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LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, who is internationally known for his writing and speaking on legal technology and innovation. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice.
 
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The past year has seen the launch of several legal technology marketplaces, but Theorem LTS aims to be something more — an integrated legal technology ecosystem to power workflow-driven tech adoption by law firms and legal departments, as well as a marketplace for vendors to sell their products and connect with customers. Founder Joshua Maley is a …
 
There is an element of serendipity in the story of Nehal Madhani and his company Alt Legal. Even though he had been an insolvency lawyer who had never practiced trademark law, an early attempt at entrepreneurship — and at registering his own trademarks — showed him the need for better software to automate trademark applications. After creating and …
 
One of the most dynamic areas of legal tech right now is practice management, which has seen a surge of investments and acquisitions over the past year. And one of the companies that best represents that trend is Paradigm, which was founded two years ago as ASG LegalTech and rebranded this year as Paradigm, to represent its goal of bringing about a…
 
There is broad agreement that if law schools are to adequately train students for careers in law, then technology is a critical part of the curriculum. Despite this, many law schools get a failing grade when it comes to teaching tech. So how, exactly, should law schools teach tech? And what topics should such teaching cover? April G. Dawson has giv…
 
Last August, Arizona became the first state to eliminate the ban on non-lawyer ownership of law firms. In ordering that change, as well as a package of additional reforms, the Arizona Supreme Court acted on the recommendations of a task force that had called for fundamental changes in the regulation of legal services, all with the goal of enhancing…
 
LexLab, the legal innovation hub at UC Hastings Law School, recently wrapped up the fourth cohort of its legal tech accelerator program with a demo day at which the seven startup participants got to pitch their products to potential investors. But this demo day, in fact this entire cohort, was noticeably different than prior ones, in that it was th…
 
A new $110 million Series E financing round for legal technology company Clio puts its valuation at $1.6 billion, making it the first law practice management company to achieve unicorn status and one of just a few legal tech companies to pass that milestone. In an exclusive LawNext interview, Jack Newton, Clio’s cofounder and CEO, joins host Bob Am…
 
Possibly the hottest market in legal tech today is contract lifecycle management, and one of the most talked-about companies in that market is Ironclad, a six-year-old startup that recently raised a $100 million Series D – at a reported valuation of $1 billion – and that just made its first acquisition, of the clickwrap transaction platform PactSaf…
 
Throughout Europe and Eastern Europe, Holger Zscheyge is widely regarded as a leading authority on legal technology and innovation. President of the European Legal Technology Association, he is also founder and managing director of Infotropic Media, a Moscow-based legal publisher and producer of legal technology conferences, and a cofounder of Mosc…
 
It was recently announced that Andrew Ballheimer, who retired last October as global managing partner at Magic Circle law firm Allen & Overy, one of the largest law firms in the world, has joined the board of directors of the managed services company Factor, which spun off in 2019 from the alternative legal services provider Axiom. Some are saying …
 
Jeffrey Marple, who has gained a national reputation for law department innovation in his role as director of innovation for corporate legal at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, has moved to Keesal Propulsion Labs, a company that assists Fortune 500 law departments in automating their business and legal processes, where has taken the position of di…
 
Gordon Smith has just been appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Two years after becoming dean in 2016, he told an audience of law school advisors, “I want BYU to be known as, if not the most innovative law school in the country, then one of the most innovative law schools in the…
 
No sector of the legal technology market is hotter right now than contract lifecycle management. And while that sector is crowded with companies that are relative newcomers, one of the companies making the biggest waves is 30 years old. Over the past year, Agiloft, the no-code CLM company, raised $45 million in growth equity funding – its first out…
 
You have just been named global chief innovation officer for one of the world's largest law firms. Where and how do you start? That is one of the questions we put to Amol Bargaje, whom Mayer Brown named to that position on Feb. 9, 2021. Coming into this newly created role, Bargaje has plenty of experience on which to draw. He has been at Mayer Brow…
 
Contract lifecycle management has become one of the hottest sectors of legal tech in recent years, and within that sector, Evisort, founded in 2016, has become one of the hottest companies, experiencing four-times revenue growth in 2020 and having just completed a $35 million Series B funding round, for total funding of $55 million. But Evisort cof…
 
In January 2020, Axiom Managed Services, one of two companies spun off in 2019 from alternative legal services provider Axiom, rebranded as Factor, a move the company characterized as a relaunch, and named a new CEO, Varun Mehta, a veteran of the legal tech industry who had previously helped found the e-discovery managed services firm The Clutch Gr…
 
Have you ever wanted to found a tech company but needed the right idea? A California company called LaunchFactory has the ideas and is looking for founders to take them on – including in the legal tech space. The company takes a decidedly unique path to launching companies. Rather than invest in existing startups, it identifies and vets startup ide…
 
