The Michigan State Law Review Forum has published my article titled “Displaying and Evidencing Contract Terms in a Post-Visual Era.” In this article, I explore the challenges that come with the increasing use of non-visual transactions, interfaces, and devices in today’s contracting landscape. I’ve been thinking about these issues from my days at Mastercard and appreciated the opportunity to capture some of my analysis and tentative conclusions in this article, along with some action steps.

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With technological advancements continuously reshaping how we interact and transact, we must reevaluate our core assumptions and approaches to contract processes.

Here’s an overview of the article, but I recommend you read the whole piece.

Navigating Non-Visual Contracts: A Paradigm Shift

Traditionally, our contractual processes have hinged on visual communication. The act of reading and agreeing to contract terms has long been rooted in the visual medium. However, the rapid proliferation of non-visual interfaces, such as voice-controlled devices, sensors, and intelligent agents, calls for a seismic shift in how we think about contracts as we move into the era of the Internet of Things.

How can we ensure that contract terms are accessible and comprehensible in non-visual contexts? How do we document agreements without the traditional visual forms that have been our foundation for so long?

In this article, I explore four distinct examples of non-visual contracts, each presenting unique challenges:

Contracts without Screens or Displays: With the rise of the Internet of Things, our interactions are extending beyond screens and displays. Devices like smart lightbulbs and running shoes are capable of interactions without visual interfaces, raising questions about how to display contract terms in such contexts.

Voice and Audio-only Contracts: The prevalence of virtual personal assistants like Alexa and Siri, alongside voice-controlled devices, has ushered in an era of voice-centric interactions. Navigating contractual agreements solely through audio input necessitates innovative solutions.

Code-Level Contracts: As we embrace intelligent agents, smart contracts, and artificial intelligence, contracts that occur at a code level without direct human engagement prompt us to rethink the concept of agreement.

Invisible Platform Contracts: In platforms like gaming and the metaverse, transactions occur seamlessly behind the scenes. Contract terms may not be overtly visible, yet they underpin these interactions.

Taking Action: Navigating Non-Visual Contracting

To adapt to this evolving landscape, I propose several action steps:

Simplification: In a non-visual world, contract terms must be simplified for accessibility. Consider using tools like smart contracts to streamline agreements.

Medium-Specific Approaches: Leverage voice recognition and other mediums to authenticate parties and confirm essential terms.

Standardization: Drawing inspiration from standardized licenses, consider implementing industry-wide standard terms for non-visual contracts.

Trust and Transparency: Focus on building trust in non-visual transactions through transparent processes and mechanisms.

Experimentation and Hybrid Solutions: Embrace experimentation and hybrid approaches that cater to the unique challenges of each medium.

Find the full article here.

The journey into the post-visual era of contracting will be challenging. To learn more about the concepts discussed here and explore potential solutions, I encourage you to read the full article. Your insights and perspectives will be vital as we collectively navigate these uncharted waters. I invite you to share the article with your colleagues, friends, and others interested in the law’s future. Our collective efforts to understand, adapt, and innovate will shape the future of contract processes in a non-visual world.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Would you help me out with a LinkedIn poll I’m currently running?

I’ve been told by several people (yes, more than one) that I should share what I’ve been doing with ChatGPT for personal productivity, planning, and innovation, and give some practical tips on those approaches. I’ve been doing a ton of experiments and have found some great uses. These people have noted the potential benefits of my insights on my own practical use of this AI tool to boost personal productivity, streamline planning processes, and ignite innovation in unexpected ways.

They believe a live webinar, complete with a live “ask me anything” Q&A session, would be a great way to share my insights.

They’ve almost convinced me to do this. However, I want to assess the actual demand and the potential audience for a session before I take the plunge. Assume the webinar would be free and that the scheduled time will work for you.

Interested? Would you want to learn more about my practical ways of using ChatGPT and have your questions answered in an interactive session?

To measure the demand for such a session, I’ve set up a quick poll in Linkedin here.

Your input, as always, is invaluable. If this webinar sounds appealing, please cast your vote. Thank you for your participation and consideration!


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Is your leadership team asking for more innovation from your law department? Is delivering innovation results on your department or personal annual objective list?

C-suites are demanding that their general counsels and law departments accelerate their efforts to keep pace with innovation goals across the organization. They want their law departments to be as creative as the rest of the business.

That’s what I’ve been focusing on lately – finding ways to help law departments improve their innovation results and stay ahead of the curve in our rapidly-changing corporate landscape. I think I have something that could help you and your team.

Today, I am thrilled to share with you an exciting development – the launch of my new keynote presentation titled, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Your Law Department: A Roadmap for Results in the Age of AI.” This presentation distills key insights and strategies I’ve gained from my extensive experience as both an in-house counsel and an innovator, and from countless hours of research into a practical roadmap. It outlines how to drive transformative results and improved outcomes in your law department.

