The 2015 ALM LegalTech Show in NYC just wrapped up last week. The Lexicata team was in attendance and had a great time networking, checking out the latest legal technology software, and listening to thought leaders speak about the future. In case you missed the show, this post lays out the 3 biggest lessons learned at LegalTech NYC 2015.
Lessons from LegalTech NYC
Here are the 3 biggest lessons learned on our trip to the LegalTech Show in New York:
1. The Legal Tech Sector is Really Heating Up
The entire week was filled with excitement about the future of legal tech, and 2015 looks to be the year that the tech wave really kicks into gear. The feeling was almost tangible. We really think legal tech is on the brink of major leaps forward.
The movement has already begun, but as with most technological advancements, the rate of progress increases exponentially. LegalTech NYC only strengthened our belief that the legal industry will be totally transformed over the next decade.
Current Trends & Takeaways
We observed tech vendors and startups spanning almost every single aspect of the practice of law. Here are a few of the major observations:
- E-discovery is big business, and growing rapidly
- Security is entering the forefront
- More and more client acquisition is happening online
- Transitioning to the cloud is inevitable
- Increasing numbers of startups are emerging
2. The Cloud is More Secure Than You Think
Despite popular opinions that storing data in the cloud is akin to playing with fire, top legal technology experts spoke quite highly of the benefits of the cloud. At one point, a panel of speakers actually laughed out loud about the fact that so many in the legal industry still think the cloud is just a fad.
So the big takeaway is that the cloud is not only legitimate, but that moving software to the cloud may in fact be an inevitable shift. While there may still be some security concerns, the experts at LegalTech downplayed them.
As Clio CEO Jack Newton explained, when a third party cloud software provider is responsible for security, they can spread the costs of security audits, server maintenance, and updates across all their customers. The cost for a single law firm to implement an equivalent level of security measures is likely to be prohibitively expensive, and thus in many instances, cloud software is in fact more secure than locally hosted applications.
3. Adopting Technology is Not an Option
While the legal industry is historically slow moving and resistant to change, technology is the one thing that can cause a drastic overhaul of an industry in a short amount of time. The experts at LegalTech 2015 made it clear that the legal industry is not immune from such a shift. We are sitting at the precipice of major change, and those who fail to adapt may face extinction.
Most lawyers are risk-averse and skeptical by nature, making them more prone to being followers rather than cutting-edge, early adopters of technology. Downward price pressure and inefficient operations continue to put constraints on margins, while competition is only increasing. Times are difficult, and change is underway.
What this means is that the time to adopt technology as a mainstay in your law practice is now. Don’t assume you can just sit on the sidelines and wait to see what happens. Technology is not a fad and if you overlook it, your business will suffer.
You’ve got to stay up with the trends. Invest in your own education. Invest in top-of-the-line legal software products that will help you optimize your business for success. When it comes to technology, you need to stay ahead of the curve, rather than following behind it.