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Weekly legal tech news – April 13, 2020

How is the legal business community responding to the current crisis? – legal tech news ask. Facing a probably very strong recession, that could cost approx. 10,000 lawyers their jobs only in the United States and probably hundreds of thousands all over the world, the legal industry is trying to adapt to the current crisis – from lawyers working from home to online trials and developing tech tools in an effort to remain relevant for the clients. Discover this week’s legal tech news summary.

“What’s your firm doing during the COVID-19 crisis?” Above the Law has reported on all the bad news coming from the legal industry – all the layoffsfurloughs, and salary cuts, but they are now also pointing out some of the bright spots — like the assurances associates won’t be fired. While some American boutique law firms were handing out tech budgets to make sure this whole working from home thing goes smoothly, the biggest law companies, called Biglaw, announced that they were also giving tech stipends. Find out more on this subject here.

Novel or not, law firms are developing COVID-19 tools to stay relevant – Law.com notes. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, law firms have wasted little time deploying tech solutions geared toward providing clients with real-time information around the spread of the virus and various state and federal containment mandates. But with similar information widely available through the media or even government channels, are those efforts worth a law firm’s investment as either a client service or marketing initiative? Read the entire article on Law.com.

Yahoo Finance announces a strong recession, that could cost 10,000 lawyers their jobs only in the United States. Studying the trends in U.S. lawyer headcount over the last 20 years, both in-house and at major law firms, one thing jumps out: the stark difference before and after the 2008 recession. Before 2008, all segments were growing; after 2008, in-house lawyer growth accelerated while growth in law firms ground to a halt. Changes over the last two years are especially informative as we think about the effects of the coming recession. Read the full analysis here.

Are law schools affected by the crisis? Yes, but they are adapting. National Jurist Magazine announces that a Boston Law School is using tech to take on COVID-19 and lessen its impact on the court system. Suffolk University Law School students and leaders of its Legal Innovation & Technology Lab (LIT Lab) are spearheading an effort to help Massachusetts state courts better serve the public’s legal needs during the pandemic. The state’s courts are mostly closed to the public as a result of the virus, opening their doors only to address emergency cases. The Suffolk team is calling on coders, lawyers, paralegals — and even people with no subject matter or tech experience — to help in a virtual assembly line to create mobile apps for submitting court forms. The result will be user-friendly court forms that can be filled in and submitted by people remotely using a mobile phone. A successful effort will put the state among a handful nationally with the ability to offer the public easy-to-use mobile court forms. Discover the entire story here.

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