A knowledge scoop from the legal tech community

Picking up on conversations happening at legal industry events, iManage’s legal practice lead Jack Shepherd presents insights and lessons currently being gleaned in legal tech.

Jack Shepherd, legal practice lead|imanage|

Events season is upon us, and while it’s not quite in full swing under the circumstances, it’s certainly giving it a good go. A day without Zoom, imagine! In hotel function rooms worldwide, presentations and collaboration sessions generate lively discussion amongst peers. Insights are shared over coffee (or something stronger) in conference hall corners, and well crafted workshops drill down into the details. When it comes to making knowledge work in law firms or corporate legal departments, the best way to achieve progress within the industry is to connect and communicate. Let’s explore what connects the legal tech community this month.

It’s good to talk

Connecting with people is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Get me speaking about legal technology, and I’ll likely mention two things pretty quickly. First, adoption of legal technology is a huge issue. Second, speaking to the people who will use the solutions is the number one success hack to delivering an effective legal technology initiative. Here, I share four key reasons why talking to your users (or legal tech users) is the only way to deliver great outcomes.

Making a tech connection

In a November Artificial Lawyer article about the evolution of application programming interfaces (APIs), Josh Blandi explores how tech’s connectivity joins the data dots. It is certainly true that connecting systems together will allow firms to build up a holistic data strategy and break down silos. On this subject,  however, more talk is required beyond mere technical aspects. We need to focus on the “so what” questions around APIs. For example, what overall experience are we trying to offer to a user when we connect two systems together? Does it make sense to connect the systems, or are we doing it just for the sake of it?

Lessons learned from when email was the new kid on the block

In a similar and almost certainly API-led vein of connectivity, it is interesting to see that Facebook’s Workplace product now connects with Microsoft Teams. Like email before it, Teams is a natural extension of content and communications that need to be managed in a matter-centric way, compliant with your organisation’s policy on governance and security. But Teams is also a different beast from email. It does calls, communication, document collaboration, automation (with Power Automate) and project management (with Planner). Increasingly firms are thinking about how to leverage this vast ecosystem of new tooling in a way that doesn’t overwhelm users.

Until next time, stay safe, but connected.

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