Basha Rubin, CEO of Priori Legal, had a nice piece in TechCrunch recently, "Legal Tech Startups Have A Short History And A Bright Future". In it, she details "three areas in the legal space on the precipice of major disruption in 2015":
- DIY services, allowing consumers to solve certain legal problems without a lawyer (e.g., business incorporation and wills with LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer, small-scale contracts with Shake).
- Legal marketplaces, which allow people needing lawyers to get them (e.g., Priori (targeting small businesses), Hire and Esquire (for law firms needing temp lawyers)).
- High-tech tools, that allow lawyers to better do their work and communicate with clients.
Our contract review software was included among the "high-tech tools."
To us, legal is a really exciting area to be building a technology company in. Here are two big reasons why:
- Legal consumers are underserved. It is common to hear how the US and Canada have too many lawyers. While there are a lot of lawyers ("From the mid-1970s to 2011, according to the American Bar Association, the number of lawyers tripled to 1.2 million from 400,000. Meanwhile, the population grew by only 45 percent"), many people who need legal services don't get them. We think even giant corporations have legal needs that current lawyers aren't efficient enough to meet.
- Law practice is underserved by tech. Legal has much less technology penetration compared to other areas (e.g., finance, medical, education), but there are still many lawyer tasks that should be automated.
Basha's article goes into more details on some of the opportunities currently being focused on in legal tech. Check it out!