The Brief No. 11: 2018 Legal Trends, AI Hiring Troubles, and GC Chatter
October 24, 2018
3 Important Insights from the 2018 Clio Legal Trends Report
Have you read Clio’s 2018 Legal Trends Report yet? This year’s report focused on the client experience, including what consumers think about before and after hiring a lawyer. Here are three trends that got our attention.
Congrats to @natekostelnik for winning #TriviaTuesday on Twitter this week! He won a big box of swag from Clio, our Trivia Tuesday sponsor this week (thanks, Clio!).
When bigger AI isn’t better: More companies are automating hiring, but it’s still far from a perfect science. Amazon recently scrapped its experimental AI hiring tool after discovering it mimicked the bias (of the humans who trained it) against résumés from women—especially in technical roles. Aside from being imperfect, automated hiring tools based solely on AI can pose legal risks to the companies who use them without any oversight. “Just because something has a statistical correlation,” one source stated, “doesn’t mean it’s a good or lawful way to select talent.” Maybe hiring still needs a human touch?
GCs are doing as law firms say, not what law firms do: Multiple industry sources are noting a gap between what lawyers and law firms say is important to the future of law and what they are doing. While most law firms believe investing in technology is important to meet client demands, few are actually doing this. Mark Cohen analyzes this gap further and provides advice for how law firms can move from their theoretical “fixation on innovation” to a practical exercise of “self-identification” to find their role in the modern market. Clients increasingly move their work to managed legal service providers who are actually offering the technology and process innovations law firms note as important but fail to offer.
Three GCs walk into a bar: Susan Reisinger’s latest for Corporate Counsel asked several GCs—do you talk about outside law firms to each other? And what factors do you consider when evaluating a law firm? Beyond costs and skills, GCs see responsiveness, efficiency, candor, and the ability to see the company’s bottom line as the most important. “Understanding the scale of each matter is key,” said Mark LeHocky, former GC of Ross Stores Inc. “Each legal project or lawsuit needs to fit into the bigger picture of the company, and not unnecessarily disrupt or distract from the bigger mission.” And thankfully, trashing outside counsel happens much less frequently than recommending them.
Harnessing Innovation for the Legal Industry. In the latest episode of Legal Technology Now, Monica Bay talks to Dan Linna, former director of The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State, about how lawyers should think about technology and innovation. For small firms in particular he advises not to focus too much on the technologies themselves; rather, think about what problems you solve, why people come to you, how you can provide greater value in helping them solve these problems, and how to become more data-driven.
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