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ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin1 of 24
The Legal Technology Pipeline
Ron Dolin, J.D., Ph.D.
● Framework: Innovator's Dilemma
● Changing Market Values
● Legal Technologies and Companies
● Disruptive to What, Exactly?
● Identifying and Handling Disruption
● Criteria for Adopting New Technology
● Next Steps: Innovation and Design
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin2 of 24
“If you could design a law firm from scratch, what
would it be like?”
T.L.*, p. 155
* T.L. – Tomorrow's Lawyers, Richard Susskind
I.D. – The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin3 of 24
“Innovator's Dilemma” Framework
● Disruptive vs. sustainable technology
● Changing market values
● Diminishing high-margin market
● Business structure dependencies
● Market research useless
● Discovery-based planning (failure IS
acceptable – try, try again)
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin4 of 24
Established Market Values
● Comprehensiveness
● Complexity
● Customized (Susskind “bespoke”)
● High Quality
● Established Relationship
● Risk Avoidance (stereotypical outside)
● Predictability (workload, outcome) ?
● Market moving to demand-driven...
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin5 of 24
“Amid all the uncertainty surrounding disruptive
technologies, managers can always count on one
anchor: Experts' forecasts will always be wrong.”
I.D., p. 178
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin6 of 24
Incoming Market Values
● Unbundled and selective
● Systematized where possible
● Efficient
● Low(er) cost
● Metric-based ROI (e.g. Google PPV/CPC)
● Risk minimization (stereotypical in-house)
●
High Value* = quality / cost
* value vs. Value
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin7 of 24
New Market Pricing
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin8 of 24
Context of Disruption:
Legal System Attributes (vs. Disks)
● Imposed: adhesion (e-bay), small claims...
● Barriers to adoption: UPL, state bars, etc.
● Time span: 5, 10, 20 years?
● Few metrics: quality, ROI, accuracy, etc.
● Minimal standards (e.g. XML, metadata)
● New associate training (vs. medicine)
● Hybrid Model: AFA's and billable hours
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin9 of 24
“Disruptive products tend to be simpler, cheaper,
and more reliable and convenient than
established products.”
I.D., p. 219
MS Word vs. Google Docs
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin10 of 24
Susskind: Disruptive Technologies
● Document automation
● AI-based problem solving
● Intelligent legal search
● Big data
● Online dispute resolution
● Online legal marketplace
● Workflow and project management
● “Relentless” connectivity
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin11 of 24
“New-Look Law Firms”:
“They do not seek to replicate the pyramidic profit
structure, or to bill by the hour, or to work from
expensive city buildings...”
“They are less hide-bound by past practices, more
flexible, and more respectful, I expect, of ideas
that emanate from lawyers who are young or
young in heart.”
T.L., pp. 128-9
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin12 of 24
U.S. Legal Technology Sampler*
● Cloud-based e-discovery (EasyESI)
● Modular ODR (Modria)
● Legal research (Ravel, Judicata)
● Litigation outcome analysis (Lex Machina)
● Legal services (Rocket Lawyer, LawGives)
● Virtual practice (DirectLaw, MyCase, CLIO)
● Enhanced document automation (KMSystems)
* Full disclosure – I invest in some of these.
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin13 of 24
Disruptive to What, Exactly?
● I.D., Susskind: market based on new values
– Disks: capacity → size → consumption → cost
● Legal services demand increasing Value
● Law firms are hybrids, continuums:
– Billable hours not likely to go away
– Non-billable inefficiencies waste money
– % of AFA likely to increase – two types:
● Hourly (e.g. discounted rate)
● Caps (e.g. fixed fee, max limits, contingency)
● Two ways to increase Value; tech helps both
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin14 of 24
“There is a big difference between the failure of
an idea and the failure of a firm.”
I.D., p. 179
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin15 of 24
Example: Document Automation
● Law firm has early-stage startup “pipeline”
● Current model:
– Each partner silo processes startups with, say,
$10K deferral, repaid only if/when funded
– Junior associates: interviews, paperwork, etc.
●
Experiment (proposed by 1st
year associate):
– Centralized processing for early stage work
– Document automation (client/atty components)
– Requires only, say, a $5K deferral
– Goal: reduce losses, increase pipeline
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin16 of 24
“No longer will it suffice to have mere interpreters,
who explain technology matters to lawyers and
legal matters to technologists.”
T.L., p. 112
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin17 of 24
Technologists Amongst Us
● Google:
– Annual employee happiness survey
– Annual bring-your-kids-to-work day: impact!
