I’ve been in the Legal industry for over a decade and I’ll admit, at the beginning of my career, it was frustrating. I trained as an engineer, and I couldn’t help but focus on what was broken about how Law works. Everywhere else around me the nature of business was changing. IT moved to clouds and handhelds. Finance went from accounting and cost-cutting to an analytics powered strategic partner. “HR” became “People” and work cultures transformed. Legal, however, was the last frontier for innovation, still, a bureaucratic function dressed up in a robe and wig.
Re-think and Re-engineer the Old Ways
I’m here to say I finally feel like we are turning a corner. Market forces like regulations cost pressures and COVID-19 may have contributed to the winds of change. But from my position as a proud, first-time CEO of hundreds of talented lawyers, armed with recent investment and in an ecosystem that includes 1,100+ Legal Tech startups that appeared on AngelList in 2019 (compared to just 15 in 2009), consider me a card-carrying Legal innovation evangelist. Huge strides are being made to re-think and re-engineer, to fix the problems, and change the old ways.
The Promised Land: An Enabler of Business
There is a promised land where Legal isn’t a cost center but a truly differentiating enabler of how a business supports its customers. A promised land where an astronomical legal bill “for services rendered” is a thing of the past, and those “services rendered” build a value chain that engages the right blend of skills and expertise enabled by technology and driven by process. A promised land that enhances customer experience and creates value vs. cost and headache. I’ve not only seen it, but I also lead one of the companies in this space and we’re excited about the opportunity to modernize the market and the industry.
For now, it seems this promised land is still a secret. Part of me is unsure why that is the case. After all, it’s great over here. Another part of me understands—after decades of robes and wigs—that change is hard, even when it’s for the better. Now is the time for you to call your GC or law firm and tell them you know there is a better way.
Originally published in an exclusive column for CEO Magazine here.