Legal technology can feel like a niche market sometimes. Indeed, half the lawyers and law students out there never even think about what technology does for the practice. At best, they understand word processing and billing software that they actively hate because nobody likes entering time. The rank-and-file lawyer rarely stops to think about document management, cybersecurity, AI-assisted search functions… there’s a lot going on behind the scenes driving the practice into the future.
But just because most lawyers aren’t on top of it doesn’t mean it’s lost on the legal industry writ large. Perhaps more importantly, it’s not lost on the big money out there realizing that legal technology is the next frontier waiting to generate massive revenue.
Yeah, I know you’ve all heard this from me before, but outside of a few pricey acquisitions and the glitz and glamor of some client conferences, you might not be seeing this market transition to the big time. If you’ve been doubting the rise of the legal tech market, you weren’t at the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting.
Or more accurately, outside the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting.
LinkSquares was everywhere. I’d actually noticed LinkSquares lighting up the Strip a bit during the CLOC gathering earlier in the year, but nothing like this. That video does, in fact, show the whole side of the Resorts World Hotel and Casino lit up with an over 30-story LinkSquares ad.
When you see something like this, it’s a pretty clear sign that folks have identified untapped revenue. At a gathering of chief legal officers, LinkSquares pulled out all the stops to ensure the company was at the top of everyone’s mind. You couldn’t miss their name driving up to the hotel. Unless, of course, you were staying in Circus Circus and arrived from behind the Resorts World like some people.
That said, the other most memorable presence from the conference took the opposite approach and proved that sometimes you don’t need money as much as a solid creative spark to get your name out there. NetDocuments obviously has resources, having just acquired Worldox, but a shipping error left the crew in the exhibit hall without booth materials to set up. But the savvy NetDocs reps turned lemons into lemonade:
Honestly, the most eye-catching booth in the hall because true art comes from adversity. If they choose to build slick, pre-fab meme themes at the next conference I’ll be very impressed.
But the moral of the story is that the race for eyeballs — and wallets — is very much on in the legal tech space. Companies that aren’t bringing their maximum effort, either in money or creativity (and ideally both), are going to get left behind.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.