– 20% free project time
– Incentives to play and stay
● Big Law:
– Punishment for crime of going to law school?
– Paying off loans and leaving?
– Innovation tolerance, tools, etc.?
– What kind of behavior is incentivized?
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin18 of 24
Identifying and Handling Disruption:
Expanding vs. Adopting
● Probably useless? – improbable that someone
else could utilize the technology (directly) to
challenge your business model?
● Adoptable? – is there a potential role for the
technology within your organization (within the
timeframe of the potential impact)?
● Disruption means definitively no to both:
requires a change in business model?
● Easier to expand existing than to adopt new!
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin19 of 24
“In most companies, however, individual
managers don't have the luxury of surviving a
string of trials and errors in pursuit of the strategy
that works.”
ID, p. 179
“What is the formal process by which your firm
monitors emerging technologies and evaluates
their potential for your various practice areas?”
T.L., p. 153
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin20 of 24
Criteria for Adopting New Technology*
● Value: # people, degree helped, time/$ saved...
● Capacity to absorb: key support, maintenance...
● Cost/Risk: $ investment, risk level, migration...
● Tactical: relative importance, experience...
● Learning curve: implementation, upkeep, use...
* See JOLT, Vol. 26, #1, Fall 2012
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin21 of 24
“They must be plans for learning rather than plans
for implementation.”
I.D., p. 181
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin22 of 24
Stanford Design School:
Legal Innovation Program
● Institutional support (e.g. CIO, senior partner, ?)
● Adequate team
– domain expert (associate)
– implementer (programmer)
– biz dev? others?
– law student (future legal technologist)
● Appropriate project (e.g. measurable ROI)
● Appropriate technology (not bleeding edge)
● Design methodology – discovery-based
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin23 of 24
Advice to interviewing law students: “you should
view with great optimism a firm that insists that it
is driven not by its competitors but by its clients'
needs, that the market will clearly require
fundamental changes, and that the conservatism
of other firms presents an opportunity for a new
market leader to emerge.”
T.L., p. 151
ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin24 of 24
Conclusion
● Evolution in foresight is revolution in hindsight
● Multiple legal technology pipelines:
– startups
– technologists
● Incentivize innovation

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The Legal Technology Pipeline

  • 1. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin1 of 24 The Legal Technology Pipeline Ron Dolin, J.D., Ph.D. ● Framework: Innovator's Dilemma ● Changing Market Values ● Legal Technologies and Companies ● Disruptive to What, Exactly? ● Identifying and Handling Disruption ● Criteria for Adopting New Technology ● Next Steps: Innovation and Design
  • 2. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin2 of 24 “If you could design a law firm from scratch, what would it be like?” T.L.*, p. 155 * T.L. – Tomorrow's Lawyers, Richard Susskind I.D. – The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen
  • 3. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin3 of 24 “Innovator's Dilemma” Framework ● Disruptive vs. sustainable technology ● Changing market values ● Diminishing high-margin market ● Business structure dependencies ● Market research useless ● Discovery-based planning (failure IS acceptable – try, try again)
  • 4. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin4 of 24 Established Market Values ● Comprehensiveness ● Complexity ● Customized (Susskind “bespoke”) ● High Quality ● Established Relationship ● Risk Avoidance (stereotypical outside) ● Predictability (workload, outcome) ? ● Market moving to demand-driven...
  • 5. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin5 of 24 “Amid all the uncertainty surrounding disruptive technologies, managers can always count on one anchor: Experts' forecasts will always be wrong.” I.D., p. 178
  • 6. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin6 of 24 Incoming Market Values ● Unbundled and selective ● Systematized where possible ● Efficient ● Low(er) cost ● Metric-based ROI (e.g. Google PPV/CPC) ● Risk minimization (stereotypical in-house) ● High Value* = quality / cost * value vs. Value
  • 7. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin7 of 24 New Market Pricing
  • 8. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin8 of 24 Context of Disruption: Legal System Attributes (vs. Disks) ● Imposed: adhesion (e-bay), small claims... ● Barriers to adoption: UPL, state bars, etc. ● Time span: 5, 10, 20 years? ● Few metrics: quality, ROI, accuracy, etc. ● Minimal standards (e.g. XML, metadata) ● New associate training (vs. medicine) ● Hybrid Model: AFA's and billable hours
  • 9. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin9 of 24 “Disruptive products tend to be simpler, cheaper, and more reliable and convenient than established products.” I.D., p. 219 MS Word vs. Google Docs
  • 10. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin10 of 24 Susskind: Disruptive Technologies ● Document automation ● AI-based problem solving ● Intelligent legal search ● Big data ● Online dispute resolution ● Online legal marketplace ● Workflow and project management ● “Relentless” connectivity
  • 11. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin11 of 24 “New-Look Law Firms”: “They do not seek to replicate the pyramidic profit structure, or to bill by the hour, or to work from expensive city buildings...” “They are less hide-bound by past practices, more flexible, and more respectful, I expect, of ideas that emanate from lawyers who are young or young in heart.” T.L., pp. 128-9
  • 12. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin12 of 24 U.S. Legal Technology Sampler* ● Cloud-based e-discovery (EasyESI) ● Modular ODR (Modria) ● Legal research (Ravel, Judicata) ● Litigation outcome analysis (Lex Machina) ● Legal services (Rocket Lawyer, LawGives) ● Virtual practice (DirectLaw, MyCase, CLIO) ● Enhanced document automation (KMSystems) * Full disclosure – I invest in some of these.
