Technology’s Place in NewLaw
Congratulations to Beagle Inc., one of five Canadian early-stage legal technology startups that vied for and secured residency with LegalX at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto – an opportunity that includes being introduced to investors.
Loom Analytics won the People’s Choice Award, receiving a Gowling WLG Legal Health Check-Up thanks to votes by audience members.
Both companies were part of the inaugural legal technology startup competition, The Pitch, which was hosted by the Canadian Bar Association and LegalX at the CBA’s Annual Conference in Ottawa, August 12 – 14, 2016.
- Beagle that bills itself as a “technological assistant to your document review.”
- Blue J Legal that “analyzes fact situations using deep learning, discovering in seconds the distinctions that humans miss.”
- Knomos, a web app “mapping a visual knowledge network of legal information for research, education, and collaboration.”
- Loom Analytics, an online legal analytics system “providing structure to the large corpus of unstructured Canadian legal open data.”
- Rangefindr, a criminal sentencing tool “created to help lawyers and judges find sentencing ranges in seconds instead of hours.”
All five finalists, selected from a pool of 32 submissions, will have an interview with the Chinese Angels Mentor Program (CAMP) where, if chosen and pass due diligence, they will receive an equity investment of $200,000 minimum.
Legal technology in Canada has taken off like a rocket in the last few years with homegrown entrepreneurial talent, such as ROSS Intelligence and Kira Systems to name only two, being adopted by firms worldwide. The five startups that pitched in Ottawa will also take off along with many others that are incubating in legal tech labs across this country and around the world.
There are times when legal technology and NewLaw seem exclusively intertwined. But this isn’t necessarily so. While technology provides terrific tools, it is only one facet of what makes NewLaw new.
NewLaw is a response to what the consumer market demands now.
It is about delivering legal services differently from traditional standards and in a much more efficient manner. Many traits of NewLaw are applicable to all areas of practice and scalable for all sizes of firms from global to solo.
NewLaw is client-driven, not lawyer-driven. It’s about understanding that providing legal service is exactly that – providing service – along with taking a fresh perspective and decisive action on such factors as:
- Deep knowledge of targeted industries and client types upon which legal expertise is applied judiciously
- Total focus on addressing and serving client needs as determined by the client
- Recognizing that valued legal service is defined and measured by clients with permanent buying power
That’s why innovative thinking along with lean structures and client-partnering methodologies are among the hallmarks of NewLaw. And it’s also why breakthrough technologies are part-and-parcel of helping enable legal services to be delivered to the consumer market more efficiently.
Heather Suttie is a legal marketing and business development consultant. She works with a range of law firms and legal service providers — Global to Solo, BigLaw to NewLaw. Reach her at +1.416.964.9607 or www.heathersuttie.ca.