It’s packed with practical advice for using tech like AI to make your team work better and get more measurable results from your innovation efforts. It’s based in large part on my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations, and new research and approaches I’ve developed since I wrote the book that I’ve been sharing in my law department innovation column on the LegalTech Hub.

This presentation represents my vision for the future of law departments – a future characterized by technological savvy, strategic innovation, and measurable success. It’s about paving a new path and boldly stepping into the future of law departments.

Here’s what your team can expect to gain:

  • Outcomes-Focused Innovation: The talk goes beyond just tech – it’s about improving results for your department and the clients you serve through tried and tested innovation techniques.
  • Quantifying Transformation: Measuring innovation is a challenge. This presentation lays out a path to the tangible results C-suites expect and provides you with the tools to communicate your results effectively in business terms.
  • Practical Tech Strategies: Full of actionable tips for harnessing AI and other technologies, the presentation encourages practicality over theory, emphasizing the importance of fostering a positive culture around innovation.

Law department innovation is vastly different from law firm innovation. Too often, people knowledgeable in law firm innovation simply try to map what might work for law firms onto law departments without fully understanding those differences, with underwhelming results. I know what you’re up against and how to help you win because I’ve worked in an innovative law department.

I eagerly look forward to sharing this new offering with you at your next department meeting, retreat, or event. I believe it will bring tremendous value to your team, inspiring fresh ideas and providing practical guidance on embracing the future of law departments.

Ultimately, this is more than just a presentation – it’s an opportunity to inspire progress and drive innovation in your law department.

Innovation is not just a buzzword; it’s a journey, one that can lead to exceeding your objectives and improving partnerships within your organization. I would be thrilled to accompany you on this journey and help guide the way so you can seize the initiative and start presenting your C-suite with the innovation outcomes they’re expecting.

Are you ready to bring in new ideas and get creative and effective? Let’s discuss how we can tailor this keynote to your department’s unique needs and get it on your meeting agenda. Go to my speaking page now to learn more details. You can schedule a discussion of the presentation and your needs directly through my Calendly scheduling page.

Stay innovative!

Photo by Chad Stembridge on Unsplash


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Over the last semester, I’ve been teaching two classes at Michigan State University College of Law, one called AI and the Law and the other called New Technologies and the Law, and a class at University of Michigan Law School called Legal Technology Literacy and Leadership. All three classes pushed me to keep up-to-date with the nearly-daily developments in AI, ChatGPT, and LLMs. I also did quite a lot of experiments, primarily with ChatGPT, especially GPT-4, and with Notion AI.

I haven’t written or spoken much about it (unless you happen to be an unsuspecting friend of mine who starts asking me about the topic), with the exception of one of my LegalTech Hub law department innovation columns called “Innovation Ideas: Quantity, Quality, and ChatGPT, on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast here and there, and a bit on some other podcast interviews I’ve done. I’ve been hesitant to report on some of my learnings publicly until I have a greater degree of comfort (the example in the column) – and things change all the time. I’m still hesitant, but I have something that seems ready now.

Since the semester ended, I’ve done much more experimenting than ever before, primarily in the areas of personal productivity and innovation, but in a broad range of other areas. Unlike many others, I’m not ready to make any big pronouncements, but I’m currently fascinated by the points I run into constraints and what I’m learning there. For example, I tried two experiments this morning that seemed reasonable but were big failures.

The experiments I’m doing fit into my original concept of the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory, my project to create a think tank and R&D lab focused on legal innovation.

One goal of Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory is to move ideas into productization, especially the productization of services. The first example of a productized service I created is called Legal Innovation as a Service.

I was thinking about how the Legal Innovation as a Service product would be a perfect place to try to incorporate some AI into a productized service. So, I’ve spent some time working on ways I might be able to do that.

I’ve reached the point where I have some approaches that seem complete enough to move out of the lab and start testing with the Legal Innovation as a Service product.

These are limited AI helper tools that are “human (i.e., Dennis) in the middle” approaches. I believe that they can significantly improve quality and enhance the product’s value, while avoiding confidentiality and other risks.

And I’m ready to test them.

What I’ve decided is to start using them with new orders from customers who want to try them. I’ll keep the price of the Legal Innovation as a Service flat fee the same at least through the summer (but possibly through the end of the year.) I want to test these approaches and get some good data about them to evaluate and make improvements to them.

Intrigued? Reach out to me.

My primary focus these days is on transformative innovation for law departments with a mandate to move innovation forward. However, I’ll consider other customers because the same approaches should work elsewhere in the broader legal world.

You can learn more about Legal Innovation as a Service offerings here. I’m excited to find out how these enhancements will work in the real world.

You can schedule a Zoom meeting to talk about Legal Innovation as a Service with me through my Calendly page.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I’m loving writing my new column on law department innovation for the must-visit LegalTechHub. It’s so much fun to have a regular monthly column again. I’m also pleased with how the columns are turning out.

