In a world often characterized by its challenges, there are organizations that stand as beacons of hope, making a real difference in the lives of those facing adversity. New York City’s West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) is one such beacon.
This year, WSCAH has supported over 14,700 families who sought WSCAH’s assistance in accessing healthy foods. The regular distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and milk has not only provided immediate relief but has also promoted nutritional well-being among those in need. We especially like that 55% of the food distributed annually is fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you are in the Upper West Side you can see them in action in the community. Take a look here.
WSCAH is a home town organization for us as part of our team is located in New York. We are especially grateful to our customers, many of whom are in New York, who make it possible for us to support WSCAH.
All of enterprise software business has a nexus with New York City. I recommend reviewing the publications from Work-Bench, the NYC based venture capital whose tag line is, “We invest in game changing enterprise startups.” They are data-oriented people with interesting insights on funding for NYC-based enterprise tech startups.
Let’s look at the key data for last year. In 2022, $6.2B was raised in enterprise tech in NYC. This is less than half of what was raised in 2021 at $16.7B, but more than in 2020 and 2019. Total deals ere also down in 2022 to 163 from 237 in 2021.
Below is the “money chart.”
2022 funding was weaker for large growth stage rounds.
Series C and above rounds went off a cliff: 24 in 2022; 78 in 2021.
Series B increased slightly to 40 in 2022 from 39 in 2021.
Seed and Series A rounds were close to 2021 levels.
The data in the report is reported by full year. I suspect that if we were to see the data by quarter we would see that the first half of 2022 was an extension of 2021 investment rates, with the second half of 2022 slower.
Those of us in the legal tech sector see the parallel in investment to Work-Bench’s data. I keep an informal log of investment in legal tech. In that log, investments in broadly legal tech companies in the second half of 2022 were at half the rate of the first half of 2022.
A final thought from Work-Bench’s 2022 report, “There were no meaningful exits across M&A and IPOs.”
We can see now that 2021 was over-heated. We are living through the consequences of that excess growth funding now, as in the layoffs in tech companies and slowdown in M&A and IPOs.
Remember 2021 and 2022? Litera was buying so many companies that at times it was hard to keep track.
In August of 2022, I was at the ILTACON conference at National Harbor, Maryland. Litera had acquired two companies in the previous week, business intelligence company, BigSquare, and talent management software company, Micron Systems. These followed the substantial acquisitions of Foundation Software, Prosperoware, Workshare, and Kira Systems. Per Crunchbase, 15 acquisitions in the past 5 years.
I attended the Litera session, which was in a ballroom. Standing room only. The sense that something special was taking place was palpable. Litera’s new CEO, Sheryl Hoskins, introduced herself, mentioning her active duty in the Army. She was impressive .
Historically at ILTACON the companies with a big presence have been Thomson Reuters, Intapp, iManage, and NetDocuments. But in 2022, Litera had the momentum. They also had the ample pockets of Hg. And Hg was looking for growth.
A lot has changed in the economy in the past six months. The threat of a recession has loomed large. Interest rates are up. Law firms have laid-off associates. Many of the big tech companies have laid-off thousands of people.
From where I stand, legal tech appears to be holding strong. Very few legal tech dedicated companies are public, so we don’t get a quarterly window, or even an annual window, into revenues and profits. However, layoffs in legal tech have been limited thus far. At least two e-discovery companies have had layoffs. On the other hand, Exterro just acquired e-discovery rival Zapproved. Several legal tech firms, including NetDocuments, iManage, Aderant, and Litera are actively hiring.
It makes sense for Litera to take time to work on integrating all of the solutions which it has acquired in the past three years. Keep an eye on Litera. If we manage to have a soft landing, look for Litera and Hg to lead the way again.
Each year I look forward to the State of the Legal Market report in order to get a more granular look at the past year in legal services.
In 2022, the demand for transactional law firm services declined, most notably in Big Law. But law firms continued to hire apace. The result was a drop in productivity and profits. Profit Per Equity Partner growth was down in 2022. But PPEP is still at a healthy level compared to pre-pandemic.
