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School of Law

Fall 2018

The Fall 2018 Legaltech Seminar Series focuses on Artificial Intelligence. This semester’s seminars will be September 6 & 27, October 24 & 25, and November 8 & 15.

“The Malpractice of Hunches: Data Analytics, AI, and Legal Ethics”

September 6, 2018 — Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase

Clients ask lawyers the most important questions facing their families and trust lawyers with bet-the-company questions. But lawyers answer these questions, for the most part, based on limited experience (at best) or hunches (at worst). Businesses analyze data for every part of their business, from marketing and supply chain to personnel and sales — every part except law. As clients seek to make more data-driven decisions, what obligation do law firms have to collect and refine data about opposing parties, judges, outcomes, and costs? Are we preparing another generation of law students to duck these questions, or answer them with hunches? Fastcase CEO Ed Walters will examine the frontiers of AI and data analytics, as well as the obligations of lawyers under the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility to employ and supervise artificial intelligence and data analytics tools at the frontiers of legal tech.

  • 1 hour Ethics CLE credit (186576)

“Make Sure the Tool Isn’t You: Managing Attention in the Information Age”

September 27, 2018 — Jack Pringle, Adams and Reese, LLP

Computer networks and devices are now so accessible they rarely leave our hands. And for perhaps the first time in human history, the tools we use to help us be productive lawyers have also been designed specifically to capture our attention for decidedly unproductive purposes.

In fact, the “variable rewards” and “dopamine-driven feedback loops” engineered into smartphones, devices, applications, and social media platforms pose a constant and significant obstacle to stayed focused on important projects during the work day. According to a 2017 study by Asurion, Americans check their phone on average once every 12 minutes, and 31 percent of Americans feel regular anxiety when separated from their phone.

Excessive Internet browsing and smartphone use have been linked to increased anxiety and depression, and can result in increased isolation and less social interaction. And since work is increasingly done outside the office, including at home, our devices rarely leave our hands. When every spare second is occupied by buzzes, beeps, and notifications, there is scarce opportunity for the brain and body to rest and recharge.

This presentation will posit that attention is the most valuable commodity possessed by those in the legal profession (or in any profession), and that all of us are going to need all the attention we can muster to navigate the “Second Machine Age” (tip of the cap to Professors McAfee and Brynjolfsson). In addition, the potential pitfalls of constant “connection” will be explored, with an eye towards understanding when screen time becomes unhealthy and unproductive.

Accordingly, the presentation will also consider the nature of the distractions we face, explore ways to navigate them and get needed space from technology tools when appropriate, and discuss how to pay attention to the important stuff (in part by taking advantage of what computers do best while at the same time avoiding letting them take advantage of us).

  • 1 hour Ethics & 1 hour Substance Abuse/Mental Health CLE credit (186600)

“Legal Implications of Artificial Intelligence”

October 24, 2018 — Bryant Walker Smith, Assistant Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

Artificial intelligence has a range of meanings and elicits a range of reactions. Lawyers of the future will work on, with, and against artificial intelligence. This talk will offer a technical overview of AI, introduce key legal issues, and highlight specific regulatory case studies.

  • 1 hour CLE credit (187980)

“The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence: How It Affects Your Legal Practice Today and Will in the Next Five Years”

October 25, 2018 — Patrick Cleary, Bowman and Brooke LLP

Artificial intelligence is not a binary concept.  There will not be a single point where human lawyers are replaced by a sentient artificially intelligent application.  But artificial intelligence concepts are entering the legal services profession.  This presentation will provide a short history of AI, a description of what AI actually involves, the levels of AI, the benefits and challenges of AI, where AI concepts are already being used in the legal profession, and predictions on where AI will change our profession going forward.

  • 1 hour CLE credit (187176)

“Deus ex machina: Utilizing Technology-Assisted Review in Tandem with Relativity® to Resolve the Dilemma of Overwhelming Data Sets”

November 8, 2018 — Michelle Fogel, Senior Practice Support Coordinator,  McNair Law Firm, P.A.

During theatrical presentations in ancient Greece, a “theos ek mekhanes” or “god from the machine” would lower over the stage at a pivotal moment in the plot. This stage mechanism would contain an actor playing a god, who would hover over the actors and offer a resolution to whatever conflict the play’s characters were facing. In Euripides’ Medea, for example, the Sun-God Helios descended and allowed Medea to escape punishment for killing her two young sons.

The Latin translation — deus ex machina — is used in modern times (particularly in literature and film) to describe an unlikely or artificial concept, character, or device that is introduced to resolve a plot dilemma. The unsolvable problem is miraculously solved; the antagonist is effortlessly defeated. The deus ex machina exists and responds within a storyline in a way that can almost be described as “divine intervention.”

Luckily for those of us who work in the legal industry (and who must respond to discovery requests that dictate the collection of data from numerous and voluminous sources), we have our own versions of this “god from the machine” — our own form of “divine intervention.” We have advanced technological tools that allow us to resolve the oftentimes-overwhelming task of delving through thousands or millions of documents to find a sub-set of relevant items for production. Artificial intelligence — or the replication of human intelligence by technology — is the force behind many of these tools. In the case of e-Discovery, artificial intelligence drives the tools we use for technology-assisted review, or TAR.

This presentation will offer an overview of the history of artificial intelligence as it exists within e-Discovery, with a particular focus on the latest trends in technology-assisted review tools. We will also examine the role metadata plays after artificial intelligence has been applied to a data population — specifically how a review team can easily identify the nuances of a document’s information using metadata and the review tool Relativity®.

This presentation will, lastly, include a brief give-and-take session where attendees may express their thoughts to these questions: does the use of artificial intelligence in e-Discovery detract from the data (or the discovery) itself … does using it make humans less logical or less creative? Or does this modern-day “god” offer a reasonable and uncontrived solution — working symbiotically with humans to resolve our data dilemma? If the latter is so, how do we defend against loss of creativity/logical thought and keep from becoming overly-dependent on these machines that provide seemingly-miraculous solutions?

  • 1 hour CLE credit (187177)

“Creativity and Artificial Intelligence”

November 15, 2018 — Brandon J. Huffman, Founder, Odin Law and Media

Creativity is distinctly human. The ability to imagine, design and realize new works and innovative technologies from nothing is something that other beings have not mastered. This fundamental assumption of human existence is changing. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now making it possible for non-human entities to create works of art. From fine art and music to precise feats of engineering, computers are now authors and inventors. Copyright law is intended to protect exclusive rights in specific expression. When individuals create, copyright ownership is clear. The individual’s rights are clear. The waters are muddied, but still navigable when a corporate entity or employer is involved or where a group of individuals collectively create. But how does the law deal with AI creations? Who owns it? What rights do they own? What if AI infringes on another’s rights? Who is liable? This presentation will explore these and other themes surrounding the impact of AI on intellectual property.

  • 1 hour CLE credit (188362)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.