The following is a part of a series of interviews with legal professionals and their experiences and interaction with innovation and technology in the legal sector. We hope you’ll get value from what others have learnt along the way and their recommendations.
What has been your experience or interaction with legal innovation and technology?
Legal innovation and technology have given me life over the last 6 years or so. By nature I’m a curious person and like to try new things, and I have been incredibly lucky to have been in a work environment where I could try all the things. This led us to launching Legal Beagle in 2012 which was a nationwide online legal service, and this put us on the journey to create our own automation software which is now our full time business Automio. I’m also a big fan of digital marketing which is what I used to create and build a client base at Legal Beagle, and love the trial and error that goes with this type of marketing as well as the ability to accurately measure results.
What changes have you seen in your firm, team or organisation recently?
Oh man, where do I start. We’ve undergone some huge changes as I sold my law firm Dennis King Law in July so that my team and I could focus 100% on Automio. So we went from being a law firm with a tech project on the side, to a standalone SaaS startup navigating #startuplyf which has no end of ups and downs and hilarious moments.
What challenges or barriers do you face when innovating or looking to use new tech?
When I was a lawyer my biggest challenge was knowing exactly what I wanted in terms of software, but not being able to find it. I also found so much of the legal software available is so shit and clunky and you had to install in on your machine and the support from these software companies is terrible, and legal tech is so bloody expensive. What’s up with that?
What opportunities do you see with legal innovation?
The biggest opportunity I can see right now is to look for ways to share legal innovation with clients. Currently many lawyers want to be innovative to benefit themselves and make their firms more efficient and profitable, but are not looking for ways to share these benefits with clients yet (for example, by committing to faster turnaround times, different pricing options, convenient online service etc). Ensuring that clients get to share in the benefits from innovation will become the norm, and those lawyers that concentrate on this now will go well into the future.
With greater adoption of tech and more innovation, how do you see your role evolving in the future?
My role has evolved so much already, and will continue to do so. In my current role my mission is to help lawyers defend their careers in the age of automation and AI. As more lawyers take up our technology we want to quickly expand into other countries, as well as other industries. Automio can be used by any person or business that has a repetitive process they want to automate and then use that automation to generate revenue and allow customers to serve themselves online, so we see opportunities for our business in many other industries including education, engineering and healthcare. My role as CEO is to drive this growth.
LawFest is focused on innovation and tech in the legal profession, why do you think it’s important for legal professionals to attend an event like LawFest?
It’s not just important for legal professionals to attend an event like LawFest, it is a “must do” for any lawyer serious about future-proofing their career. Unless lawyers keep their knowledge up to date with the latest opportunities and technologies for the legal industry and keep their skills in terms of using technology up to date, then they are risking the future of their legal careers. Events like LawFest are a great way to absorb a bunch of new ideas, skills and knowledge in one quick hit.