Zepp

Meet Bondrew: Our Future ‘Freestyle’ Lawyer
Meet Bondrew: Our Future ‘Freestyle’ Lawyer 1024 518 Raymond Blijd

Freestyle Chess is a competition between humans, who are allowed, like in correspondence chess, to make use of any technical support for selecting their moves. Basically it’s an interplay between human intuition and computer calculating power to arrive at the best course of action. What if we had such advance algorithms similar to the chess paradigm, how would these system assist lawyers in picking legal strategies? And who would likely use them?

Freestyle
I’ve always been intrigued by the question how lawyers would use technology in the future. This interesting view of the future which mentioned the freestyle chess analogy reminded me once again: the future is already here, it’s just in camouflage. But to really understand the future of the legal profession I’d first needed a profile of a human (Who) using this advance technology and then look at the technology (What). I’ll will restrain myself predicting When this might happen.

Bondrew
Bondrew grew up somewhere in South America and has traveled the world. He is still always on the go and has never touched a desktop computer or worked in a traditional office. He received his law degree while attending an Technology & Law e-Curriculumof two years by following courses via MOOC* on his smartphone. He has never met his professors in person, yet managed to graduated “top of his class”. He majored in Advance Legal Networking which teaches the ability to leverage technology, peers, digital and tangible sources for legal solutions. He also passed the Litigation Predictions Bar** which automatically makes him eligible to litigate in all online jurisdictions***.

Future
He is not a lawyer in the traditional sense by any stretch but a trader and trafficker of legal information, in short a law information broker in a modern sense. He is adept at leveraging sources for information with technology and thus adds value to his legal practice. He’s able to scan the legal needs, deficiencies and risks of his clients and propose solutions in a matter of milliseconds. By continuously running simulations andquantitative analysis on different legal scenarios, he is able to adapt, predict and communicate his legal support in real time to clients.

Tools
Now if this is a possible future, which tools would he need? I’m hoping he would use the following:

  1. Zepp to network and connect legal sources to legal needs,
  2. Desh to update his legal practice and documents,
  3. Monocle for researching purposes,
  4. im·merse to assist with scanning and intake of new clients and predicting outcomes.

I’m wondering what Bondrew does in his spare time because he spends just 28 hours a week managing and growing his practice…

*A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. MIT, Stanford among many other esteem universities around world deliver them. read more here: http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

**Litigation Predictions Bar: by running digital simulations on actual and anticipated opposing counsel arguments one can predict in a non-jury civil law system, possible outcomes. It is a technique of preventing litigation and refining agreements. However, similar to chess, you’re also able to run actual litigation proceedings and be judged or settle them.

***I admit, it’s easy to fantasize about ODR but as a recovering lawyer it’s still hard to imagine a border less legal market.

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CYOS Divergence: How The Growth of Apps Bolsters The Complex
CYOS Divergence: How The Growth of Apps Bolsters The Complex 570 274 Raymond Blijd
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has taken root. In 2012, 38% of CIO’s expected to support personal devices. Now 82% of companies allow it and it’s posing new challenges for IT because along with these devices come a lot of new services in apps. All beguile you into accepting a new habit and immerse you. This has giving rise to the ‘Connect Your Own Service’ (CYOS) trend and its unintended consequences: a world more complex and disconnected which threatens to submerge you. Here’s why:

A Fog of Apps 
A glimpse into my computer life 2007-2013 :

  • I have downloaded over 900 apps in 6 years, a trend likely to accelerate due to the lowering prices of apps. Imagine doing this on a PC without running into a nasty virus and a tremendous bill.
  • I have journeyed through multiple operating systems and migrated from desktop to mobile.
  • I have moved most of my information into the cloud and choose software based on their cloud support and mobile clone.
  • I took approximately 7800 pictures and videos. The only category my wife beats me hands down.
  • Privately I’ve stop emailing anyone under the age of 70 and
  • I have shared more with my inner circle between the ages 14 and 70 than at any moment in our lives.

I have undoubtedly generated more data personally and professionally and…it’s liberating yet suffocating.

Say my name!
Each app or service I use will most likely ask me who I am. I will either have to remember my name(?!) from a previous encounter or make up a new and even sillier name. And then comes the dreaded password requirement which needs to be so strong its impossible to remember. I know there’s an app for that but my parents already gave me a name at birth and happily counted 10 little passwords. One company has smartly recognized this fact and hopefully I’ll try it this Christmas. Even though it isn’t infallible and can be hacked by my 4 year old, it’s far better than remembering 900 passcodes which are unbreakable with brute force attacks by global distributed networks. As beautifully presented in this dynamic visualization I suspect no company will ever be entirely safe from breaches.

