Thanks for this! It reminds me of an interview I recently listened to on the podcast Tech on Reg. The host, Dara, was chatting with LexFusion co-founder Joe Borstein about...well, a lot of this. I recommend giving it a listen! https://provoke.fm/pick-up-the-pace-already-speeding-laws-adoption-of-innovative-tech/

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This was a good podcast! Thank you :)

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Feb 7, 2021Liked by Chris Harvey

What does it mean to disrupt law? What part of the education or practice or bigger industry issue needs disruption? Would that be similar to talking about disrupting the "Big 4" in audit, or disrupting hedge funds, consulting, brokers or other professional services?

As an outsider, I'm trying to understand what parts of the industry and the profession are calling for a disruption which is in the interest law firms, lawyers and their clients.

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Great questions.

• Disruption will only come when lawyers wake up and decide to run their practices differently—where status games are pushed aside while adapting to using technology.

• I tend to take a more balanced approach than pure innovation of Big 4, which will lead to the replacement of lawyers. Whether or not Shakespeare advocated to kill all the lawyers, as Nassim Taleb said:

"We are vastly better off complaining about lawyers than complaining about not having them."

• Yes, there will be technology that will remove the need for many legal jobs and functions, but AI and algorithms have a long way to go before replacing human judgment and wisdom. And if that day comes I think we're all out of work. If anything, tech will augment our abilities and that will be the key for legal disruption (at least until humans get optimized out).

You ask what does it mean to disrupt law?

• Law is a broad field. No one tech solution is going to change equally or overnight. Plus most changes will come from the buyer-side of the market. First, GCs and in-house lawyers will automate. Next solos/mid-sizes will use ALSPs, but the hardest to be hit will be big law firms that do not get serious about innovation or being on the very top of the pyramid status triangle. Everyone will be shaken up. When you see the top 10 move rapidly (say with Cooley, Gunderson or Goodwin Proctor on the top 10), you'll know the field is disrupted.

In my field, which is venture capital law, there is a lot of pressure that will force law firms to either create new tech-focused solutions/companies or pay dearly for third party providers with tech-focused solutions. You either beat them or join them, and because of the way lawyers think and act, most law firms will join them.

What kind of technology?

• For now, the basics like doc automation & doc assembly, e-signatures, data capture, API-first tech like Zapier, knowledge management tools, virtual lower-cost centers, client portals, and Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) to start. Wherever there is key competitive advantages.

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