Where to look for Legal Tech solutions?
Building a market intelligence of available Legal Tech solutions is an essential part of any technology implementation process in a law firm or an in-house legal department. It may take a lot of time to learn how to navigating in the market to find products, which fit into requirements. In this article, I would like to share with you some tips on how to conduct such research in a smarter way than a simple Google search. This is the result of a year of my personal experience with the implementation of Legal Technology.
1. Industry reports
This is probably the most effective way to identify key players in the legal tech market. One of the best curated and distilled industry report is Legal Tech Buyer's Guide, which is prepared once a year by Law Geex. The 2019 edition is available here for free. It is divided into 12 categories with more than 80 best in class products from around the world, covering products for contract review, due diligence, contract management, legal & matter management, and some others.
Global Legal Tech Report is another brilliant example, and probably the most comprehensive study into the industry conducted so far. It has been prepared by Alpha Creates and the Australian Legal Technology Association in collaboration with the world's leading Legal Tech associations, including ILTA, ELTA, Asean Legal Tech, Dutch Legal Tech and others. For the time being, the regional editions of this report have been made available for North and Latin America, Australia, Asia, Africa, New Zeeland. The Global edition, as well as European and UK editions, can be purchased in pre-order. The man behind this fantastic project is Stevie Ghiassi, who was the founding president of ALTA and is one of the leaders of the Legal Tech movement in Australia. Find out more about this report here: https://www.globallegaltechreport.com/
2. Marketplaces and online software catalogs
This is a very broad category with lots of commercial and non-profit catalogs. The largest online catalogue of Legal Tech vendors is being provided for free by Stanford Law School. Its CodeX Techindes comprises an incredibly long list of 1388 companies from all over the world, divided into 9 categories. The interesting thing is an interactive map, which shows how the Legal Tech market is developed in different regions in the world (however a lot of vendors from Central and East Europe should be added to their list).
In Central and East Europe I would like to highlight two information sources. The first one is the catalogue created by Legal Tech Poland Foundation, available here: https://legaltechpolska.pl/en/katalog-legaltech-polska/
Although this is rather a regional marketplace, I believe that many of the companies listed there have the potential to go global with their products.
The second regional marketplace in CEE which is worth to mention is provided by Invest CEE, which is a legal tech consultancy company. You can find it here: https://investcee.hu/legaltech-marketplace/
It is worth noting that most of the Legal Tech vendors listed there are companies with global aspirations. The list of these vendors has been carefully distilled by Orsolya Szabó, who is one of the leaders of the digital transformation of the legal industry in Central Europe.
When speaking about online catalogues, I must mention Capterra, which is a world-leading software review provider. Although it is not limited to Legal Tech and you can find software for almost any purpose, there are also categories of software for lawyers. This website's distinguishing feature is reviews of software from users, which you can read or post.
In case of online software inventories, which are available upon paid subscription, I need to mention Gartner – a world’s leading software research and advisory company. Gartner provides not only an inventory of curated and distilled technology solutions for corporate clients (for many different functions including legal), but also publishes industry reports and the famous Gartner Hype Cycle technology reports.
3. Global Legal Hackathon
Identification of leading vendors of Legal Tech solutions is of key importance in any implementation project. Nevertheless, to have the overall picture of the market and identify the most disruptive solutions, it is worth to go deeper with the research and find Legal Tech startups. There is probably no better place for that than the Global Legal Tech Hackaton and its local editions. The list of 2020 finalists is available here: https://globallegalhackathon.com/glh2019-finalists/
4. Conferences, meetups and webinars
This is probably the most enjoyable way to connect with people standing behind the technology. The fact, that COVID-19 forced most of the industry conferences to go online, does not mean, that there is no chance for networking. In fact, there have never been more online events than now, which also allow to make valuable connections with people from the Legal Tech industry. A good example of such an opportunity was Legal Tech Day, which was organized online by Wolters Kluwer Poland and The Heart on 8th October. During that event nine vendors from all over Europe presented their Legal Tech solutions and were answering participants’ questions. It was also a chance to initiate private meetings after the event.
I would also like to feature another similar upcoming event on 15th October i.e. “LegalTech in Poland from a distance”, which is organized by Legal Tech Poland Foundation and its founder Tomasz Zalewski. It will be a great chance to e-meet companies such as Avokaado, Legito, SingleCase, Amberlo and HUGO.legal. You can still register to this meeting here.
“a virtual webinar series where legaltech developers meet legaltech users and discuss their mutual needs and expectations. The entire LTT series is FREE.
The LTT webinars are NOT “selling” sessions. They are opportunities for the tech developers to chat about what they did, why and how it impacts legal practice. Typically, in an LTT webinar, the presenter will identify the problem they sought to solve, discuss how they went about solving it, and then show how all that came together by doing a demo of their tech.”
My impression after a long year experience with Legal Tech is that the research for new solutions may be an endless journey, but for me a truly enjoyable and fascinating.