Creating a Return from Legal Tech 2018 (or Any Conference)

Yesterday, January 30, 2018, I spent all day at Legal Tech 2018.

I truly enjoyed myself, met many interesting people, and saw many awesome technologies and solutions. Some of my observations:

Old and new technologies at Legal Tech 2018

Among the many new technologies, I also saw some surprisingly old ones! For instance, Word Perfect had a booth. There was also a booth with dictating machines! With as novelty, that you could save your dictations in the cloud.

The seemingly happiest vendor I spoke with provided means to take virtual depositions. They had learned the hard way, that only by 100% mimicking the current process, from onboarding to billing, they could convince law firms to try out their solution…

Hence, you will not be surprised that Disco’s marketing campaign appealed to me:


Mostly vendors and CIOs

I observed that there were very few lawyers. Mostly vendors and Chief Information Officers (CIOs). That is unfortunate, since everyone I spoke with agreed that lawyers have to drive these innovation projects. Without a lawyer on-board, none of these technologies or solutions will get implemented and used in practice.

Too slow

One vendor complained about the extremely long sales cycles. On average, it took them up to 18 months to convince a law firm to buy their solutions, in spite of many use cases that showed clear benefits and profits.  Finding the right person to talk to in a law firm is clearly challenging.

Too fast

In one of the sessions I attended, the speaker (a director of legal operations) complained about a very different problem: senior management of his firm, while looking at their iphones, demanded from him instant solutions. “I want a button for ‘that’.” The senior partner then expecting him to come up with a miracle button to look up complex data, preferably the next day.

Fortunately, this experienced director knew very well, that his team should not design or develop such a solution, just because one senior partner has a hunch.

Going after shiny objects

Other complaints I heard is that the field is running from one shiny object to the next, without really adopting any of it.

  • In 2015 it was predictive -analytics;
  • In 2016 big data;
  • In 2017 artificial intelligence;
  • and now in 2018, cyber.

Creating a business opportunity

Instead of looking for technologies or falling for shiny objects, you should look at the business opportunity, in order to create a return of investment from an event like Legal Tech. What is the most pressing problem your clients or organization, face today? How can technology help you address this problem and turn it into an opportunity to service more clients and service them better?


Clearly, there is a dire need to actually act upon the many potentially gamechanging business opportunities presented at Legal Tech 2018. I challenge you to do so.

I would like to offer you the same opportunity as we did on the flyer I handed out:




Looking forward to seeing you in our Challenge!