Barely six months into his new position as senior vice president and general counsel for The Coca-Cola Company, Bradley M. Gayton has taken dramatic action to increase diversity and inclusion among the company’s outside counsel, telling firms that they must meet minimum diversity commitments or face consequences ranging from fee reductions to outri…
 
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kira Systems, the first company to develop AI-powered contract analysis, technology that is now becoming commonplace in the legal profession. To mark the anniversary, Kira’s cofounders are releasing a book, AI For Lawyers: How Artificial Intelligence is Adding Value, Amplifying Expertise, and Transforming Car…
 
As we begin to look ahead to a post-pandemic world, what will the legal market look like in 2021 and beyond? Has the pandemic’s impact on law firms resulted in a tipping point that will forever alter law firms and the business of law? A report by the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reute…
 
Legal technology company AltaClaro describes itself as “rocket fuel for legal skills training. It uses a unique experiential framework based on education science, with mock transactions and live feedback, all done online. Our guest this week on LawNext is AltaClaro’s founder and CEO Abdi Shayesteh, who says he first developed his entrepreneurial be…
 
Just a few days into 2021 came news that could end up being one of the biggest legal technology stories of the year. On Jan. 5, two leading legal research companies, Casemaker and Fastcase – two companies that have been rivals for as long as they’ve been in business – announced their merger. The combined company, which will operate under the Fastca…
 
ASG LegalTech, a portfolio company composed of four leading legal practice products — PracticePanther, Bill4Time, MerusCase and Headnote — has introduced a new brand for itself, Paradigm, to better represent how the company views itself, its customers and its plans for moving forward. In this special episode of LawNext recorded in advance of the an…
 
Twenty-five years ago, in the still-fledgling days of the web, the husband-and-wife team of Tim Stanley and Stacy Stern founded FindLaw and quickly developed it into the most highly trafficked legal site on the internet. In 2001, they sold FindLaw to the West Group, and two years later, they founded Justia, repeating their earlier success and then …
 
Jules Miller knows what it is to be a legal tech entrepreneur. She is a three-time founder, twice of legal tech companies: Hire an Esquire in 2012 and Evolve Law in 2015. Now a partner in venture capital firm Mindset Ventures, she is leading her firm’s expansion into legal tech investing, most recently with the Series A financing of legal marketpla…
 
Dan Broderick believes businesses waste billions in repetitive work reviewing and negotiating semantically similar contracts. As a former lawyer, he saw the problem first-hand. It led him to found BlackBoiler, whose AI-based technology automates the review and mark-up of inbound contracts right in Word’s Track Changes. This week, BlackBoiler announ…
 
Andrew Perlman is one of the nation’s leading forces helping to establish the future of legal education and legal practice. As a professor and now dean at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, he has helped drive the creation and development of programs for teaching about legal innovation and technology. He was founding director of Suffolk’s Ins…
 
After Catalyst, the pioneering cloud-based e-discovery company he founded and spent 19 years building, sold last year to OpenText for $75 million, John Tredennick was not ready to sit back and rest on his laurels. Instead, he launched two separate but related undertakings — Merlin Digital Magic, a company developing AI-powered software for investig…
 
To say that Stevie Ghiassi is a busy man is an understatement. In addition to founding Legaler, a secure video meeting platform for lawyers, the Australia-born entrepreneur is the founder of the recently launched Legaler Aid, a charity to support social justice legal cases worldwide, and founder of the Global Legal Tech Report, which will release i…
 
A recent report from the American Bar Association portrayed the nation’s legal deserts – large swaths of the country in which there are few or no lawyers. That report followed from a 2018 paper published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review that documented these legal deserts and rural America’s increasingly dire access-to-justice crisis. Our guest t…
 
The practice management company Clio recently released its annual Legal Trends Report, based on analysis of data from tens of thousands of legal professionals and surveys of legal professionals and legal consumers, and it showed that the coronavirus crisis has resulted in a decided shift in legal practice, away from bricks-and-mortar offices and to…
 
The legal marketplace Priori Legal today announced a $6.3 million Series A financing, with existing investors joined by several legal industry heavyweights. In this special edition of LawNext, the company’s founders Basha Rubin and Mirra Levitt join host Bob Ambrogi to discuss the implications of this news for their company and for the legal servic…
 
Nicole N. Morris is a professor in practice at Emory University School of Law and director of the TI:GER program (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results), an innovative partnership between Emory and Georgia Institute of Technology that brings together graduate students in law, business, science and engineering to work on ways to take…
 
A solo serving the Hispanic community in St. Paul, Minn., Inti Martinez-Alemán knew from the day he opened his Ceiba Forte Law Firm that he wanted to take a creative approach to client service. It starts from the moment clients first arrive for a consultation, when he offers a drink menu and then asks them to pick a story card that best depicts how…
 