Here’s a list of the columns through May 2023:

Also, remember that my entire book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations, is now available as a FREE PDF download.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Tom Mighell and I have started a new interview series on The Kennedy-Mighell Report that features “fresh voices on legal tech.” We’ve published three of these already and plan for it to be an ongoing series.

We’re excited both about the idea of the series and the first three episodes – great guests with fresh perspectives and fresh voices.

Here are the episodes so far:

  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Kristen Sonday – Kristen talks about her platform at Paladin connecting lawyers to pro bono work; weighs in on ChatGPT, AI, tech adoption, and more; and shares her top tip for using technology in legal practice.
  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Chase Hertel – Chase discusses his career path and offers tips for helping attorneys engage with technology to improve their practice. They dig into the potential uses and dangers of ChatGPT and other AI tech in the profession, discuss Chase’s work in immigration legal tech, and survey the outlook of legal tech’s future.
  • Fresh Voices on Legal Tech with Natalie Knowlton – Natalie discusses the current state of legal services, the justice gap, and ways technology is helping attorneys provide better and more affordable services to consumers.

I think you’ll really enjoy these episodes. Watch for more in the future. Let us know what you think.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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As I’ve taught classes on cybersecurity, it has struck me how difficult it is for small law firms, and small businesses in general, to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats. It’s difficult to find resources, help, and tools. Doing it right feels like it would be expensive, if you were able to find someone you could trust.

Decorative cybersecurity graphic

At the same time, small organizations might be losing business opportunities because they can’t represent or confirm that they are taking adequate cybersecurity protection measures.

It seems like a perfect place for outsourcing.

A friend of mine heard me commenting about this and introduced me to the team at Aadya Security (https://www.aadyasecurity.com).

They have exactly what I was hoping to find in this space – an outsourced suite of protection tools, managed by them, with reports to customers. They’ve even given the tool a human name – Judy. I love that Judy is on the job, working in the background to protect me, and Judy updates me from time to time about what she is protecting. I also love that I can now tell potential clients that, unlike most solos and smalls, I have this level of security protection. To me, that’s a game changer in itself.

It didn’t take much to convince me. It’s very affordable. I was willing to pay full price by the end of the introductory call, but they gave me an account to try for free. I liked it so much that we’ve set up a referral code for me to have people use – R3DK. Yes, I’ll earn something when you use the code, but take a look at the offerings, compare them to what you are doing now, and make your own decision.

Check it out, tell them I sent you, and use the code – R3DK. Aadya. Get Judy on the job for you.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I wanted to ask my readers to keep the entire Michigan State University community in mind after February 13 shootings. I’ve found the aftermath to be difficult and challenging.

As part of my coping process, I have intentionally chosen not to write about these matters, and I expect to continue to adopt that approach.

While I plan to return to regular posting on other matters, it’s not because I considering the process of dealing with this event over.

However, I will say that I have enormous respect for how students are handling this tragedy.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Cover photo of Successful Innovation Outcomes in LawI’ve decided that I want as many people as possible to read my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations, so I’m now making it available as a FREE PDF download –  Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law – 2023 PDF Version. If you like the book and PDF is not the best format for you (or you want to support the author), you can still buy the book in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.

I thought that giving this version of the book away was a great way to celebrate the 20th blogiversary of DennisKennedy.Blog and promote my new Law Department Innovation Library.

Enjoy the free book and let everyone you know who might be interested in it (or need it) that it is now available in this Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law – 2023 PDF Version.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

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One of the big challenges about publishing a blog on focused topics is that external events can intrude and make your posts seem like they don’t live in the real world.

Twenty years ago today, I published my first post on this blog. Over the years, I liked to mark each blogiversary (or blawgiversary) with some kind of a clever post. For this one, which is kind of a big deal, I had a few clever ideas.

Then, on Monday, the mass shootings happened at Michigan State University. As most of you know, I’m now the Director of the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation and teach several classes at the MSU College of Law. I taught two classes on Monday and left for home about two hours before the terrible events happened. I want to acknowledge the tragedy that happened and the difficulties and challenges that it has created. MSU has canceled classes for the rest of this week as the community tries to deal with the aftermath.

I’ll save something clever or whatever about a blogiversary for another day.

People occasionally ask me if I would have ever expected to still be posting to this blog twenty years later when I started it. I kind of did. It’s been a great outlet, helped me find my voice, and led to so many things, including friendships with the pioneer lawyer bloggers in the photo. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine ever shutting it down.

Thank you all for reading, whether as a longtime reader or a first-time reader. To happier times.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Want to schedule a Zoom call to talk with me about Legal Innovation as a Service, Speaking, or other services? Schedule a Zoom with Dennis via Calendly.

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Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

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