Law firms and legal departments need a legal operations platforms that allow adaptability and individuality within an overall system and parameters. And firm management needs the ability to assess what’s being done, and its profitability, and compare the business lines of a firm and legal department. Litify believes the future is cloud based platforms that provide this kind of adaptability and flexibility. 
 
Litify, an end-to-end legal ops platform for law firms and legal departments, recently announced a partnership with The Noble Law. The Noble Law is a women-owned plaintiffs’ employment law firm. It was founded on principles of diversity, empathy, equity, integrity, inclusion, and innovation. Litify will provide the firm with a view of their clients, cases, and staff at all levels.
 
According to Laura Noble, founder and managing partner of The Noble Law, “Having data at our fingertips allows us to move quickly and thoroughly respond to our client’s needs and help them navigate what is typically a very stressful process,… Litify’s cloud-based technology will empower our staff to collaborate with clients more efficiently while enabling data-driven decisions to support successful outcomes.” The firm plans to use the Litify platform to centralize workflows and case information.
 
Built on Salesforce and using cloud technology, Litify claims to streamline and automate matter and task management, document generation, timekeeping, billing, and client communications. It also hopes to provide data-driven insights to law firms, in-house legal departments, and government agencies. It is an integrated platform for client relationship management, document and case management, internal and external communication.
 
The announcement caught my eye, given the type of work The Noble Law does and its culture. It’s also noteworthy since Litify seems to be gaining traction in its effort to specialize in legal ops and create a new category in the legal tech market. Litify is on a hot streak. It has tripled in size and now has some 200 employees and some 300 clients. In 2019 it received a $50 Series A investment of capital.
 
I talked to Litify’s COO, Ari Treuhaft, recently about Litify. We also talked about his legal tech journey, which is interesting.
 
I first chatted with Treuhaft about 3 years ago when I did an article on litigation analytics. At the time, he was Head of Product of the national plaintiffs’ law firm, Morgan and Morgan. He was responsible for moving Morgan to Litify on a firmwide basis, no small feat given the firm’s size and the notorious independent streak most lawyers have. The result of his Herculean effort was a more standard way of doing things for the firm.
 
After this implementation, he began to get calls from other firms seeking his advice on how to do something similar. This work led in late 2019 to his move full time to Liftify.
 
Treuhaft had some interesting observations about Litify, the legal market, and where things are going (or should be).
 
Treuhaft confirmed that Litify employs a platform, cloud-based approach that’s designed to drive data-based decisions. It’s primarily intended, he says, for operational based organizations.
The trend now is that law firms to starting to think like all other businesses
 
More recently, Litify has been targeting both law firms and organizations to facilitate operational thinking. The kind of thinking most other businesses have been using for some time. According to Treuhaft, “the trend now is that law firms to starting to think like all other businesses.” This is also evidenced by firms hiring COOs’ and looking at how to connect various internal systems.
 
The idea of Litifiy, says Treuhaft, is to provide an adaptable platform to be used by law firms with different business models: contingency fee firms to hourly billing firms, for example. He says the platform is designed to be flexible. It can thus accommodate different, individual ways of doing things that special snowflake lawyers pride themselves on.
 
Treuhaft observed that the legal business in the U.S. is incredibly unstructured. Lawyers and legal professionals expect and demand the discretion to run matters the way they want. But firm management needs an overall system to understand what lawyers are doing and manage the business. Says Treuhaft, a lot of legal tech is limited because it will only do certain things: it has a limited addressable market. What’s really needed, according to Treuhaft, is a platform that can be used for all different types of matters and business. Says Treuhaft, “you have to give practice groups what then need and at the same time give managing partners the transparency necessary to run a business.”
 
I have no idea if Litify delivers on this concept, but it’s a good one. While many law firms are similar, they all have different individual lawyers working within them who, either by necessity or hubris, have different ways of practicing and doing things. And law firms have different client mixes with different needs and goals. So the idea that one size fits all just doesn’t work.
Firms and in-house legal will more and more move away from legacy, on-prem systems and to cloud-based platforms that allow adaptability and transparency to the user
 
Treuhaft is right: firms need legal operations platforms that allow adaptability and individuality within an overall system and parameters. And firm management needs the ability to assess what’s being done, and its profitability, and compare the business lines of a firm. Measuring workflow efficiency and internal productivity across multiple providers and products is pretty hard. Its almost impossible without some sort of analytic data-driven tools.
 
Litify is looking to market the product across the ecosystem so that in-house departments and their law firms will both use it. This would allow them both to be better focused on workflow and how to do things better.
 
The future? He thinks firms and in-house legal will more and more move away from legacy, on-prem systems and to cloud-based platforms that allow adaptability and transparency to the user.
 
I think he’s right.

I just returned from helping teach a 2 ½ day intensive training workshop for trial lawyers. The workshop focuses on how to better use technology in the courtroom and to persuade generally. The workshop and program, called FedTechU, is put on by the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (better known as the FDCC and of which I am a proud member). It is held annually; of course, this is the first workshop in a couple of years due to Covid.

Continue Reading Three Lessons In Persuasive Trial Technology

In the following Guest Post, Aaron Lee discusses the challenges and opportunities facing small to midsize law firms. A new era of outsourcing services is a breath of fresh air for small and mid-sized law firms, allowing them to survive and thrive not only despite, but because of the Great Resignation.

Aaron Lee is the CEO and Co-Founder of Smith.ai. He is the ex-CTO of The Home Depot and co-founder of Redbeacon, acquired by Home Depot in 2012.

