recorder and Law.com. He writes about the future of litigation, including third-party finance, legal data analytics, and artificial intelligence in the law. Contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @benghancock