Designing is not a profession but an attitude.
I talked last week to David Carns, the Chief Strategy Officer of Casepoint. Casepoint is an e-discovery cloud based provider that offers data-based intelligence and full-spectrum eDiscovery, including cloud collections, data processing, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, along with review and customizable productions.
I first met David and was introduced to the product earlier this year at Legalweek and mentioned it in my post about that conference. As I discussed in that post, I found the Casepoint product to be intuitive and enables litigators to find documents and materials they need to take meaningful depositions, respond to discovery and prepare for trial. I was so impressed by what it could do, I remarked, after playing around with it, that I got the itch to return to litigation just to use the tool to prepare for a document intensive deposition.
Carns told me last week that since my article earlier this year, he has been, “thrilled with interest rate and adoption rate” of the product called Casepoint eDiscovery. Casepoint has devoted more and more internal resources to the program and has offered several improvements to the TAR and convenience features.
Carns also told me he was seeing a “real uptick” in Casepoint customers moving from using the tool on individual cases to retaining Casepoint on subscription basis across several cases. The subscription plan includes the assignment of a dedicated person within Casepoint to the account who gets to know customers’ needs and can, therefore, better answer questions and assist. Carns see this as a real competitive advantage. I agree.
But beyond this, Casepoint’s story is important because it demonstrates three truisms about the legal tech marketplace that all too often are forgotten.
The time we spend time learning how to use a product takes money out of our pocket.
First, because many of us bill by the hour, the time we spend time learning how to use a product takes money out of our pocket. We want products we can easily use for most things we do.
And that was what I liked about Casepoint. David told me a story of a managing partner in a law firm who was inadvertently missed when Casepoint did its initial training. Because she was an important partner, the Casepoint team was pretty concerned. However, when they called the partner to apologize profusely, she said “Oh I already figured it out. This is easy to work.” This is the essence of good product design for lawyers: an intuitive product that we can figure out to do most of what we need without spending much time.
When we can bend tech to do that task, the results are so much richer
The second thing about the Casepoint product is that it helps lawyers do what we need to do, makes life easier, and helps us do a better job. As a litigator, I realized the value of accessing the materials and documents I needed to tell the story I, who was in charge of the case and who had formulated the overall plan, wanted to tell. We often have to rely on others to help sort through materials and give us the ammunition we need to tell our stories because doing it ourselves is too expensive. However, when we can bend tech to do that task, the results are so much richer. There is an inherent advantage for the lawyer who knows the case, the complexities, and issues–and whose job it is to create and tell the story– operating the technology to do just that. The point of the Casepoint product is that the software does more and more of the work I want and tell it to do.
We want a backstop when we hit a roadblock
Moreover, finally, we want a backstop when we hit a roadblock. We want and expect our tech to do many things for us. Some of those things –the things we use every day– we want to master easily. However, for the other things we may not use often we want to get some quick and reliable help. We want a tech partner who understands what we need and helps us find solutions. We don’t mind paying a little extra for that. Casepoint gets it.
We see all of these factors in play with eDiscovery problems. Lots of eDiscovery issues are routine these days. As lawyers, we want to deal with those routine issues ourselves with a product that enables us to do that. But there are other times when non-routine, sticky problems come up, and we need a reliable place to which to turn. This is particularly true with ediscovery because often we have timetables and pressures that are problematic: Unloke lots of other situations where efficiency is unfortunately not an essential goal, with discovery in often is because of time requirements.
Legaltech providers all too often slip into the “lawyers are Luddites who won’t or can’t learn how to use technology.” The truth is usually simpler.
Legaltech providers all too often slip into the “lawyers are Luddites who won’t or can’t learn how to use technology.” The truth is usually simpler: Lawyers want intuitive product designs that enable quick mastery, and that don’t take billable hours and money out of our pockets. We want and need tech products that make our lives easier; that enable us to do our jobs better. We want to be able to reach out for good, dependable help for unique problems. It’s not rocket science.
As Daniel Pink, the author of said in the recent Thompson Reuters white paper entitled Reading Between the Lines: How Client Needs are Changing The Practice Of Law, regarding the changes in car buying habits: “It’s up to the business or industry to translate what its customers are saying into new offerings”.
Legal tech providers would do well to heed this…and the Casepoint example.