In September, Rocket Lawyer became the first national company approved to participate in Utah’s regulatory sandbox, a pilot program for licensing new and alternative forms of legal providers and services. For Charley Moore, who founded Rocket Lawyer in 2008, it was yet another step in his quest to deliver high-value legal services at an affordable …
 
After much speculation about the future of Legalweek – one of the world’s largest and most-anticipated legal technology and legal business conferences – the conference’s organizers announced on Oct. 1 that it will be virtual in 2021. ALM Media, which produces Legalweek, said the conference will be rebranded as Legalweek(year) and will be extended i…
 
Sept. 30, 2020, was Josh Becker’s last day in legal tech, at least for the time being, as he pursues his campaign for election to the California state Senate in the district that encompasses Silicon Valley cities such as Palo Alto, Mountain View and Menlo Park. Most recently, Becker was chairman of the trailblazing legal analytics company Lex Machi…
 
In this exclusive LawNext interview recorded in advance of the Oct. 1, 2020, launch of LexFusion, we get a first look at the new company from guests Joe Borstein, a legal industry veteran and one of LexFusion’s two cofounders, and Basha Rubin, the cofounder and CEO of Priori Legal, the legal talent company that is one of the initial participants in…
 
In this exclusive LawNext interview recorded in advance of the announcement of ASG LegalTech’s acquisition of electronic payments company Headnote, host Bob Ambrogi speaks with the two companies’ CEOs: Soumya Nettimi of ASG LegalTech and Sarah Schaaf of Headnote, on the reasons for the deal and the significance for customers. On Sept. 22, 2020, ASG…
 
Nicola Shaver, managing director, innovation and knowledge, at the law firm Paul Hastings, was recently named 2020 Innovative Leader of the Year in the International Legal Technology Association’s Distinguished Peer Awards. Not only that, but the law firm where she oversees innovation initiatives was named Innovator of the Year. While a major honor…
 
In 2006, inspired by the success of business process outsourcing company Office Tiger, which RR Donnelley acquired that year for $250 million, Ajay Agrawal and Daniel Reed founded UnitedLex, one of the earliest legal process outsourcing companies. Within months, it was providing legal services to clients such as HP, IBM and Microsoft. Within four y…
 
Kimberly Y. Bennett describes herself as an innovator, entrepreneur, legal industry disruptor, and business coach who happens to be a lawyer. Nowhere are all those facets more evident than in the way she has structured her law practice, K Bennett Law, where she focuses on brand protection and growth strategy. Soon after starting her own practice, w…
 
It should have come as no surprise when California attorney Erin Levine recently announced her plan to go nationwide with her do-it-yourself divorce platform Hello Divorce. After all, the site has been seeing rapid growth and has earned Levine broad accolades, including the 2020 James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering from the Am…
 
Touting it as the next phase in its global expansion to transform the business of law, Big Four professional services firm Deloitte has launched its Legal Business Services practice in the United States, which it describes as “a comprehensive suite of legal management consulting and technologically-enabled legal managed services for corporate legal…
 
Here’s one that gets a bit meta. Back in November 2017, LawNext host Bob Ambrogi spoke at BYU Law School about a lawyer’s ethical duty to be technologically competent. The talk prompted the school to explore ways it could help students improve their technological abilities. What resulted was the school’s Legal Technology Initiative, a multi-pronged…
 
In 2015, the husband-and-wife team of James Jones Jr. and Kristina Jones founded Court Buddy, a service that matches consumers with vetted lawyers at affordable prices. Last November, the couple stepped aside from the business to pursue other interests. In their time running the company, they had raised $7.1 million and won numerous awards and hono…
 
Sociologist Rebecca Sandefur is one of the world’s leading scholars on access to justice. Professor at the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, she is also a faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation, where she founded and leads the Access to Justice Research Initiative. In 2018, she was named a recipient of…
 
At BYU Law in Provo, Utah, a first-of-its-kind technology platform is enabling legal researchers to explore the meanings of legal words and phrases by examining the contexts in which they historically were used. The Law and Corpus Linguistics platform enables users to examine large collections of historical texts to help determine, for example, wha…
 
LinkSquares, the Boston-based provider of AI-powered contract management and analysis technology for corporate legal departments, announced a major new product this week. Called LinkSquares Finalize, it extends the company’s technology into the pre-signature stage, helping its customers create and approve contracts more quickly and efficiently. Thi…
 
Today on LawNext: A coronavirus success story – how a state bar, anticipating a tidal wave of unemployment claims, partnered with two legaltech companies to launch a pro bono portal in barely more than a week. On April 27, 2020, the New York State Bar Association launched a website devoted to helping those who need unemployment assistance due to th…
 
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