It has been fascinating to watch the response to the recent news of a major bank investing in – and successfully rolling out – new legal technology. Specifically, there was an audible sucking-in of breath around the marketplace that (a) this had happened and (b) did you see the figures? Shock. Unbridled shock that anyone has spent that much, saved that much and, well, succeeded.
There’s a disturbance in the force.
For quite a while legal technology – or “legaltech” as it has been labelled – has been the sanctuary of a relative few. In my first go-round as a co-founder in legaltech a few years ago, there was almost nothing else out there. That’s not so now. We’re seeing a growing appetite among buyers and that’s fueling an uptick in new offerings. Granted, some may not make it far – or far enough – but it’s not all going away either.
In addition to the pithy start-up scene, don’t overlook the majors. And in looking at the majors, don’t just look within the traditional legal sphere. Get outside the comfort zone. As law becomes recognized as tech and data capable by a broader audience, other players with deep pockets can tap tech to make plays for the space. We see problems in law being addressed as a variation on issues that impact other industries. It tugs at the raw nerve of whether law is indeed unique or just feels that way. Time will tell.
Which brings us to #WhatThePuck – a regular commentary on High Performance Counsel. The world is a series of disruptive events. Industries are seized and overrun by those who get there first and buy, defeat or otherwise outlast the competition. Law will be no exception. Gretzky said:
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
We’re here to address disruption and bring it to the fore – the people, the issues, the solutions and the organizations who will frame the next decade. The ones who will make it happen. Is that you? Are you up there with Gretzky?