A Forest of Data
Now the above doesn’t bother me as much as the disconnect between these services by creating silos. In previous posts I’ve mentioned losing information much to my chagrin. I’m already working on solving the bridge of cut, copy and paste and integrating tasks in a single workflow. But ultimately my aim is to dwindle the number of 900 apps. The disparate manner and ambition each service exhibit to solve my problem while struggling to incorporate my larger environment concerns me. Because I find they mostly ignore the context and intent I might have in harvesting and handling all my data and associated analytics.

If This Then What?
This problem has not gone unnoticed nor unexploited by others as even legal professionals have wandered into the cloud with Dropbox (58%), Google Docs (43%) and Evernote (23%). This is also reflected in their use of popular productivity mobile apps. However, these services only store my information but do not connect to my workflow. Moreover, they most likely ignore the intent of legal professionals. Now in order to get a handle on this divergence I starting mapping out my own information network and how it all connects based on how I use it. And then visualized my intent as a legal professional.

 

cyos1

 

Nowadays most services support some connections while some purposely block each other. I used RSS trickery or just simply emailing the service to connect my information. Lately I’m able to use smarter services that ‘cook up’ better connections. IFTTT is such a service which use “recipes” to help me reconnect. Even notable publishers like the NY Times have been getting in on the action. Its getting better but its less than ideal so my search continues.

 

cyos2As featured in DESH I would imagine creating rules such as: IF I receive news on Copyright Transfers I would

  • THEN save it to Monocle OR
  • THEN add a reminder in Zepp to email my client. OR
  • THEN update documents.

 

cyos3I have spend the first 26 years of my life learning, I’ve noticed spending the rest struggling to keep up with all I have learned. The internet serves to be an engine of convenience by connecting not diverging and we should continue to support that goal.

6 Reasons for Building for The Concept Worker
6 Reasons for Building for The Concept Worker 960 540 Raymond Blijd

Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future contains a description of a new age: the Conceptual Age which features the Concept Worker. This is different from what is called a Knowledge Worker, a term introduced by Peter Drucker. Publishers traditionally serve the knowledge workers: people who work primarily with information and those who develop and use knowledge in the workplace. So, if the next wave of customers will be Concept Workers, what tools would they need?

Concept Workers
Concept Workers would hopefully enjoy working with a tool like Concept Zepp (Solving Social and Research Online) which I introduced in an earlier post. It aims to reward researching and sharing information between peers to expose expertise; a personal knowledge management application that will help them advance their knowledge.

building for knowledge worker

6 rules of knowledge management
First, we need to understand what knowledge management is before we can make a tool for it. Unfortunately, there is no industry consensus. One blogger stopped counting knowledge management definitions at 54, after which the blog went offline. As with a lot of complex problems they are often easily solved by explaining them to a 4-year-old. Keeping that in mind, I found this definition in Rules of knowledge management:

How children share – Davenport’s Kindergarten Rationale:

  1. You share with the friends you trust
  2. You share when you’re sure you’ll get something in return
  3. Your toys are more special than anyone else’s
  4. You share when the teacher tells you to until she turns her back
  5. When toys are scarce, there’s less sharing
  6. Once yours get taken, you never share again
Translating this to a concept worker network it might look something like the image below:
Legalcomplex Concept-Workers-Network
In short: we get smarter by reading and enriching content other people have produced. By sharing our own we have the chance to make others benefit equally. But we only share if we’ll get something in return.

 

6 reasons social is important
In essence, knowledge sharing is a fundamental part of being a social human being and a member of society. I’ve gather a few arguments which indicate why ‘social’ is important:

  1. There is a growing awareness among most major players that they must tap into social networks. For instance, Google is reportedly betting the company on GooglePlus and CNN made a sizable investment to acquire technology to incorporate a more personalized experience for its users.
  2. The main impetus is to extract information from the social activity that occurs on such networks and to use that information to make better decisions about search results and other targeted services. From: How Social is Changing the Search Industry
  3. Activity streams in social networks facilitate serendipity and informal learning.
  4. They help flatten organisations and traditionally hierarchical structures.
  5. They inspire an open knowledge sharing culture. From: 5 Reasons Why Activity Streams Will Save You From Information Overload
  6. Corporations like law firms want to create a social platform for better knowledge flow because they are struggling with email filing and knowledge management as a whole. From: What’s New in Legal KM?

