Here is a roundup of news this week from the world of legal technology and innovation.
A new era for Evolve Law. Three years ago, two legal industry entrepreneurs, Mary Juetten and Jules Miller, started the organization Evolve Law with the goal of promoting collaboration among innovative law firms and legal technology companies in order to speed adoption of new technology. “We’re trying to get people to listen,” Miller told me at the time. “The message is that the legal industry is changing.”
While that mission has continued, Evolve Law itself has also been changing. Last year, Miller left Evolve Law. Then, in August, as I reported here, Evolve Law and Above the Law announced that they have formed a strategic partnership aimed at allowing Evolve Law to expand its visibility and offerings, particularly through what is now being called Evolve the Law.
Now, Juetten has announced that she is stepping down from active management of Evolve Law to continue building her own company, Traklight, and to focus on other “mid-life” projects, including access to justice. She will remain involved as a member of Evolve Law’s advisory council.
Stepping in to take over is Deb Tesser, a lawyer and former law-practice consultant who most recently worked as vice president of strategic planning for the practice-management company Zola Media. Introducing herself in a post yesterday, she said that one of her primary objectives “will be to make Evolve the Law the go-to source for lawyers, legal technologists, law schools, and everyone who is invested in the future of the profession.”
I had the good fortune to work with Juetten on planning the Startup Alley programs at ABA Techshow the last two years. I wish her the best in the next stages of her career. I have also come to know Tesser over the years. and can say that Evolve the Law continues to be in capable hands. I look forward to seeing how it next evolves.
Movement in Vermont on tech competence. As I continue to track the states that have adopted the ethical duty of technology competence, I have learned that the Vermont Professional Responsibility Board yesterday voted to recommend that the Vermont Supreme Court adopt the language in Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1.
Michael Kennedy, bar counsel in Vermont and author of the excellent legal-ethics blog Ethical Grounds, tells me that the court is likely to take it up in April or May and then put it out for a 60-day comment period. So far, 31 states have adopted the rule.
Leadership change at LawPRO. One of the most-respected authorities on law practice management in Canada and the United States is Dan Pinnington, who for the last 17 years has made his home at LawPRO, the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company owned by the Law Society of Ontario. Now, LawPRO has announced that Pinnington will become its president and chief executive officer effective April 2, succeeding Kathleen A. Waters, who is retiring after holding that position since 2008.
Among his many accomplishments, Pinnington has been editor-in-chief of Law Practice magazine, the publication of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section, and chair of ABA Techshow. He is also a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. Congratulations to Dan.
Comprehensive bar passage data. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has published a comprehensive set of data on bar passage outcomes for ABA-approved law schools. The data, in the form of a downloadable spreadsheet, shows school-by-school for 2015 graduates for passing the bar within two years of graduation. In the aggregate, the data shows, nearly nine of 10 graduates who took the bar exam passed it within two years. The section’s website also provides other data about law graduates.
Worth reading: I’ve been reporting here on efforts by Fastcase to expand its library of secondary legal materials. At the ABA Journal, Rich Acello takes a deeper look and talks to CEO Ed Walters: Inspired by Netflix, Fastcase is creating its own content. … David Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger and co-founder of the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium, offers an interesting essay on solving the collective action problem in law. … Carolyn Elefant looks at state bar association websites and finds that 28 fall short on security settings.