Stanford's CodeX Center for Legal Informatics will host the fifth annual FutureLaw Conference this April at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto.
I'm excited to attend because 1) I'll have turned in the Appellate brief, a taxing legal writing assignment, the previous week, 2) the event promises to offer an intimate setting (LegalTech NY 2017, which I attended in January, had many thousands of attendees), and 3) the speaker lineup in stacked.
Students pay $65.
Here's a list of FutureLaw speakers whose work I've been following, and why it matters to legal innovation:
This post assumes you'll refer to the conference agenda, which includes the full speaker list, when necessary. (I hope to add direct links later)
Prof. Gillian Hadfield - I became familiar with Prof Hadfield while researching for my post on the UK's Legal Services Act of 2007 (LSA) and its innovations for legal innovation. By the way, the LSA is mentioned in a few of our favorite sources ( 1 , 2). The LSA changed the rules on how British and Welsh firms can capitalize themselves and also allows non-lawyers to be managers in certain law firms. Prof Hadfield's work seems poised to inform American policy decisions, so I'm excited to hear her perspective on legal innovation in the keynote.
Prof. Daniel Martin Katz - I've cited Katz's here a few times (1, 2). He'll be on a panel discussing Predictive Analytics. The trend towards greater quantification of legal costs/outcomes seems like it'll have a pronounced impact on the industry. You should read his paper on Quantitative Legal Prediction. To distill Katz's message, we should ask "why don't we quantify our practice as far as we can?" instead of copping out by saying "certainty is impossible, so we shouldn't bother with quantification." Check out The Law Lab at Chicago-Kent, where he teaches.
Judy Perry Martinez - her talk is "5 things you want to know..." about the ABA Commission on Legal Services, which I've linked to before. Perry Martinez, who was a VP at Northrop Grumman, knows a bit about this topic because she chaired the commission chair. ABA is a self-regulatory body for the American legal profession which sets law school standards and model ethical codes [JNC: my current understanding], therefore their findings on legal innovation and plans for the future are highly significant. The ABA hopes to advance access to justice and diversity.
Roland Vogl - Not a speaker, but Vogl helps run CodeX at Stanford Law School, which put together the conference. He wrote a gentle introduction to legal technology, "The Coming Age of Legal Technology," which outlines the contours of the field and talks about a few problems people are working on, that every legal innovator should read.
Here's a list of speakers who are new to me, and what I'd like to ask them:
Again, for now please refer to the conference agenda, which links to every speaker. I hope to return later and add links.
Michael Mills - He co-founded Neota Logic, which is a legaltech infrastructure platform [for NDA management - JNC: my current understanding]. Neota has a great blog called "The Innovation Spot." I wonder how we could tell more law students about the blog?
Dera Nevin - Dera is an eDiscovery guru with what looks like over a decade of experience, and helped develop technology-assisted review procedures. I wonder what her take is on the impact of the 2015 Duke Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Abhijeet Mohapatra - He is a CS student who built a tool that can turn webpages (ie. faculty directories) into excel-style tables. I bet someone could write a guide for: 1) students seeking judicial externships, research assistant positions, firm jobs, 2) it seems like professors might be able to use it, but I'd have to learn more about their needs
Harry Surden - He built a visualizer of the US Code for understanding Patents and Trademarks. I wonder if something similar could be built to help Civil Procedure Students. For example, FRCP R12 links up with R8, R11, R55, R56, and others. Let's not talk about R26.
Prof. Norman Spaulding - If you want to make an positive impact on institutions for the future, you should understand how they arose. Spaulding's scholarship on the history of the American legal profession should help. I suspect his work overlaps a bit with Hadfield's. Btw, I want to read his book chapter "History of the General Counsel," but it's yet to be published!
Adam Stock - Former Adobe exec who worked with outside counsel, current CMO of a large law firm. Legal Marketing ≠ vanilla marketing because of regulation, ethical responsibilities, and sophisticated needs + preferences of industry buyers. I'd like to discover how to apply lessons from prior to law school (marketing my internet startup, working for clients in content marketing) to working in legal.
Joshua Lenon - Lawyer in residence at Clio, which is a large cloud-based practice management platform. Think MindBodyOnline but for firms. I wonder how common he thinks the "lawyer in residence" role will become at technology companies.
Carlos Gamez - Director of Legal Innovation at Thomson Reuters. His bio says "Projects include: ... advising on and performing proof of concepts"; I'd like to ask him if he has insights here for law students who want to work on innovation while still in school. Thomson is a legal publisher, which puts them on Susskind's map of next-generation employers for J.D.'s who want to build the future instead of competing with it.
Mary O'Carroll - Head of Legal Operations at Google. Legal Operations intends to bring efficiency and quantification to in-house legal departments. Tech companies like Google have large in-house departments and sophisticated ways to source outside inputs from outside. I'd steer the discussion back to the core mission of "improving what/where we can" instead of declaring "certainty is unattainable, so why try?" For more on this thread, I recommend checking out Corporate of Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), whose Institute I'll attend in May.
Lucy Bassli - MSFT Assistant GC in Legal Operations/Contracting. I'd like to learn more about contract management, which I understand is essential for large companies to interpret how their network of contractual obligations is affected when their suppliers and customers get acquired/go out of business/as market conditions shift.
Students in CodeX - Kevin Xu, Artem Goldman + Andrey Zinoviev, Joshua Browder. Check out their chatbot projects, which address parking ticket and immigration issues to name two.