Skip to main content Skip to footer

iManage legal practice lead, Jack Shepherd, makes the case for the legal sector to catch up with other industries when it comes to technological prowess.

Have you read all the prediction pieces for the year ahead? Ready to get down to business and make legal technology work to your advantage in 2022? Great. Let’s explore what is setting the early pace for legal technology discourse.

Big tech gets legal

Firstly, and a little bit meta, is the legality of tech itself – specifically, the intellectual property of tech that has taken one organisation time and money to research and develop, only for others to take that functionality and bake it into their systems. Google recently had to drop connected speaker functionality that Sonos pioneered several years prior. A recent article in TechCrunch takes an interesting look at the practice of tech giants and the legal routes available to the David’s in this Goliath scenario.

No time for legal tech

It likely comes as no surprise that (some) lawyers don’t want to engage in legal tech. As Artificial Lawyer reports, “new research by Thomson Reuters shows that most US lawyers are not that excited about committing non-billable time to legal tech implementation, innovation, KM, or alternative delivery models.” The headlines always underplay the nuance and reality of where the specialist work of legal tech adoption, implementation and even knowledge management happens within an organisation. Does that mean transformation, tech solutions, and new methodologies are unimportant to a firm or organisation? No. The business objectives are almost certainly going to be different to those of the individual legal practitioner, given that their compensation methods and measures of success are different.

Time for legal tech

And as if by magic, we also find the flipside in a recent publication. Lawyer Monthly sets out the need for modernisation in a recent article with the opening gambit – “despite mounting pressure to change, the legal world remains one of the last bastions of anti-innovation.”

Legal tech: outcomes, not outputs from the frontline

You read a lot about the doom and gloom of tech and big law. I just got off a conversation with an associate who talked about how a solution had transformed how they work with their clients. They said many associates refuse to work with partners who don’t want to use the tool. It’s time for change.

This article first appeared on LPM

About the author

Jack Shepherd