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ABA Journal: Legal Rebels
21 minutes | 6 days ago
Constant communication has been key amid COVID-19, law school dean says
Just before students at the University of California at Irvine School of Law were set to return from spring break in March, the university decided that all classes would be moved online because of the spread of COVID-19. L. Song Richardson, the law school’s dean, says the news generated anxiety among students and faculty about how the rest of the spring semester would play out. Richardson emphasized to the law school community that they had experience addressing challenges together, and constant communication would be key to making the best of switch to remote learning. Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
33 minutes | a month ago
Firms of the future: COVID-19 prompts more law firms to pursue real estate downsizing
In recent years, a growing number of law firms reduced their brick-and-mortar office space as a way to cut costs and also better meet the changing workplace needs of their attorneys. Sherry Cushman says the COVID-19 pandemic has further enhanced the desire of firms to shrink their real estate footprint. Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
This Louisiana judge continues to innovate during the COVID-19 crisis
Judge Scott Schlegel’s history of utilizing technology in his Louisiana courtroom to make life easier for attorneys and members of the public has come in very handy during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the public health crisis forced the closure of Jefferson Parish courtrooms earlier this year, Schlegel contacted those he knows in the legal tech world for assistance in bringing to fruition a plan to remotely accept guilty pleas in criminal cases. Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
24 minutes | 3 months ago
Bench trial by video? This lawyer says it went better than expected
Chicago lawyer Kathy Ehrhart and her firm represented two of the three defendants in a civil case focused on alleged breach of contract concerning a real estate transaction. Though the video proceedings were not without some technical challenges, Ehrhart says the overall experience was better than she expected. "I think as time went on through the trial, we all felt an increasing ability to recapture some of those things that otherwise are lost," she says. Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Legal reform advocates need to more actively engage the public
Supporters of broad reforms to how the legal profession is regulated must do a better job drawing the public into ongoing conversations in several states about such issues, says Paula Littlewood, the former longtime executive director of the Washington State Bar Association. "We need to break outside what I call the echo chamber of the profession and really start bringing the consumer and the public to the table to understand what changes could really enhance their ability to access legal services," Littlewood tells the ABA Journal's Lyle Moran in this episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast. "If you talk to a family member, you talk to a taxi driver and you explain the concept of a limited license legal technician, I can guarantee you that nine times out of 10 the answer is, 'Well, that totally makes sense.'" Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
28 minutes | 5 months ago
BigLaw firm’s legal tech subsidiary has launched a steady stream of COVID-19 tools
When the novel coronavirus began rapidly spreading across the United States earlier this year, Kimball Dean Parker says he felt a strong desire to help consumers and businesses in need. Utah-based SixFifty set out to do what it does best: develop online tools to assist consumers of all types tackle complex legal challenges without breaking the bank. Special thanks to our sponsor Alert Communications.
24 minutes | 6 months ago
How hosting a national pandemic summit aided Nebraska courts with its COVID-19 response
When the novel coronavirus began sweeping across the U.S. earlier this year, Nebraska’s courts system was better prepared to rapidly adjust its operations than some of its counterparts in other states. Michael G. Heavican, the chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court, attributes this to the National Pandemic Summit that he hosted in May 2019 for court leaders across the country. In this new Legal Rebels Podcast episode, Heavican talks to ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Lyle Moran. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Online estate planning sees surge during coronavirus crisis
The online estate-planning platform Trust & Will saw at least a 100% increase in business in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Cody Barbo, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “I think that everybody has a family member who is elderly or has been affected by this or works in health care, so it definitely hits close to home,” says Barbo in this new episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast with ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Lyle Moran. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
22 minutes | 8 months ago
President of the Legal Services Corp. reflects on his tenure
Asked to reflect on his nine-year tenure as president of the Legal Services Corp., Jim Sandman says he is proud of many things that he and his team accomplished. Under Sandman’s leadership, the LSC produced its seminal work, which found that 86% of civil legal needs reported by low-income Americans in the past year were either inadequately addressed or not met at all. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
17 minutes | 9 months ago
How 2 Texas lawyers are marketing their practice through song
Thanks to social media and the internet, it’s never been easier—or more affordable—for lawyers to advertise. On the other hand, having so many avenues available to lawyers makes it more difficult for anyone to stand out from the crowd. So when Waco, Texas, lawyers Will Hutson and Chris Harris got more than 500,000 views on YouTube for a clip showing them playing guitars and singing about the legal consequences of swallowing, destroying or concealing marijuana in front of police officers, it was almost like winning the lottery. In this new episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast, Hutson and Harris speak with ABA Journal Assistant Managing Editor Victor Li. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
27 minutes | 10 months ago
Reinventing the staid field of legal academic writing
