Login | March 05, 2021

Five 2020 legal tech trends caught in the wild

Technology for Lawyers

Published: February 12, 2021

The year 2020 is gone. Those who survived are writing their memoirs/ recollections from the most confusing year of the last 100 years. Here are five legal tech trends he parsed from the preceding 12 months, per Jean O’Grady at Above the Law.
One. Pandemic adjustments. This is the biggest legal tech story of them all, with what we thought would take 20 years—the transition of the law biz into a remote affair—happening in a matter of weeks. But other COVID- related events occurred, including law firms and legal publishers becoming publishing houses for local and state pandemic ephemera (particularly ever-changing health orders).
Two. State litigation analytics took off, particularly in the leading state of California. Companies included Gavelytics (https://www.gavelytics.com); Judicata (https://www.judicata.com); and LexisNexis’ Lex Machina (https://lexmachina.com), which moved from federal analytics into the state level in California, Texas and, soon, New York. Other litigation analytics platforms that expanded their offerings included Bloomberg and Westlaw, as well as newcomers Trellis (https://trellis.law/) and UniCourt, among others.
Next. Workflow tools continued their development in the legal environment. Casetext launched their groundbreaking, AI-based composition tool Compose (https://compose.law) in January. LexisNexis and Bloomberg Law launched brief analyzer tools. A number of other companies launched small analytical writing tools, particularly contract checkers.
Legal News gets competition. LexisNexis dominated the world of straight legal news for the last ten years (apparently. I get mine from numerous sources). But competition has arose in the field. Fastcase started their Street Law Media (https://www.fastcase.com/blog/fastcase-relaunches-law-street-media) blog/ newsletter/analytics sheet, while ALM began Law.com Legal Radar, which is designed to be read in chunks on phones for the younger set. Westlaw launched Westlaw Today. And Bloomberg Law’s Bureau of National Affairs has a legal news stream.
Lastly, legal tech product offerings are now available in one-stop shops. I’ve written about Reynen Court (https://reynencourt.com), a consortium of law firms that have platform to check out cloud-based apps. Thomson Reuters has launched a legal app marketplace. Doesn’t look like much yet but check it out (in beta; https://marketplace.thomsonreuters.com). LA law firm Orrick has a tool here https://www.orrick.com/en/Innovation/Observatory. Here’s a startup just tryin to get something done: https://legaltechnologyhub.com. The latter looks like a good place to check out.
Who knows what 2021 will bring? We can only hope it won’t be anything like last year.