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Legal Tech Companies Bringing Innovation to Law Students and Faculty

December 2, 2019

ROSS Intelligence announced last week that it was giving law students and faculty free access to its AI legal research platform. The move was part of the company’s mission to improve the delivery of legal services.

In its announcement, ROSS made a couple points that are applicable to technology companies, in general, introducing their solutions at law schools.

From Andrew Arruda, CEO and co-founder of ROSS:

“The legal profession is changing quickly and clients are demanding greater efficiency. We’re building tools to help future attorneys thrive in this new environment. Opening access across the country will provide law students with the 21st-century tools they need to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving legal market.”

And from its VP of Strategy and Operations, Thomas Hamilton:

”You cannot underestimate the influence law professors have on the direction of the legal profession, or the responsibility that comes with that influence.“

One, law students need to be using the type of tools that they will be using in practice – or at least should be thinking of using when practicing.

Whether it’s ROSS or other research platforms leveraging AI, that law grads will be using in practice may not matter. The point is they will be using such tools.

Never before have we seen the level of innovation we’re seeing in the law today. What’s not being used en masse by law firms is bubbling up all around us via legal technology companies – long standing or startups.

Law students seeing the value in being an innovator or at least to test drive what is being used, or what will soon be used, need to be provided the opportunity to learn through first hand experience while in law school.

I had access to something called legal research on a computer – accessible behind sliding glass doors in the law library – while I was in law school. Like legal technology is viewed by many today, legal research on a computer was looked at as very extreme thirty some years ago.

Two, law professors have huge influence on law students. Some law professors dismiss legal technology altogether.

More than one law professor has told me that publishing a good niche law blog would never grow influence for a law student or a law professor the way a law review article would. I was not even given the time of day to discuss the topic.

I can only imagine how some law professors feel about AI, as its used in research, briefing, and predicting judicial rulings.

Getting legal technology into law professors’ hands – and there are many law professors, not only open to legal technology, but championing same  – to test drive a legal tech solution is huge. Law students will follow these influencers and be receptive to different legal technology.

LexBlog, like many other legal technology companies, has made its law blog products and network freely available to law students, faculty and administration.

Law students are going to be expected to build a name and develop relationships when they get out of law school – especially if going into practice on their own or at a small firm.

They’ll also be looking to help advance legal dialogue, beginning when in law school. Legal blogging, unlike current publishing, gives them a good opportunity to do so.

But law students are unlikely to blog if their influencers are not blogging – law professors, law school deans, career development officers and other administrators.

Only by putting our platform out for free have we seen a significant uptake by law students and faculty.

There has to fifty to a hundred – if not more – legal tech companies providing their product and services for free to law schools.

It’s important.

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