Here at LawFlex, we try to never miss a beat where legal trends are concerned. Sometimes though, keeping up with the legal world can seem an insurmountable feat; startups are popping up all over the world, law companies are restructuring and setting out new aims, and prolific legal scholars are constantly writing new, profound insights about the legal-sphere.
To try and help you stay on top of things, we’ve compiled a list of relevant legal news that we’ve found so far this month. This month, we found various names, news, and nonstarters to be of interest. Here’s your February Rundown:
‘Online Lawyer Marketplace UpCounsel to Shut Down’: Sam Skolnik
We’ve seen it happen before; a company pops up with a mission to innovate but ultimately gets squashed by the implications of its inherent legality (or lack thereof). UpCounsel acted as an online marketplace for lawyers and managed to raise $26 million from investors (including an Uber backer), but was entangled in a lawsuit in which it was accused of “brazenly” violating “the California bar rule that prohibits lawyers from sharing legal fees with nonlawyers”.
‘The Real Reason Why Lawyers Are Slow to Adopt Legal Technology’: Jon Tobin
This isn’t ‘new’ news per se (it was first published back in 2016) – but the article is still just as poignant as ever. It addresses how volatile the legal industry can be when it comes to emerging legaltech, but also points a wagging finger at those in charge of legal tech who use the industry as a scapegoat for its own failures.
“It’s often the case that the founders’ company is not getting the traction they are expecting, so they are choosing to blame the market, rather than seek feedback and correct.”
‘’ALSP,’ ‘New Law’ or ‘Law Company’: What’s Behind Legal’s Shifting Identity?’: Frank Ready
Frank Ready asks the Shakespearean question: ‘What’s in a name?’ as it pertains to the shifting identity of law. What are the implications of abandoning ‘ALSP’ nomenclature for something fresher, like ‘NewLaw’ for instance? Ready suggests that this pivot away from the ALSP label could be speaking to a changing, homogenizing market, where the lines are becoming more and more blurred between traditional law firms and modern legal service providers.
To quote Jason Brennan, as Ready did in the article, “I think the market is saying, ‘Look, the old distinction of law firm and non-law-firm isn’t as meaningful anymore,’”.
‘How ‘Sticky’ is Your Area of Practice: Effects on Marketing & Firm Management’: Jared Kimball
Okay. Stickiness. How does that play into legal marketing? Kimball explains that the concept of ‘stickiness’ refers to how well a brand resonates with its customers. It could be argued that a brand has achieved peak-stickiness once it has become integrated into our natural vocabulary; like ‘Kleenex’ or ‘Q-Tip’. Kimball posits that the same effect of sticky-theory can be applied to the marketing of a legal practice, and gives the following examples as how to maximize their stickiness: “referability, quality of work, customer service, networking,” — and to get the rest you’ll just have to read the article!
‘Axiom Bolsters Flexible Attorney Network With Bliss Lawyers Deal’: Dan Packel
Axiom has been on a steady rise, quickly becoming known as one of the major players in the ALSP industry, on par with giants like Elevate. This month, they announced yet another major partnership; an acquisition of Bliss Lawyers which will balloon their talent pool to exceed 2,400 lawyers. This acquisition comes not too long after a recent investment from private equity firm Permira. As Axiom’s Head of Global Sales David Pierce sums up in the article; “We’re a growth company,”.
‘Atrium Sheds Lawyers: Why Is This Such A Big Legal Industry Story?’: Mark A. Cohen
To begin the summary of this article, I think I need to quote Mark Cohen, “The legal industry press has pounced on Atrium’s course correction like a fumble at the Super Bowl.”. In other words; the legal world clearly thinks Atrium’s shift away from legal services and towards a professional services network is a crucial misstep in the company’s business model; a nonstarter of sorts. In the article, Cohen attempts to explain why this is such a newsworthy event.