That is the top line view from the new 2023 Report on the State of the Legal Market by Thomson Reuters with the Georgetown Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession.
The following three charts illustrate the slow down in demand and PPEP growth as well as the fact that profit per lawyer is still good compared to 1Q 2020.
This report is a one-of-a-kind. It has has 22 more charts, Including associate compensation, expenses per lawyer, lawyer turnover, collection realization, and more. If you work for a law firm, or if, like me, you provide solutions to law firms, there is certain to be data which will round out your view of 2022 and give you a picture of what 2023 may bring.
You can register for a free download of the full report here:
This fall I have been fortunate to mentor an internship with Blake and Joaquin, two juniors at Design Tech High School, “DTech,” in San Mateo, California. The subject of this internship was Workflow Automation in Legal. Blake and Joaquin did the research, wrote the copy, and created the graphics. They did an outstanding job.
Take a look. Do you now know what Workflow Automation in Legal is?
What is Workflow Automation?
Workflow Automation is the use of process improvement and software to increase productivity and efficiency.
What is Workflow Automation in Legal?
Workflow automation in legal is the use of software to automate legal processes,
“Workflow Automation in legal is the automation and optimization of the legal team’s workflows to maximize efficiency, eliminate errors, and provide more value to the law firm or legal department.”
Jake Link, bryter
What are Examples of Workflow Automation in Legal?
Employment Contract Generators
What Companies Provide Solutions for Workflow Automation in Legal?
ActionStep – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing and accounting software
Centerbase – cloud-based, legal accounting, billing, and practice management software
Clio – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing software
Rocket Matter – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing software
Zapier – used to connect different applications and integrate their workflow into a single application
BRYTER – development platform for legal, procurement, and compliance to automate workflows, build applications, and digitize contracting
Mobile Helix – encrypted mobile app for document workflows for lawyers
Why is it Important for Legal Teams to Engage in Workflow Automation?
Legal teams should engage in workflow automation because of the major impact it can bring to a firm, especially when it frees up the lawyers to bill more hours with clients. In addition, with workflow automation, lawyers and other employees can engage in higher level work which leads to greater job satisfaction and less stress.
Is Workflow Automation a Good or Bad Thing?
It’s definitely a good thing as it enhances the efficiency of a firm to allow for increased profits.
Blake and Joaquin made a one minute video about the internship.
Authors: Blake and Joaquin
If you like this post, please let us know at contact at mobilehelix.com.
“Workflow Automation in legal is the automation and optimization of the legal team’s workflows to maximize efficiency, eliminate errors, and provide more value to the law firm or legal department.”
Its benefits are increasing time and productivity for the workers that normally have to deal with manual paperwork/data processes. Examples of workflow automation tools are legal intake tools, automatic NDA generators, and data breach reporting, and client billing.
Basic overview of workflow automation along with a list of legal practice management software that includes workflow.
“Workflow itself is defined as the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.”
“Why Legal Workflow Automation is Important to Law Firm Success”. Mattersuite. July 27, 2021https://www. mattersuite.com/blog/why-workflow-automation-important-to-law-firm-success
Goes more into the ROI and the positive worth it brings to a firm, especially down the line in use of automation. Includes useful graphics that may be used for inspiration for future graphics or to source a quote from Mattersuite.
“Legal automation is designed to streamline the law practice operations smoothly. Automating document management to gaining more clients, everything can be achieved with legal automation.”
On October 12th and 13th, iManage held their first in-person ConnectLive conference since 2019. It was at the Willis Tower in iManage’s home town of Chicago. Attendance was very good. Attendees reported that they were very pleased with the content of the sessions. The venue, Convene in the Willis Tower, was wonderful, adding to the friendly ambiance.
One of my favorite sessions was a fireside chat between Meredith Williams-Range, Chief Knowledge and Client Value Officer at Shearman & Sterling, and Neil Araujo, iManage’s CEO and co-founder. Ms. Williams-Range is a leader in the world of digital knowledge management. In 2018 Williams-Range arrived at Shearman and Sterling, a firm founded in 1873. The firm had one billion documents in locations across the globe, an aged document management system, and very little process around associating files with a Client-Matter and filing to DMS.
