Moving beyond the #legaltech hype

When it comes to legal tech conferences, #JDHorizons is in a league of its own. Janders Dean invests a great deal in ensuring that their events attract genuine thought leaders and disruptors who are passionate about bringing digital transformation to law firms. Once again, they have proven that they are trend setters and not followers with this year’s excellent London gathering— and as a part of the ZERØ team and conference sponsor, I was thrilled to help lead the way.

Some major takeaways emerging from this year’s #JDHorizons London event were:

  1. #gagtheswag: At many conferences and trade shows, exhibit booths are rife with cheap trinkets such as leaky pens and flimsy tote bags. These items are often collected by attendees and quickly thrown away after the conference. In light of continuing concern around the environment, our friends at Janders Dean mandated that all giveaways be reusable and useful to cut down on the waste. They also supplied guests with reusable cutlery for meals and edible cups.
  2. #bringbackboring: Much of the focus of the content at #JDHorizons was around the #bringbackboring movement they have spearheaded. Attendees and panelists alike discussed how important it is for both law firms and solutions provider to invest the time collaborating with users to uncover the underlying problems that exist in the legal sector and develop genuine solutions rather than trying to develop overhyped technology products with little basis in real user needs. As a Senior Product Manager at ZERØ, this message resonated strongly with me. ZERØ’s mobile app and desktop companion solve very real and very annoying email management problems faced by pretty much every lawyer globally. Although our product is AI-powered, we don’t use AI as a buzzword. Instead, we leverage our team’s technological prowess to automate those tasks that drain lawyers’ time and morale.
  3. Using technology to discover lost time: Alright, this point doesn’t fit inside of a nifty hashtag (yet), but it was still a topic of discussion among #JDHorizons attendees. The most innovative law firms today understand that digital transformation starts with identifying the bottlenecks that prevent their employees from maximizing their potential — a major one of which is tedious administrative tasks. This was another issue that resonated strongly with me. ZERØ gives lawyers time back in their days by automating processes like mobile time capture and email filing. Adopting technologies like ZERØ provides law firms with incremental benefits that can end up adding up to values in the millions in additional revenue generated, compliance gains, and productivity recovered. And best of all, these firms will likely see an improvement in overall morale as well, since lawyers will be able to truly leverage their time to focus on servicing their clients.
  4. Action, not talk: All of us attendees at #JDHorizons agreed on one major point — we’re sick of all of the hype around #legaltech. Change is necessary for law firms to continue to survive (and better, thrive) in this day and age. We can only implement truly transformative projects if we’re willing to invest the time, money, and resources. Talk is cheap — but the law firms that will make it into the future are the ones that are working to go beyond the chatter to build real value.

Lisa O'Callaghan, Senior Product Manager

Lisa joined ZERØ from LexisNexis, where she spent over a decade building products. As the industry continues to demand more customer-centric thinking, Lisa understands that technology today must solve for everyday problems.