Several weeks ago, after ILTACon, I wrote a piece questioning what the maturing of the legal tech market could mean. I specifically wondered what the influx of venture capital and the acquisition mania whereby the big get bigger might mean long term. I also questioned the long-term impact if those without legal experience and understanding become more dominant in the field. Or as larger legal tech players focus more on integration than products themselves. Or those businesses traditionally not in the legal space try to adapt their products to legal.
This week I had a chance to catch up with Joey Seeber, Level Legal CEO, about this very issue and his concerns. Level Legal provides global legal related managed services to law firms, in-house legal departments, and government agencies. It specializes in privacy, compliance, regulatory, antitrust, and eDiscovery issues. Level Legal recently announced a jaw dropping 191% increase in year-over-year revenues through the first half of 2022. It also announced several impressive additions to its leadership team.
Level Legal claims that it makes legal human. The Dallas-based consulting firm aims to “delight” its law firms, corporations, and government agencies customers “through industry-best customer service that excels in dependability.”
When I asked Seeber what he thought was driving Level Legal’s success, I got an interesting and unexpected answer. Seeber said, “I hear continuously from customers about their tremendous frustration with the results of consolidation within the industry.” Customers like attention and service, Seeber told me, but they aren’t getting it. Instead, legal tech providers are focusing their time and attention on the integration of their latest acquisitions.
Seeber related that one of his customers recently told him how some providers would bring ten people to a pitch but then don’t get the work done after being hired.
Seeber also noted a talent impact from the acquisition focus that has benefitted Level Legal. Lots of talent is existing tech providers that are overly concerned with acquisitions. Says Seeber, “people are tired of the thrash that occurs when the primary goal of a business is acquisition and growing a plot line by its repeated acquisitions of other entities.” By a focus on spreadsheets, not the customer.
Seeber is proud of what Level Legal is doing with its customer service and living its motto that it makes legal human. Seeber told me that it still takes humans to make products and technology work. He says, “you have to take the product and translate what the product does. We have lost track of the notion that it takes people to serve people.”
This lack of service focus certainly seems to have benefitted Level Legal. But if you believe about this lack of commitment (he is one of the more insightful people in the legal tech community, in my estimation), a lack of service commitment is not good.
Legal is already a business where there is already a disconnect between the products and services and end users. Lawyers are still behind in tech and remain suspicious of it. Poor service ain’t going to help. Lack of a commitment to serve will lead to increased frustration and skepticism. We can only hope others in the tech community will follow Level Legal’s commitment to service.