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Legal Tech Trends, Told Through Recent Hires

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

How can you spot emerging trends in legal technology? You could look at the companies that successful startup accelerators are supporting, like Y Combinator's recent support for a "Turbotax for Immigration." Or you can look at public collaborations, like that between Harvard Law School and the legal research startup Ravel Law. Or look at the tech law firms themselves are using, like the few big firms who've started to employ artificial intelligence.

Or you can look at where the talent is going. Legaltech News's Ricci Dipshan recently did the latter, identifying four legal tech trends as evidenced by recent hires.

1. A Push Towards Collaboration

While collaboration tools like Slack have exploded in the corporate world, the legal sphere is a bit behind. When it comes to working together, many lawyers depend on email, memos, a skilled secretary, and maybe, just maybe, a shared Outlook calendar or two. But Dipshan points to ThreadKM as evidence that the legal industry could be ready for some increased collaboration. The company, which makes a chat platform for attorneys, recently brought on Damon Goduto, a veteran of eDiscovery and legal tech firms. He'll now be working as ThreadKM's VP of sales and marketing.

2. A Focus on Cybercrime

Cybersecurity's evil twin, cybercrime, could be the next big focus among law firms. "As more crime happens online," Dipshan writes, attorneys "need to be well-versed in the language and nuances of cybercriminals." Hence Sullivan & Cromwell's recent hire, Nicole Friedlander. Friedlander will be joining the firm as special counsel after nine years in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the SDNY, where she helped prosecute complex fraud and cybercrime cases.

3. Machine Learning in the Service of eDiscovery

Another trend that's been developing for some time now is the use of machine learning for "technology-assisted-review" in the eDiscovery process. TAR relies on machine learning and predictive coding to speed up the eDiscovery process, by learning how to code documents based on human inputs. The importance of TAR can be seen in the recent move by Jonathan Sachs, a longtime eDiscovery professional, who has switched from Kroll Ontrack to Catalyst. Sachs predicts greater adoption of TAR in the future, leading to lawyers who "will be much smarter about their client's data and the data involved in their matter."

4. Attorney Learning in the Service of eDiscovery

Of course, most attorneys aren't going to teach themselves how to adopt the latest legal technology. Enter Thomas Gersey. Another eDiscovery specialist, having worked on discovery and doc review for Google, Gersey is moving to BlackStone Discovery where he'll be in charge of, according to Dipshan, "assisting clients in adopting new cloud-based technologies and handling e-discovery."

Speaking of hires, learn about the emerging interests of today's job seekers with a free report from Indeed.

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