The Problem With Legal Tech

I write about legal technology on the internet. That means I get contacted a lot by people who want me to write about and review their awesome new product. I also get contacted a lot by lawyer consumers who want to know what is the best new thing out there. I love when I can play matchmaker, but it rarely happens. Because a lot of legal tech sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I run a fairly tech-savvy practice, but I see a lot of garbage and a lot of lawyers making poor buying choices for technology.

Here’s why it happens and also how to find what you need:

Lawyers Have a Lot of Money

As a whole, lawyers are a good target audience because they have a lot of money. Running a law practice is expensive — you have phone lines, receptionists, paralegals, legal secretaries, computers, file storage, process servers, copy machines, etc. Lawyers spend a lot of money every month to keep their doors open. That makes them a prime target to pitch tools to work more efficiently and save money by replacing or upgrading anyone of those things with automated doc review tools, cloud fax machines. Those are helpful tools, but it also makes them a target for the garbage too.

Lawyers Are Afraid

A few years ago, California came out with an ethics opinion about e-discovery. It mentioned how lawyers who are dealing with e-discovery need to either become familiar with it, hire someone who is familiar with it, or abandon the case. So, it’s the same rule of law for lawyers involved in any area of law they are unfamiliar with. The only difference is that e-discovery can creep into a case fairly easily mid-litigation. When this opinion came out, vendors jumped on the opportunity to proclaim that the State Bar now mandates that attorneys hire them or face ethics charges, and I’m sure many attorneys did hire them. Attorneys are quick to admit they are in over their heads in technology issues and quick to scare. A scared customer is a great customer.

Does It Solve a…

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