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.