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Someone on LinkedIn Sold Me These Magic Beans: Generative AI and Legal Research

The hype around generative AI and legal research continues, and it seems everyone has an opinion. There are concerns about use of AI in practice, but there is less clarity about how to approach finding sustainable solutions. It is however apparent that we need to consider the risks associated with using these systems, especially those … Continued

Separating legal information from legal advice

Many factors impede the adoption of technology and hinder innovation in the legal sector — the reliance on billable hours, the complex structure of legal documents and processes, and the chronic underfunding of courts, among others. Part of what makes it challenging to address these issues is that there is no clear governing body capable … Continued

Writing Your Book Once You’ve Planned It

If you read my column from April and thought: “Yes, writing a book is exactly what I want to do with all my free time for the next one+ years”, then you may be wondering how to get to the next step of actually writing a book. Firstly, I want to include the caveat that so far … Continued

Could an AI winter happen again?

From the peak of the AI hype cycle, the only way to travel is down. While the AI applications at our fingertips are remarkable — some might say magical — they are not a universal solution for every problem as some enthusiasts proclaim. These tools excel at specifically designed tasks and show promise for diverse … Continued

Uncovering opportunities for legal services

Canada’s access to justice gap is widening, and the legal industry must find ways to narrow it. It’s a gap that also presents major opportunities for growth in legal services. Both for-profit and non-profit services have the chance to tap into a large, underserved market. By analyzing data on how people experience legal problems, we … Continued

Ten Years of Writing for Slaw and Filling the Gaps in Legal Publishing

Yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of my first regular Slaw column. I don’t think I could have guessed I would still be writing it after so much time, and it’s gratifying to hear when people say that they read my pieces. Having a venue where I can write regularly has been a gift for … Continued

Filling the gaps in Indigenous law

We frequently hear about the transformative impact of data-driven technologies, so it’s easy to assume that the task of making legal content available online is done. However, significant gaps remain, particularly concerning Aboriginal and Indigenous law. It’s important to differentiate between the two concepts. The former refers to common law that primarily applies to Indigenous … Continued

How legal issues generate negative consequences

Legal disputes can unleash a domino effect of financial, health, and socioeconomic impacts. Each year, some 5.4 million Canadian residents struggle to get the professional help they need to deal with serious legal problems. The tragedy is that for many people, failure to resolve them in a timely and effective manner can lead to a … Continued

The law of numbers

What the vLex-Fastcase merger tells us about the development of legal AI tools in Canada. Fastcase and vLex were both founded as scrappy smaller competitors in online legal research markets dominated by larger players. That all changed with their recent merger, a clear signal that legal tech companies view extensive data collection as the key … Continued

Getting Started on Writing That Book You’ve Been Thinking About

Over the years I’ve spoken with many people who believe they “have a book in them” or an idea for a book. But to take liberties paraphrasing Stephen Fry’s protagonist in The Hippopotamus: books aren’t made up of ideas, they’re made up of words. So how do you string those words together at scale? Firstly, … Continued