 

COVID-19 forced workers ‘round the world to re-evaluate their lives at the same time – and what we ended up with was the Great Resignation. 

After two years of lockdown and turmoil, employees in fields ranging from legal to retail to tech have been voting with their feet in favor of a better work-life balance. Across the board, people are now prioritizing family wellbeing, flexibility, and career satisfaction over rigid hours, urban living, and unfulfilling roles. Despite offering generous compensation, companies struggle to fill open positions that don’t meet the demands of the post-COVID-19 workforce. In fact, LinkedIn’s newest Workplace Confidence Survey shows that 40 percent of Gen Z employees would be willing to take a pay cut for a more enjoyable role, or one that offered them a better chance of career growth. 

Continue Reading Small and Midsize Law Firms Turn to Virtual Tech to Grow Business in the Teeth of the Great Resignation

Over the past couple of weeks, there were a couple of developments that could—and I emphasize could—impact the business of law.
 
First, California has flirted off and on for a while now with changing the ownership rules for law firms and allowing nonlawyer ownership. Unlike regulators in Utah and Arizona, though, the good folks in California have never been able to bit the bullet and allow ownership by anyone but full-fledged lawyers. Recently, another California committee once again closed the door. The first was a report out of California.

Continue Reading Two Recent Ethical Developments Could Impact the Business End of Law Practice

BriefCatch yesterday announced the launch of BriefCatch 3 to help legal professionals improve legal writing. The new version makes BriefCatch available for the first time to Mac users, features real-time editing, a rebuilt rules engine, enhanced Natural Language Processing and AI, and more.

 

According to the Press Release, BriefCatch now offers more than 11,000 on-demand, legal-specific writing suggestions. These recommendations will help lawyers make more persuasive arguments. It can also help judges write better opinions.

Continue Reading BriefCatch and Ross Guberman: Three Important Insights

Avocado teapots. Cats playing chess. How new technology mandates a level of judicial technological competence and understanding. 

 

Bluntly put, judges exist to serve litigants who have disputes. The business of the judiciary is to facilitate the resolution of disputes–whether the dispute is resolved by the judge, a jury or through settlement. Judges are in a service business: like every other service business these days, judges need some basic familiarity and understanding of relevant technology.

 

.A new technology caught my eye last week that drives this point home. DALL-E, a technology that lets you create digital images by typing in what you want to see, was discussed in a recent New York Times article by Cade Metz. The technology was developed by an outfit called OpenAI, which is backed by a billion dollars in funding from Microsoft. According to OpenAI, DALL-E is “trained to generate images from text descriptions, using a dataset of text–image pairs”. It is a “new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.”

Continue Reading To Serve Their Customers, Judges Need To Understand Technology

A new Microsoft Survey reveals how much work has changed. And no amount of magical thinking is going to bring the concept of work back to what it was pre-pandemic.

 

Have you ever noticed men’s shirt buttons are on your right while women’s shirt buttons are on your left. Why? Most men usually dressed themselves in ancient times, while rich women often had servants to help them put on clothes. To make it easier for the servants to button dresses, dressmakers placed the buttons on the left. Few women have servants who dress them, yet their buttons remain on the left. Even though, for most women, it would be far easier for buttons to be on the right. But the tradition persists for no good reason.

Continue Reading New Microsoft Study Reveals Work Changes: We Aren’t Going Back

West Virginia recently announced a new effort to use technology to make its appellate Court system more accessible.

 

On July 1, West Virginia will launch an intermediate appeals court that is a step below its Supreme Court. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) is authorized to hear appeals from family courts, civil cases from lower courts, guardianship appeals, and workers comp appeals among other things. The ICA will consist of three judges. The initial 3 judges were appointed by the Governor; in the future, judges will be elected on a staggered basis.The ICA’s headquarters and clerk’s office will be in Charleston. The three-judge panel will sit in Charleston.

Continue Reading West Virginia Initiates a Hybrid Appellate Court Process

Three takeaways from a new Kaplan-Cimplifi legal operations Study:

  • Legal operations and what it does is becoming more recognized by in-house legal.
  • There is an increased recognition that legal ops can better deal with things like e-discovery and contract management.
  • E-discovery providers, like Cimplifi, see an opportunity to apply their e-discovery skills and experience to things like contract lifecycle management

 

A little lost in all the comings and goings at the recent LegalWeek was the release of a Report on legal operations from Ari Kaplan and Cimplifi. Kaplan and Marla Crawford, the General Counsel of Cimplifi, presented the findings of the Report at an educational session during LegalWeek.

 

Cimplifi calls itself an integrated legal services provider. It claims to leverage technology and expertise to simplify e-discovery and, more recently, contract analytics. According to its website, Cimplifi’s goal is to help manage risk, control costs, and get more done with less stress.  Cimplifi used to be called Compliance. It rebranded itself earlier this year.

Continue Reading New Study Shows Legal Ops Becoming More Well Defined & Accepted

 


Pre-pandemic, I faithfully attended ALM’s LegalWeek every year. The event was traditionally held in late January, in the dead of New York city’s winter. So every year, it would snow sometime during the conference. Attendees were fond of saying: it ain’t LegalWeek unless it snows.

 

This year, the conference was moved from late January to last week due to the Omicron surge and finally kicked off this past week. I figured it wouldn’t snow (and it wouldn’t be the normal LegalWeek) since it was mid-March and the crocuses were already in bloom. But sure enough, on the first full day of the conference, just like the swallows returning to Capistrano, on cue, it did indeed snow.

 

And just like the weather, the Show itself provided a sense of normalcy finally after two long years.

Continue Reading It’s Not LegalWeek Unless It Snows