Legal academic publishing isn't synonymous with innovation. The mere mention of it can, for some, bring up repressed memories of the most banal and stuffy aspects of law school. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wants to change that. In spring 2019, MIT announced the MIT Computational Law Report. In this new episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast, technology writer Jason Tashea talks to Bryan Wilson, editor-in-chief of the online publication. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
32 minutes | a year ago
How one lawyer built a practice by defending a notorious accused hacker
Leaving BigLaw to start his own firm in 2011, Tor Ekeland quickly learned that his legal education was insufficient for the task at hand. To Ekeland, the edited cases law students spend three years reading don’t help graduates prepare for practice, which may include appearing before an overworked judge with limited attention or dealing with a lying client. The divide between law school and practice may be best illustrated by the lack of financial management courses, even though violating the client trust account is the “third-rail” of legal practice, according to Ekeland. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
32 minutes | a year ago
Diversity in the legal tech community
The year 2017 was hailed as the "Year of Women in Legal Tech" based on a few high-profile acquisitions and hires. Kristen Sonday, the co-founder of Paladin, a pro bono management platform, however, took a look around and noticed that there were few other founders in the legal tech world who looked like her. So, Sonday set out to understand what the reality was: Was she blind to a cohort of female and minority founders, or did legal tech have a diversity problem? She talks to the ABA Journal’s Jason Tashea in this new episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
29 minutes | a year ago
Criminal justice experts hope tech can more easily help people expunge prior convictions and arrests
In the United States, an estimated 70 million people have a criminal record. Being tagged with this scarlet letter can affect a person’s ability to find employment, housing and even potential relationships. Meanwhile, the expansion of freedom of information laws and the internet has changed how criminal records are used and who has access to them. These changes raise questions around the purpose of criminal records and the limits of legal remedies like expungement and sealing. To make better sense of these issues, Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, and Sarah Lageson, an assistant professor at Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, came together and talked to ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Jason Tashea about their research into the modern trials and tribulations of expungement, sealing and criminal records. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
34 minutes | a year ago
Exploring new frontiers in research for the legal industry
In the latest episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast, ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Jason Tashea talks to legal tech blogger Bob Ambrogi and Andrew Arruda, CEO of artificial intelligence company Ross Intelligence, about what new technology and artificial intelligence can do for legal research. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa.
18 minutes | a year ago
How experiential learning became the norm
Ten years ago, Rodney Smolla was featured as a Legal Rebel for leading an innovative plan at Washington and Lee University School of Law to eliminate traditional third-year coursework and replace it with experiential learning. Many law schools opened clinics in the 1970s and 1980s, according to Smolla, but when Washington and Lee revised its 3L coursework in 2009, legal education for the most part had been unchanged for the past century. People had long thought that it was time for change, regardless of whether they were for or against experiential learning, Smolla tells the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward. Special thanks to our sponsor, Nexa and Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge.
26 minutes | a year ago
What's your brand? Max Miller has some thoughts
It's good to be seen as a "thought leader," but don't call yourself that in marketing materials, says lawyer, professor and small business owner Max Miller. "It should be evident," Miller told the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward in this episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast. "You shouldn't have to put it in your LinkedIn profile." Special thanks to our sponsor, Answer1 and Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge.
29 minutes | a year ago
Avvo founder Mark Britton unwinds as he thinks about next step
Mark Britton, who founded and sold the online attorney ratings site Avvo, is taking a break. This helps with creativity but does cause him some discomfort. After his years of making money from attorneys on his site, he has some business development advice for the profession—zero in on groups of people who might hire you and figure out how they want to be spoken to, he tells the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward. Special thanks to our sponsor, Answer1 and Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge.
27 minutes | 2 years ago
David Van Zandt has made a career out of touching third rails in higher ed
When David Van Zandt became dean of what is now Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law in 1995, he faced a steep learning curve, he tells the ABA Journal's Jason Tashea. But he had a good sense of the demands on recent graduates and lawyers. He also took on faculty hiring and tenure–a third rail in higher education–by hiring those for tenure track positions with not only JDs, but PhDs. Named an ABA Journal Legal Rebel in 2009, Van Zandt is now the president of the New School in New York. Whether grappling with political issues of the day or an oppositional faculty, Van Zandt has continually forged ahead for the changes he believes in. Special thanks to our sponsor, Answer1 and Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge.
18 minutes | 2 years ago
Nonprofit law pioneer applauds 'low bono' growth
Before they were buzzwords, Luz Herrera was a pioneer in the world of "low bono" practice, nonprofit law firms and legal incubators. In this episode of the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels Podcast, Herrera speaks with Angela Morris about how a low-bono practice can enable a lawyer to balance the desire to help people with making a living. Special thanks to our sponsor, Answer1 and Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge.
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