The legal technology space has exploded, bringing unprecedented disruption to the $600 billion global legal services market. Each month dozens of companies burst onto the scene promising to transform daily legal tasks, and the pace of transformation is only accelerating. Funding of companies has increased. Consolidation and acquisitions are continuing. The In-House Counsel’s Legal Tech Buyer’s Guide 2018 (free, and available to download) reflects these major developments. It provides law department recommendations of more than 130 tech products that are changing the legal profession.
Here eight women building leading products in legal tech (featured in the guide) give their thoughts on how legal tech is changing the law.
Nicole Shanahan, Founder Clear Access IP
“Greater than 86% of the legal needs in the US go unmet. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, housing 22% of the world’s prisoners. Relevant to ClearAccessIP, the top 1% of companies own roughly more than 70% of the patents that are in use today. Only 17% of people are happy with the current government, and 80% of Americans say they don’t trust the government. My hypothesis is that when lawyers, no matter how well-intentioned, operate in an environment with decaying legal infrastructure, they face increasing social entropy, that is, the decay of social distinctions, trust and value systems. Legal technology lends us new variables to form a new formula wherein lawyers are paired with increased computational capacity, forming, inevitably, a more complete legal infrastructure. The promise of legal technology goes so far beyond making lawyers more efficient: it is a new paradigm of social infrastructure, rule of law, and civil conduct. ”
Laura Safdie, Chief Operating Officer & GC, Casetext
Discussing the adoption of legal tech – and in particular the rise of AI used in platforms such as Casetext:
Lucy Bassli, Chief Legal Strategist, LawGeex
“There are so many choices on the market that buyers are simply overwhelmed. Any guide that helps dispel some myths and create a level playing field for more competent assessments by prospective buyers will be a welcomed tool. While there is still no magic button that legal tech provides, every day the technology is advancing and maturing. If buyers are realistic and prepared, they can really benefit from legal tech today.”
Alma Asay, Chief Innovation Officer, Integreon & founder, Allegory
“If you attend many legal innovation conferences, the themes often center around what’s next and what technology can do—e.g. Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain—as if technology is a solution in and of itself. However, when I speak with lawyers within law firms and corporations, the major theme isn’t around specific technology, but rather how to adopt any of the proliferating technology that’s out there. Change management or “people, process, then technology” are themes I hear more and more, as clients recover from early failures to successfully implement technology. Accordingly, clients are now demanding of their technology providers not only outstanding service, features, and security, but also concrete change management plans.”
Monica Enand, CEO and Founder, Zapproved
“We are seeing a number of themes for today’s legal tech. The rate of adoption of native cloud solutions over on-premise options is continuing to increase. In-house legal departments are shifting towards running as business units, marked by an increased ROI evaluation of legal technology. There is a growing separation of legal tech front-runners from the field and, finally, security has become the leading concern for corporate litigation response plans. Zapproved’s priority remains delivery of unmatched service to our customers, assisting corporate legal teams with secure, cost-effective e-discovery solutions as a crucial part of their litigation readiness plan.”
Basha Rubin, CEO & Co-Founder, Priori Legal
“Digital natives are taking the helm at legal departments, which has meant increased receptivity toward technology solutions and desire for data-driven accountability for outside providers. With the legal industry on the precipice of a sea change, it’s an exciting time to be a legaltech founder.”
Chrissie Lightfoot, Co-Founder & CEO, Robot Lawyer LISA
“One of the biggest themes and trends currently and in the future for Legal Tech and Law Tech is ‘collaboration’. The legal landscape is experiencing collaboration between technology vendors (AI platform providers and tool creators) to deliver a combined range of AI solutions to benefit businesses ranging from start-up to SME through to large multijurisdictional monoliths. We are also seeing the rise of the ‘Professional Services Incubator’ comprising greater collaboration between professional service corporations, established legal technology vendors (and start-up law tech companies), law firms (and clients), lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs and law societies; for example the recent launch of Barclays Bank’s legal tech incubator embracing some of the aforementioned. It used to be said that ‘content is King.’ Now, survival and/or success (growth and scale) for a whole range of companies may well depend on ‘collaboration being King’.”
Haley Altman, CEO & Founder, Doxly
“Clients are not and, most likely, will not drive adoption of legal tech in law firms. It is too difficult and time consuming for clients to evaluate technology that a law firm should investigate on their own. Clients make their displeasure with law firm efficiency known, not by requesting technology, but by switching firms or shifting work to alternative service providers.
Despite the heavy focus on technology adoption as a way to stem the tide of losing legal work, many law firms still hesitate to make meaningful technology investments. To increase adoption, legal tech companies must emphasize the benefits to law firm clients and establish clear implementation plans and success metrics. While legal tech companies try to dial in on the sales strategies and success metrics, I think you will see consistent consolidation across the legal tech market as companies attempt to provide more holistic offerings.”
- The legal tech market size and growth in the past year
- The definitive step-by-step guide on how to buy legal tech from Lucy Bassli, former Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft
- First person accounts of legal tech buying by leading legal department leaders at the world’s top companies, including Facebook, Google, NetApp, McDonald’s, AIG, Twitter and many more
- 130+ top technology solutions for legal departments
- Explanations of an in-house legal tech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more