Spending a few days on the farm during bailing season has been an eye-opener. The quaint industry I recall of my youth has been displaced by something much more agile and technology-driven. The resulting products are increasingly buyer-centric, reflecting client preferences and the needs for transportation, storage ease. There is a new face of farming emerging and it is more efficient, more direct.
Farmers now have an array of choices for contracting services. Gone are the days of one individual racing the clock to do it all. Now he or she is much more likely to enlist the help of a contractor to get fields ploughed or limed – to rake, turn and bail the hay – and more. Aside the time savings, there are the cost savings and the benefits of having both skilled labor and machinery “on tap”.
Which brings me to law and a new breed of technology entrant in the legal marketplace that addresses the labor component in the supply chain. Historically, law has been known for its labor intensity – especially in certain areas. Activities such as Discovery, larger-scale M&A or reviews of contract portfolios have been expensive to staff for – the difficulty of staffing for both peaks and troughs while maintaining consistency and quality.
Part of the difficulty lies in the legacy structure applied to the problem of staffing – this also being driven by legacy logistics and the lack of supporting technology. Traditional staffing models can supplement but can be inflexible and expensive. The overhead on temporary labor may be less than permanent staff but the cost still ramps up and clients are left paying the bill.
Which is why we need something different. Very different in fact.
In law we are fortunate to have a rich pool of available talent – many elements of which seek professional flexibility and life-work balance that permanent roles cannot provide. We have seen this occur in other industries and the issue becomes how to harness, coordinate and leverage such talent commercially in the marketplace.
Mplace addresses this. Rather well. This may explain why several major customers and partners have signed on to work with them this year. With an eye to labor sourcing applications adopted in other industries and the importance of pre-screening so clients get qualified candidates, Mplace has been designed to help clients find qualified reviewers and assemble teams more quickly and at lower cost than other options in the marketplace.
The benefits for the client are replicated in the quality and ease of the experience for candidates for whom the app access is simple, flexible and user-friendly. In the same way that the “app” has displaced legacy processes elsewhere, it makes similar inroads in the staffing process – leveraging digital means to drive bottom-line results.
Ford observed that his customers would have asked for faster horses but he saw the need – and opportunity – for the car. In modern law, it may be said that the co-founders of Mplace have a similarly bold view. The opportunity for something better, like Mplace, far outweighs the incremental changes others may suggest. Caleb and Aden are onto something – you can feel it. But even moreso, when you run the numbers, you know it.
You can learn more about Mplace here: www.mplace.io
About David Kinnear
Publisher & Chief Conversationalist
David draws on 20+ years’ experience in both legal practice and in business services delivery since his own call to the Bar in 1989. With several years in the startup environment, including as a co-founder in the legal tech space specifically, he brings a unique and timely perspective on the role of data, automation and artificial intelligence in the modern and efficient delivery of services for legal consumers. Having been both a corporate buyer of legal services and a services provider, he identifies the greater efficiency and value that can be achieved in legal operations for corporate buyers especially.
An attorney, David worked for law firms Pinsent Masons and Linklaters in London before moving to New York to join Credit Suisse. As CAO, he helped negotiate & execute the relocation of Credit Suisse into its new NYC global HQ. Subsequently, David directed major global outsourcing, shared sourcing, HR operations & process efficiency initiatives including the digitization of records, the global roll-out of PeopleSoft HRMS & Y2K. David has worked extensively in the UK, US, Philippines, India and China markets in the areas of data management, human resources and business process outsourcing.
Most recently, David has been successfully investing in and serving as an advisory board member of several legal services start-ups including a cloud-based solution for legal process automation and e-filing; and a technology solution for large-scale capture of court and other public data used for litigation analysis, among others.
David graduated from the University of Manchester with Honors in Law and Bar School (College of Legal Education) in London, and has been a member of Middle Temple since 1989. He is the founder and former Chairman of The Global Sourcing Council.
Member: Bar of England & Wales, ABA, NYCBA, ACC, DRI, LMA