6 reasons for building tools for the concept workers
Finally, here are 6 reasons why we should build tools to support concept and knowledge workers:

  1. Knowledge workers understand information as currency. Sharing is a core strategy for success even in a corporate context. This can bring knowledge workers to the commons.
  2. Their worldview is informed by systems thinking or is polyglot. It’s not informed by a single political ideology.
  3. They understand that influence depends on the ability to persuade, and that choice of language is important.
  4. Knowledge workers can become moderate radicals, meaning they believe that fundamental change is needed.
  5. Their identities are not wrapped up in a single belief system so they have options. Courtesy of: The new knowledge worker
  6. And to add my own: They will always look for and find better ways of advancing their knowledge.

So why don’t we give them a special toy to do just that.

Concept Zepp: Solving Personal, Research, and Social
Concept Zepp: Solving Personal, Research, and Social 960 540 Raymond Blijd
“The next big thing needs to be a proactive approach to knowing where data lives and what it means. It needs to include tools to keep data organized and secured regardless of location.” I lifted this quote from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog because it sums up part of Zepp, a concept that I have been thinking about for the past few months.

The Challenges
In some of my previous posts (the LegalComplex Library and it’s precursor post) I looked at the analysis of the current and future environment of knowledge workers. The challenge which many knowledge professional face is that they have a multi-verse of applications and solutions to do research tasks in sequence and within one workflow.

Example: How can one capture web content, annotate, save, organize it for easy retrieval, and share it while preserving context and within this process also be rewarded with a pleasant experience and the ability to showcase your work and expertise? This would ultimately benefit the user through recognition and perhaps more profitable assignments.

The Workflows
Let’s run through this: You’ve discovered an important argument for a copyright case on the web while browsing. You now want to save, annotate, and share it. A browser’s core function is singular in the sense that its main focus is rendering web content. The save, annotate, and share parts are just add-ons.

So one will have to just copy and paste the content and hyperlink (! must not forget) to a word processor. Depending on your tool of choice, you will either have a canon or water pistol in your hands to do the basic saving and annotating. You head over to your email client, hunt down your work via the ‘attach file’ dialog box and send it. It’s now gone and only you and your recipients know what has transpired.

The Solutions
So far we ran through 3 applications (Browser, Word, Email) and I haven’t counted the retrieval part yet. Depending on your set-up you are faced with having these 3 add-on features (Browser History, File Search or Email Search) to do the retention/retrieval or have a fourth application to tie it together.

Some tools might even add a layer of knowledge management but this is most often an afterthought. You could use something like Apple’s Reading List, however, you would still be faced with figuring out the initial integration with your other solutions.

The Social
Most of these applications will not have the goal to help you promote, showcase or profile your work. As indicated in this post on The Next Web (“In Social Media: Doctors, Lawyers, and Financiers, oh my!), ’chances are, when you think “open,” “social,” and “sharing,” your doctor, lawyer, and financial person are probably not at the top of your list…But doctors, lawyers, and financiers are people too.

The above link and this article delve into a paradigm of these heavy regulated industries and why being social is so difficult because of compliance or policy. On our own Solutions, Blog Cathy Betz talked about it here and here for the Drug Industry and Leanne Summers also made a passionate plea for sharing with colleagues.

The sheer number of users on Facebook (700+ mln), Twitter (300+mln) and Google+ , reportedly the fastest growing in history, make the case: it isn’t about traffic, searches, or page views anymore, it’s about users and sharing.

“Social Business” is not about technology, or about “corporate culture.” It is a sociopolitical historical shift that is bigger, broader and much more fascinating.” (Social Business Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does, Neither Does Enterprise 2.0)

“Zepp it”
To sum it up, the core activities to be tied together and simplified are:

  1. Discover (Search, Read, Browse)
  2. Organize (Save, Annotate, Group)
  3. Share
  4. Profile

Copy/pasting, multitasking and app switching has become so ingrained in our daily workflows that we have grown accustomed to it. We tend to forget the frustration and tediousness until we have to do it on a 3.5-inch screen with no keyboard.

So Zepp is first and foremost an acknowledgment that these four essential research activities for any knowledge professional can and must be simplified and…pleasant. The video below demonstrates how Zepp would look like…plus a sneak peek at what’s next, Enjoy!

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