  • 13. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin13 of 24 Disruptive to What, Exactly? ● I.D., Susskind: market based on new values – Disks: capacity → size → consumption → cost ● Legal services demand increasing Value ● Law firms are hybrids, continuums: – Billable hours not likely to go away – Non-billable inefficiencies waste money – % of AFA likely to increase – two types: ● Hourly (e.g. discounted rate) ● Caps (e.g. fixed fee, max limits, contingency) ● Two ways to increase Value; tech helps both
  • 14. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin14 of 24 “There is a big difference between the failure of an idea and the failure of a firm.” I.D., p. 179
  • 15. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin15 of 24 Example: Document Automation ● Law firm has early-stage startup “pipeline” ● Current model: – Each partner silo processes startups with, say, $10K deferral, repaid only if/when funded – Junior associates: interviews, paperwork, etc. ● Experiment (proposed by 1st year associate): – Centralized processing for early stage work – Document automation (client/atty components) – Requires only, say, a $5K deferral – Goal: reduce losses, increase pipeline
  • 16. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin16 of 24 “No longer will it suffice to have mere interpreters, who explain technology matters to lawyers and legal matters to technologists.” T.L., p. 112
  • 17. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin17 of 24 Technologists Amongst Us ● Google: – Annual employee happiness survey – Annual bring-your-kids-to-work day: impact! – 20% free project time – Incentives to play and stay ● Big Law: – Punishment for crime of going to law school? – Paying off loans and leaving? – Innovation tolerance, tools, etc.? – What kind of behavior is incentivized?
  • 18. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin18 of 24 Identifying and Handling Disruption: Expanding vs. Adopting ● Probably useless? – improbable that someone else could utilize the technology (directly) to challenge your business model? ● Adoptable? – is there a potential role for the technology within your organization (within the timeframe of the potential impact)? ● Disruption means definitively no to both: requires a change in business model? ● Easier to expand existing than to adopt new!
  • 19. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin19 of 24 “In most companies, however, individual managers don't have the luxury of surviving a string of trials and errors in pursuit of the strategy that works.” ID, p. 179 “What is the formal process by which your firm monitors emerging technologies and evaluates their potential for your various practice areas?” T.L., p. 153
  • 20. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin20 of 24 Criteria for Adopting New Technology* ● Value: # people, degree helped, time/$ saved... ● Capacity to absorb: key support, maintenance... ● Cost/Risk: $ investment, risk level, migration... ● Tactical: relative importance, experience... ● Learning curve: implementation, upkeep, use... * See JOLT, Vol. 26, #1, Fall 2012
  • 21. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin21 of 24 “They must be plans for learning rather than plans for implementation.” I.D., p. 181
  • 22. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin22 of 24 Stanford Design School: Legal Innovation Program ● Institutional support (e.g. CIO, senior partner, ?) ● Adequate team – domain expert (associate) – implementer (programmer) – biz dev? others? – law student (future legal technologist) ● Appropriate project (e.g. measurable ROI) ● Appropriate technology (not bleeding edge) ● Design methodology – discovery-based
  • 23. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin23 of 24 Advice to interviewing law students: “you should view with great optimism a firm that insists that it is driven not by its competitors but by its clients' needs, that the market will clearly require fundamental changes, and that the conservatism of other firms presents an opportunity for a new market leader to emerge.” T.L., p. 151
  • 24. ILTA G100, Aug. 19, 2013, Las Vegas ©2013 Ron Dolin24 of 24 Conclusion ● Evolution in foresight is revolution in hindsight ● Multiple legal technology pipelines: – startups – technologists ● Incentivize innovation