Legal Tech Meets Law Firm Strategy
Lawyers who still secretly think technology will go away now need to give up hope.
Some might think that by now, all lawyers lovingly embrace tech. Not if we judge by the number of litigators who still don’t get e-discovery. But I digress.
Today the New York Times reported that H.P. Sees a Revolution in Memory Chip. Moore’s Law posits that computer processing power doubles every 18 months. What the article tells us, in brief, is that “memristors” are a new way to pack yet more processing power on a chip. So Moore’s Law is not being repealed anytime soon.
For any lawyer who thinks this is not relevant, all I can say is “look around”. Much of what we take for granted today about daily life – communication, media, cars, safe flights, ATMs, ubiquitous credit card retailing, and appliances – depends on the advent of cheap and powerful processors and memory.
It’s not clear yet, however, what that march of technology means for lawyers. Maybe I’m jaded, but it seems the major legal tech advances of late have been pretty much in e-discovery. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it is limited.
I continue to believe that now is a good time for legal tech managers. As firms get over the 2009 shell-shock, they are actually differentiating. Some will find new and interesting ways to use tech to deliver more value.
I’m not the only believer. At the recent Georgetown Law conference, I met a VC who plans to invest in a few legal tech start-ups. And let’s not forget two recent marriages of strategy and tech consultants. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Hildebrandt and Baker Robbins merged operations recently (both have been owned by Thomson Reuters for some time) and that Altman Weil this month inked an alliance with Project Leadership Associates (which is long on legal tech).
Dan Safran, Project Leadership Associates’ Executive Vice President, Legal Solutions sums up at InsideLegal my views nicely:
“Key trends like alternative fee arrangements, project management, strategy development along with the right blend of process, organization and technology execution and sophisticated performance benchmarking are creating a need for legal organizations to integrate technology into their strategic operations.”
Now we just have to wait to see how the legal market uses the ever increasing amounts of processing power.
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