A Decade in Legal Tech – 5 Surprises

Travel back in time to 2010. What was appended to your hand back then? A BlackBerry?  Perhaps the least anticipated change in legal is the decline in usage – to nearly zero – of the BlackBerry smartphone. I was rarely separated from my CrackBerry. It changed everything. Always connected. 

Here’s my take on five changes in legal tech in the last decade.  One caveat, I work mainly with documents, email, mobility, and security. Therefore, I see just a sliver of legal tech. You surely have seen others.

BlackBerry and iPhone 11 Smart Phones

1. BlackBerry ⬇️…iPhone #1

In 2011, 40% of attorneys responding to the ABA Tech Survey used BlackBerries. 

Here are the ABA 2018 Technology Survey data on smartphone usage by lawyers:

  • iOS – 68%
  • Android – 25%
  • BlackBerry – 2%
  • Windows – 1%
  • None – 5%

2. The Cloud ☁️

Even as recently as 5 years ago, the mention of the Cloud drew major push-back at law firms. NetDocuments led the way in legal. NetDocuments is in their 20th year. The most famous SaaS company, Salesforce.com, was founded in 1999. NetDocuments was truly a pioneer, now experiencing tremendous growth. In addition, we have seen surprising Office 365 adoption at law firms in the past two years. 

3. iManage’s management buyout from HP

From Interwoven to Autonomy to HP, iManage wound up as niche product in a bloated company. They escaped not a minute too soon. It’s been an impressive turnaround. 

4. Face🧑🏼‍ ID & Touch 🤚🏼ID 

Security and usability are often at loggerheads. Biometric authentication has satisfied both.

5. Edit a document without a PC 💻

Word may be second only to Outlook email as the tool most frequently used by lawyers. 

These two products made it possible: 

Looking back, what surprising developments have you seen in past decade in legal tech?

Happy Holidays!

-Maureen