They studied the way forward and decided that they would migrate to a cloud-based document management system. This was not a minor decision for a Big Law firm in New York City. Risk averse clients, including those in financial services, have historically been opposed to cloud storage. However, the team worked with their clients to educate them about the change. Ultimately, there was no client resistance. Kudos!
Of course, then COVID hit. Their decision served them well. They were able to migrate to iManage’s Work 10 Cloud during the pandemic. The migration was a success.
To all of the attendees, heavens, it was wonderful to see you again and to show you the latest enhancements in our LINK app. I have to say that the most appreciated new feature in our LINK app was automated check-in after editing.
Here’s what I mean. In our LINK app, check a file out of iManage Work. Edit it in the Word app. Then there is an easy process for the lawyer to check the edited version back into iManage Work. But…if the lawyer does not check the edited version into iManage Work, LINK will automatically check it in. Voila! Lots of love for automatic check-in.
ConnectLive 2023 may be back in NYC. We’ll see you there!
The International Legal Technology Association’s 2022 survey is a broad treasure trove of data reported from 541 law firms.
There are 11 major topics including Infrastructure, Document Management, Practice Management, and Business Continuity.
My focus is on four of the twenty-seven questions surveyed in the Security section.
Password managers are one of the most highly recommended solutions for security. They help with: using complex passwords, deterring repeat usage of passwords, and providing secure storage for passwords. There is a learning curve to using a password manager, but once I got up to speed, I wondered how I would live without it. We have so many passwords to juggle these days. I am surprised that 50% of respondents are not providing a password manager.
2. Multi-factor Authentication
Perhaps the single most recommended security mitigation is multi-factor authentication (MFA). Here we see Duo Security (a Cisco company) is the leader at 45%. There are three Microsoft solutions listed which total 27%.
In legal tech, it’s notable when a third-party solution is more widely adopted than a Microsoft solution as most law firms operate on the Microsoft stack.
3. What do You Secure with MFA?
The largest response is VPN/Remote Access. Then Office 365. It’s very good to see high adoption of MFA for these widely used applications.
4. Which Phishing, Vishing, Social Engineering, or Security Awareness Program?
KnowBe4 is the stand-out at 62%. Others used are Mimecast, Traveling Coaches, Proofpoint, managed service providers, and solutions developed in-house. Only 7% reported “None.” As phishing and social engineering are the cause of about 90% of exploits, law firms are wise to have these programs in place.
It was wonderful to meet with you all! Last week was the first fully in-person annual educational conference of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) since 2019. ILTACON is truly an event of peer-to-peer sharing. Many of the members have relationships dating back decades. Having an in-person event again was fantastic.
Security was one of the most in-demand topics. There were sessions on phishing, ransomware, breaches, and solutions. Here are three takeaways from sessions which I attended on what to do when a breach occurs. Note: I am not a cybersecurity expert. These are commonsense points which anyone can learn from.
At 10 PM on Saturday night, Asher in Support gets a call from an attorney who says, “I’m looking at a screen which says, ‘Your network has been locked!'” Asher was educated to escalate any such messages immediately. Let’s assume that this message gets to the CIO within minutes.
Who does the CIO call first?
Is it a contracted or pre-vetted cybersecurity services provider?
Is it the cybersecurity insurance carrier?
In a session which included both a panelist from a top cybersecurity services provider and a panelist from a major cybersecurity insurance carrier, each argued that they should be the first call. Each may have distinct objectives.
The cybersecurity insurance carrier will immediately send in their SWAT team. This expertise may be quite welcome at the law firm. A good carrier will bring great expertise to bear. At the same time, law firms report that when the insurance carrier team arrives, they lose control of the process. The firm IT team may be sidelined, by contract. The insurance company may have as its top priority forensics. One of their objectives is to discover if the law firm were out of compliance with the policy.
