When reading online about LawTech it can be confusing to understand what exactly the market looks like. This short byte-sized post aims to break down the three main uses of LawTech, making it easier to understand and talk confidently about LawTech.

LawTech as a consumer-facing product

This segment of the market focuses on technology-enabled solutions created by law firms and other organisations for their clients. These solutions are typically fixed fee and usually focus on access to legal information.

These solutions will either built in conjunction with a software developer, or more commonly may utilise an expert system such as BRYTER or Neota Logic. A majority of firms will capability to build the solutions using code or no code platforms.

Firms such as Simmons & Simmons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters have specialist units within the firm that focus on developing these products.

LawTech for efficiency

This segment of the market focuses on improving how legal services are currently delivered. Solutions in this segment taking existing processes and seek to streamline them. These solutions typically focus on making collaboration between a law firm and its clients easier, as well as improving internal processes inside firms.

Online dataroom services such as HighQ Collaborate or Ruby Datum are an example of how the notion of sending files over email or ftp (file transfer protocol) client has been replaced by online platforms designed to make file sharing between law firms and clients easier.

Solutions such as Litera Transact and Legatics are examples of products that aim to improve collaboration between law firms, their clients and opposite counsel.

Document automation platforms such as Contract Express, Avvoka or HotDocs take the pre-existing system of using precedent document templates in law firms and optimise it by reducing the need for changing placeholders multiple times inside a word document.

Platforms such as Kira and Luminance focus on replacing and reducing the historically manual process of document review. This area of LawTech for efficiency whilst innovative in its use of technology still aims to replicate a human process.

LawTech for doing law differently

This is the most exciting area of LawTech that is still largely underdeveloped.

Rather than looking at the existing process, solutions look at the inputs and outputs of a legal workflow and attempt to reimagine rather than improve. They also seek to reimagine how legal data can be structured and displayed using more novel technologies such as machine learning or big data analytics.

Start ups such as Solomonic, a litigation predictive analytics platform are examples of how technology is being used to reinvent the delivery of legal services. Within Intellectual Property law, software vendor Lex Machina provides a similar solution.

StructureFlow is an example of a technology vendor seeking to redefine how legal data is presented.

Closing Thoughts

In order for a law firm to have a succesful innovation strategy, it is essential that they invest in all three of the main types of LawTech use case. In particular, LawTech as a consumer-facing product will become increasingly important to law firms looking to diversify their revenue and capture a large share of the legal services market.