There is a boom in legal technology that’s changing the law is practiced in Canada. Learn how digital transformation is shifting how your firm should operate.
The legal profession has been slow to adopt the kinds of digital technologies that have disrupted nearly every industry. However, technical advances, innovative entrepreneurs and an evolving mindset among law firm leaders are changing how Canadian law is practiced.
Clio, the privately held company based in Barnaby, British Columbia, is a major player in the legal tech world. In January 2019, the software firm, founded in 2007, secured a massive $250 million investment in late-stage venture capital funding. That total is more than 10 times larger than the company’s previously largest venture funding, according to a recent Crunchbase article. The company itself claims the investment is one of the largest in Canadian VC history and largest ever in legal tech.
Crunchbase has noted that investments in legal tech are growing at a rapid rate, with $106 million in investments in January 2019 alone. Total investments in legal tech in 2018 soared to $825 million, compared to $305 million in 2017.
The legal tech industry is “underused relative to the potential demand in the end consumer base.” noted Amol Helekar, a principal at TCV, one of the major investors in Clio. “This is a vast industry that has been lagging in technology adoption and there’s tons of opportunity.”
Why Is Legal Tech on the Rise?
For much of recorded history, law clerks, newly minted lawyers, law students and paralegals have driven the drudgery associated with practicing law. However, new laws who are digital natives are pushing changes in their law practices.
Today, mundane legal tasks can be done using technologies such as artificial intelligence, with algorithms and programs that scan, identify and in some cases correct information. Predictive technologies can scan case specifics and project likely outcomes of cases and litigation.
Chris Bentley saw the opportunity first-hand while building Ryerson University’s Law Practice Program, an innovative training solution to help recent graduates use a virtual law firm space to learn how meetings and client interactions work. That work led Bentley to create the Legal Innovation Zone, a legal tech incubator housed at the university.
The incubator partners with leading law organizations around Canada and in the most recent fiscal year had members work on projects including legal aid in Ukraine, global family justice, youth access to legal services and a legal innovation boot camp. The results include:
In total, 26 total and alumni startups have worked through the Ryerson incubator.
What Digital Transformations Are Occurring in Canadian Law Firms?
Law tech is changing the way law firms operate at nearly every level, including:
How Can Our Law Firm Prepare for Digital Transformation?
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