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School of Law

Legaltech Seminar Series

The School of Law’s Academic Technology department, along with the Technology Law Students Association (TLSA) and Women in Law have joined together to present a regularly scheduled seminar series on Thursday mornings from 8:00 to 9:00 AM on how technology affects the law. The series features guest lecturers who are prominent experts in various legal technology fields. These free seminars are held in the Judge Karen J. Williams Courtroom in the School of Law, and are open to law students, to members of the legal community, and to the general public! (No advanced registration is required for our in-person LegalTech Seminar Series.)

Spring 2020

The spring series focus is “Women in LegalTech”.  Please see below for descriptions of our spring series seminars.

If you cannot attend our Spring LegalTech Series Seminars in person, we also have alternate delivery recordings of select seminars for CLE credit. Each online alternate delivery recording is $35. Click on the link to register for the alternate delivery recording.


Scheduled Presentations

 

 

“Universal Citation: The Second-Best Time to End Parallel Citation Is Now”

February 6, 2020 — Eve Ross, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina

Case law researchers at every level of budget and expertise—from self-represented members of the public using court websites, to lawyers using subscription-only databases—all have two things in common. First, they’re almost certainly doing their case law research online. Second, when they cite South Carolina case law in a South Carolina court document, they’re still required to provide volume numbers and page numbers from two sets of physical books (case reporters) that they almost certainly never saw or touched while researching. Isn’t that strange?

Parallel citation to case reporters could have ended 25 years ago, when case law went online, but at least in South Carolina, it remains. Recent events suggest there may now be additional movement toward updating citation rules to match technological realities. In 2018, Harvard Law Library publicly launched its Caselaw Access Project, an unprecedented digital archive that includes every published South Carolina decision from 1700 to mid-2018, and in 2019, North Carolina announced it is considering universal citation. Case law citation format may be a minor annoyance that most lawyers have long since accepted as the status quo. But the potential time, money, and frustration that everyone could save—from people in need of access to justice, to law firms looking to decrease their legal research spend—make the discussion of a streamlined, tech-friendly citation format worthwhile.

 

  

“Ethical Obligations of Artificial Intelligence in E-Discovery”

February 20, 2020 — Marilynn Gartley, Senior Litigation Counsel for Chapter 7 Panel Bankruptcy Trustee for the District of South Carolina, Robert F Anderson, Anderson & Associates, P.A.

Artificial intelligence technologies, including its subfield of machine learning systems (such as those that deploy deep learning models), are pervasive and at this juncture, are encountered in almost every aspect of our society and economy; ranging from self-driving automobiles to human-decision making in the context of, among others, urban infrastructure planning, law enforcement, banking, business, and healthcare. This also incorporates tasks that many of us now take for granted and even classify as mundane, such as in the automatic classification of emails as junk mail, receipt of recommendations based on our purchase history when making our next purchase on the Amazon platform, use of a social media platform, or in the recommendations we are provided with by a streaming platform like Pandora, Hulu or Netflix.

Lawyers are already using forms of artificial intelligence technologies to complete tasks in their everyday practice, such as in reviewing documents during litigation, investigations, and due diligence. This includes performing legal research, writing legal briefs and memoranda, contract management and analysis; litigation forecasting—iteratively predicting the best steps to next take during the progressive path of a client-matter and in predicting potential outcomes in a given type of litigation based on the specific pattern of facts presented). It also includes discovery as far as classifying documents in litigation for relevance and privilege and thus, for production or in the context of pre-litigation tasks (such as in conducting an internal corporate compliance review); and document generation (for instance, in generating a contract containing the best aspects and most relevant components as selected for use therein from an amalgamation of potentially applicable forms).

