This is the age of the customer. The asymmetrical advantage that sellers long held over buyers is gone. Consumers have access to market information and choice that has transformed the buy-sell dynamic. Social media provides them with a reference source and a voice. The balance of power has shifted from the supply to the demand side.
The legal technology industry is still nascent, but the industry has quietly built up a number of emerging categories over the last few years. With legal tech companies raising just $739M in aggregate funding since 2011, there is still a lot of opportunity to improve processes within a legal industry still attached to manual and paper-based processes. Using CB Insights and analytics, we identified 50 startups working in legal tech, and categorized them into a market map spanning key emerging categories such as electronic discovery, law practice management, and online legal services. We defined legal tech as all tech-enabled companies offering services and products to those in the legal industry. That includes technology catered to individual lawyers, larger corporate law firms, and other key stakeholders in the law industry.
Legal tech has brought an unprecedented rate of change to the legal industry that the traditional partnership model of law firms is not able to cope with. Even if they want to change, I have found there is no definite direction, guidance or high-level concepts that empower them to start making those changes. Some of the existing concepts are just patches that temporarily fix the issue. The legal industry needs a new, more dynamic and flexible framework for legal practice. In the coming weeks, I will publish a series of articles introducing the Future Framework for Legal Practice which is a systemic change to equip the legal industry to better handle change.