Who Has Time for Legal Tech?

Recently, Nimble had the opportunity to share best practices in selecting and implementing legal technology at the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo for the Association of Legal Administrators. It was fun to be in a room full of people who were as geeked about legal tech as we are…even if it was 8:00 AM on the last day of the conference.

But implementing legal tech in the current environment is not for the faint of heart.

Rapidly Changing Market

Just keeping up with the rapidly changing legal tech market is a challenge. Here are some of the trends we’re paying attention to:

  • Rise and Impact of Analytics: LexMachina, Westlaw Edge, Fastcase Analytics Workbench

  • Investment in Legal Tech hit $1 Billion in 2018

    • $500 Million to LegalZoom

    • $100 Million to Exterro (e-discovery)

    • $65 Million to Atrium (combination law firm and legal technology company)

    • $50 Million to Kira Systems

  • Ongoing acquisitions and consolidation

    • Consillio and Advanced Discovery

    • Lexicata (CRM) Acquired by Clio

    • Elevate acquired Lex Predict (legal consulting company)

    • Seal Software acquired Apogee Legal (contract analytics)

All these changes can be a lot for legal operations professionals to keep up with.

Barriers to Implementation

Resistance to change. Limited budgets. Fear of the cloud. Investment in legacy systems. There’s no doubt that legal tech faces some significant barriers. But, according to our live poll at our ALA conference session, lack of time is hands down the biggest obstacle for law firms. Take a look at the poll results below:

what-is-the-single-biggest-obstacle-you-anticipate-when-introducing-new-technology-to-your-firm.png

Overcoming Challenges

Even so, leaders in the legal industry have to find ways to keep technology projects moving forward. Here are a few things we’ve seen work well in the past:

  • Start with a pilot - Find a practice group, office or team that is excited about the technology and go-live with them first. This will let you start with a “bite sized” project and work out some of the kinks before a broader launch.

  • Add flexible resources - Consider using consultants for the implementation or temporary resources to take on day-to-day work to give attorneys/staff time to work on the implementation.

  • Choose wisely - Invest the time up front to choose the right technology partner carefully by clearly defining your requirements and thoroughly vetting potential vendors in a competitive RFP process. Having an implementation fail to deliver expected benefits is expensive and time consuming. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The most important changes take vision and persistence. There are huge competitive advantages awaiting the law firms and legal departments that stay the course. And remember, Nimble is here to help.