Link Round-Up: August 18, 2017

'Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.
 

  • The International Legal Technology Association Conference took place this week at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. This massive 4-day event covered some meaningful conversations in the area of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the law. With over 148 educational sessions and 353 speakers, covering all the nooks and crannies of this legal extravaganza may leave us a bit winded. So, let’s go over the most important aspects.

  • From 2012 to 2017, research conducted by Thomson Reuters using data from the World Intellectual Property Organization reveals that the number of intellectual patents covering legal services increased by 484%.These patents “reflect the rise of alternative legal services, such as virtual law firms, and the rapid expansion of the online legal industry.” The US accounted for 38% of the filed patents, followed by China with 34%, and South Korea with 15%.

  • A startup based out of Berkeley, California is looking to mitigate the pain of learning AI for companies and service providers globally. According to Top500’s Michael Feldman, one of the biggest problems to more widespread use of AI is the lack of developer expertise in machine learning software. The value of Bonsai is that the software “abstracts away much of the detail work involved in machine learning,” thereby enabling users to implement machine learning solutions without knowing all the underlying details. While using the software does require some level of programming knowledge, the required depth of understanding is reduced. How does this connect to the law? It seems that businesses now have unprecedented opportunities to present tech and AI solutions to legal challenges without requiring top experts to begin their work.

  • Charlotte Law School was forced to close after its education plan was rejected by the ABA and its temporary license expired. Students who were preparing to attend the Law School in 2 weeks were sent an email by the president of the school’s alumni association, Lee Robertson, informing them that Charlotte Law would be closing. One student who transferred out of Charlotte Law School before they closed their doors had some strong criticisms:

    “I have no sympathy for the faculty of Charlotte School of Law. They brought this upon themselves and should be reminded of it. They were all well aware of the school’s problems and were complicit in its downfall with poor curriculum, grading curves, and being fine with accepting and then failing out unqualified students.”

    On the bright side, Charlotte students who don’t intend to transfer to another school to complete their degrees and who withdrew from the school in the last 120 days can look forward to their debts to the school being wiped.

 

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