I’ve been disappointed not to see more client-facing systems in the legal market. I recently wrote an article suggesting potential explanations.
It elicited little feedback so I am posting a short summary here. Any confirmation or rejection of the theories I propose is welcome.
Two recent surveys found that few firms use technology to achieve substantial client impact. In May 2012, I surveyed large firms to update a list of client-facing systems that I compiled six years ago. I was surprised by how few new online services I found. In November 2012, the FT issued its US Innovative Lawyers 2012 report, based on survey research and interviews. Legal tech barely features in it.
THE POTENTIAL EXPLANATIONS
– Firms lack interest
– The CIO has no time
– Individual partner and institutional firm interests diverge
– Lawyers are too risk averse
– Firms lack investment capital
– Firm management has no time
– Law and legal advice are too complex
– Clients lack interest
WHAT THE FUTURE MAY HOLD
– Alternatives to BigLaw gain share, in part with client-facing technology
– Some large law Firms Innovate to build systems, they gain share
– Clients act on their own to build systems
– No change
Is your factual assessment different? Or do you have other theories, or predictions? You can e-mail here: info at prismlegal dot com.