Rule 1.1 of the ABA Model Rules, as clarified by comment 8, requires that lawyers possess and maintain current technological competence (a statement on technological competence has now been adopted by 38 states, including in comment 6 to Rule 1.1 in South Carolina), which reaches artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Indeed, beyond Rule 1.1, Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.4, 5.1, and 5.3 are also implicated in both the use and non-use of these available technologies. Moreover, on August 12, 2019, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association adopted Resolution 112, which provides as follows:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges courts and lawyers to address the emerging ethical and legal issues related to the usage of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the practice of law including: (1) bias, explainability, and transparency of automated decisions made by AI; (2) ethical and beneficial usage of AI; and (3) controls and oversight of AI and the vendors that provide AI.

Please join us for this 1-hour ethics CLE that has been designed by Ms. Gartley to equip attendees with key technical concepts in the use of available AI and machine learning technologies and legal insights ranging from the fundamentals to the finer points. Learn the ethical implications associated with the use of these technologies (whether in the context of your own use, by the opposing party, or by a third-party vendor), and learn insider tips in affirmatively tackling the legal issues raised by these forms of technologies, including gaining insight into the practical ways that you too can successfully use these tools as a means to automate parts of your practice along with the know-how for their implementation with the necessary ethical safeguards.

1 hour Ethics CLE credit  (202705)

 


Past Seminars of this Semester 

 

“The Duty of Tech Competency: Legal and Ethical Ramifications of South Carolina’s Recent Rule Changes"

January 9, 2020 — Mary Lucas, Chief Information Security Officer and Assistant Chief Counsel, S.C. Department of Natural Resources

South Carolina has joined 37 other states in adopting the duty of technology competency for lawyers.  Specifically, in November 2019, the Supreme Court of South Carolina approved several amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct impacting a lawyer’s legal and ethical obligations as they pertain to technology competency.  However, while the amendments are based on 2012 amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, there are notable differences. 

This seminar will address the ABA technology competency requirements, the South Carolina technology competency requirements, the distinctions between the two, and what it means for the practice of law in South Carolina.

1 hour Ethics CLE credit  (201921)

 

"The Delta Model: Lawyer Competencies for the Computational Age”

January 23, 2020 — Caitlin “Cat” Moon, Director of PoLI Institute and Innovation Design, Program on Law & Innovation and Lecturer in Law, Vanderbilt Law School

“Computers and automation have carried organization to as high a level of efficiency as atomic energy has carried physical power. They can be expected to affect the relationship of the elements with which they work to the same degree atomic fission has affected its elements. It is submitted that most attorneys are not aware of the magnitude of changes that have taken place. Even worse, they have no basis on which to speculate about changes yet to come. Their awakening may be rude and jolting.” — William Fenwick, “Automation and the Law: Challenge to the Attorney.” 21 Vand. L. Rev. 228, 263 (1968)

Bill Fenwick, a founding partner of the Silicon Valley firm Fenwick and West, could make the same observation today as he made 51 years ago in his student note while at Vanderbilt Law.

We know that globally, the world of work is changing — and drastically. The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Future of Jobs Report warns us: “While the implications of current disruptions to business models for jobs are far-reaching, even daunting, rapid adjustment to the new reality and its opportunities is possible, provided there is concerted effort by all stakeholders.”

Instead of a rude and jolting awakening, let the legal profession be intentional and prepared. And we can be. When armed with agile, iterative frameworks like the Delta Model for lawyer competency, we have the capacity to include all stakeholders in identifying and amplifying the most important competencies needed to deliver legal services effectively and ethically in this Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond. And to prepare accordingly.

The Delta Model, a holistic competency framework, leads us to reimagine the legal professional by broadening our understanding and application of competencies and skills and including roles that extend beyond traditional JD-required ones. The Model builds upon existing research such as the Carnegie and MacCrate reports and frameworks including the T-shaped lawyer model and integrates original research, with the goal to create a data-based model reflecting both what we know about effective lawyering and an iterative approach to reflect and adapt to change as it happens.

In this interactive talk, Professor Cat Moon will share practical applications of the Delta Model and invite participants to consider how its relevance and application can serve to help legal professionals at any point in their career to plan proactively to thrive in this computational era.

1 hour Ethics/CompCon/Tech CLE credit  (197379)

 

 


Past Legaltech Seminars Archive

Learn about past seminars.


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