The cybersecurity services company will also send in their SWAT team and bring great expertise and experience to bear. If the firm has vetted the services company their objectives should be aligned with the law firm’s.
Objectives include stopping exfiltration of firm data and business continuity. Law firms will want to safely get back to business-as-usual as quickly as possible.
2. Breach Counsel
One of the first things that the cybersecurity insurance carrier will do is to get their breach counsel engaged in the process so that communications are privileged. Law firms are uniquely positioned to get their own attorneys involved. Whether it is the insurance carrier’s attorney or a firm attorney, involve an attorney on all communications immediately. There will be public communications following the breach and perhaps legal action. Need I say more?
3. CIO Fiat to Shut Down Systems
When there is a breach, time is of the essence. Data may still be exfiltrating. While no law firm wants to do so, the best action may be to shut down all systems immediately. The moment when the firm’s data is flowing out to the hackers is not a good time to educate and negotiate with the firm’s executive team regarding shutting down systems. The CIO should have clear authority in advance to shut down systems.
Bonus: Have a Plan
Your firm is a target. Services, like Dark Utilities, make it easy for hackers to to set up a command center (C2) for malicious operations. Prices for C2-as-a-Service start at EUR 9.99. Easy, inexpensive tools mean that firms of any size are a target for “drive-by” attacks.
Even while your full incident recovery program is in development, it’s time well-spent to have a plan for the three points above in order to respond quickly.
One of the benefits of ILTACON is that we learn what has worked for other law firms in real world settings. Each firm should assess their own response plan.
How Technology, Mobile Devices, and AI Are Shaping the Legal Industry in 2022
In February of 2022, Above the Law interviewed 500 attorneys on their views on technology, mobile devices, artificial intelligence (AI), and more. Of those 500, Associates made up 32%, Partners were 26%, and in-house counsel were over 12%. Above the Law and Litera have published their findings in The Modern Lawyer Report.
Mobile Device Usage
Roughly 57% of attorneys reported that they can do “many things” or “everything” on mobile devices. From our vantage point this seems high, but consider the point above, that the majority of the attorneys who responded self-report that they are ahead of the curve in using technology. From our view of law firms, the third option, “I can follow email on mobile but that’s about it,” is the the common state of the art in law firms today.
Document review and approval is certainly the greatest need which attorneys and legal professionals have on mobile devices. Our clients tell us that the ability to review, annotate, compare, sign, and email documents in order to have complete workflows is their goal.
What is delaying mobile device adoption?
The report cities, “One partner stated, “My vision is too poor to work on such small screens,” while an in-house respondent noted that “security risks preclude the ethical use of mobile for most legal tasks.”
Artificial Intelligence or AI is a somewhat amorphous term, granted. Over 60% of these advanced technology users consider AI to be valuable to business success in legal services.
One of the conclusions of The Modern Lawyer Report is that, especially with respect to mobile devices and artificial intelligence, lawyers are not taking advantage of technology’s full capabilities. There is plenty of opportunity for them to adopt these technologies further.
Update: Here is alinkto register and download the report from Litera.
If you have questions or comments, I’d like to hear from you. Write to: contact at mobilehelix dot com
Maureen Blando is the President and COO of Mobile Helix, the makers of the LINK encrypted app for lawyers. LINK provides simple workflows for Document Management and Email in a single, secure app. Note: the LINK App offers font sizes up to XXL. (See above. for relevance.)
When you think about the tools you use most in your day-to-day work, your document management system (DMS) and Outlook are probably at the top of the list. Working in both on your mobile device, though, has historically been a huge struggle, if not impossible. LINK brings them together in a single, secure, easy-to-use app.
LINK is designed to support the workflows attorneys use all day, every day. The app works with today’s most popular mobile devices – iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets – and supports the three leading document management systems, iManage Work®, NetDocuments, and eDocs by OpenText.
LINK is solving the pervasive problem of lawyers being unable to adequately work on their mobile devices. With LINK, lawyers can fully access their documents, compare them, mark them up, edit them, email them, and more, as easily and securely as they can on a computer.