Technology

Legal hackathons: a catalyst for change

In April 2020, the Financial Times published an article inviting organisations and individuals from the legal sector to join a global hackathon to develop solutions to problems created by the coronavirus pandemic. While some of us in the legal sphere will read this announcement with admiration and excitement, others will be wondering, “what is a […]

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Key IT skills for modern lawyers

There is often an assumption made that young lawyers (Millennials) entering the profession have the technology skills that my generation (Generation X) and the one that went before me (Baby Boomers) lack. A life brought up with a smartphone in hand equips them to tackle legal technology in a law office standing on their head. […]

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Drones: some legal sightlines

In May 2018, the Government announced revised laws on drone regulation. This was met with concern by many who said it didn’t go far enough. The British Airline Pilots’ Association felt it wouldn’t make drone use near airports safe, giving the example that the new law provided drones could be flown up to 400 ft […]

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What is encryption?

Encryption is a way of making data secure, so that it can only be accessed by authorised parties. Cryptographic techniques are used to render information unintelligible to any third parties whilst it is being stored on an electronic device such as a laptop or smartphone, or during its transit from sender to recipient over the […]

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Virtual reality for lawyers

The basic idea of virtual reality (VR) is to create a computer generated environment which someone can experience and explore, through the use of a headset (incorporating vision and sound) and sometimes other input devices (eg haptic gloves) which allow them to manipulate their virtual surroundings. The concept of a computer simulated reality is nothing […]

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Legal Web Watch October 2016: The need for technological competence

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch October 2016. Legal Web Watch is a free email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here. Across the pond, in 2012, the American Bar Association formally approved a change to their Model Rules of Professional Conduct to […]

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What is the blockchain?

A blockchain is literally a chain of blocks of data recording transactions, connected using digital, cryptographic signatures. Confusingly, blockchain technology is often referred to simply as “Blockchain” (with cap B) or as “the blockchain” (with the definite article prepended). No doubt this usage stems from its initially unique and most widely-known application as the technology […]

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Driverless cars: an introduction

Advances in electronics and computing have gradually been automating various driving functions over several decades, introducing intelligent systems such as ABS and traction control and the more novel automated parking features. However, although Carnegie Mellon University’s Navlab project experimented with the idea of a truly autonomous car back in the 80s, the spectre of a […]

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We need to stop talking about AI

This article first appeared in Legal Web Watch December 2015. Legal Web Watch is a free monthly email service which complements the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. To receive Legal Web Watch regularly sign up here. In a controversial 2003 article in the Harvard Business Review and a follow-up book with the same title, technology writer […]

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Law firms still not proactively investing in IT?

It is now nearly 20 years ago since my book Legal Practice in the Digital Age was first published. The book’s central theme was that despite all the money law firms were spending on technology in those days, most of this money (money which might otherwise be going to partners) was being spent on the wrong stuff. […]

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Drones: an introduction

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, generally refer to aircraft without an on-board pilot, which are controlled remotely or by computer software. Originally the preserve of the military carrying out surveillance or deploying bombs, drones have been adapted for a wide range of uses in all kinds of industries including agriculture, security […]

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A barrister-only ABS enabled by technology

Richmond Chambers LLP is an award-winning, innovative partnership of specialist immigration barristers. Authorised by the SRA as the first barrister-only ABS in July 2013, our members share a core commitment to providing high quality immigration law advice and representation directly to the public. Following the introduction of the public access scheme for immigration work in […]

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