Last month, husband and wife Chris Ford and Nikki Shaver’s tech team launched an important new technology resource: Legaltechnologyhub.com. Legaltechhub (LTH) is a curated database of legal technology tools that is augmented with extensive and meticulous labeling and taxonomy. The founders are known throughout the legal tech community. Ford is the CMO at technology firm Zero, and Shaver is a retired practicing attorney and renowned KM and innovation thinker. According to Ford and Shaver, LTH took almost a year to build. It was clearly a work of love in which they invested a lot of time and money. LTH currently contains descriptions of 1,621 products from 84 countries. The database can be searched, filtered and searched.
This is a platform where I would pat my forehead and scream, "Why didn't I think about it?"
In the press release, LTH was described as "addressing the need for an updated, user-driven resource to find the right legal technology anywhere in the world". LTH is a free resource for users and offers free offers to providers. Tech companies can opt for paid, advanced offerings that include more meaningful content and even video. "
Yes, there is Google, but a Google search for legal technology will produce a terribly bloated and imprecise list of "hits". I searched Google for "Legal Project Management" software and in 0.53 seconds it produced 811,000,000 really useless results that were both repetitive and unreliable. A similar search in LTH yielded 18 product descriptions, which I was able to refine by applying additional filters. Which approach is better for busy IT or KM professionals? LTH developers were all too familiar with the pressures and weaknesses of law firm technicians.
Legaltechhub is packed with features that you can search or browse. The top of the screen contains tabs for products, events, and awards. The product lists are "the main event". A look at the descriptive features suggests the care that has been put into helping users find the best product.
Here is a list of the descriptive information gathered on each product:
Manufacturer name – the organization that is creating the tool
Tool – the name of the tool
HQ – the country where the provider is based
Offices – countries in which the provider is physically present
Functionality – the main function of the tool (see taxonomy below)
Sub-functionality – secondary functions (if any) of the tool
Area of Activity – the area of law to which the tool applies
Platform language – language (s) of the tool interface
Linguistic Effectiveness – Language (s) in which the tool can be used
Target group – either small lawyers (up to 50 lawyers alone), law firms, companies (internal departments) or lawyers
Deployment – cloud, web or on-premise
Integrations – other tools that the tool should be integrated with
The search results can be filtered by metadata for functionality and sub-functionality, headquarters, office, exercise area and platform language. Deployment and integration.
The graveyard of dead technical toys
A function that I particularly appreciate in LTH is called “The Graveyard” or the land of lost and broken technology products. Everyone who works in legal technology knows the constant migration on the technology market. Startups sometimes fade quickly or get merged on other platforms. The graveyard function not only shortens the search for dead products, but also provides a list of alternative products with similar functions.
The functional taxonomy. I have counted 85 types of technology currently listed in the taxonomy. The list includes the usual suspects such as ediscovery and company search, but also more specialized offers such as term sheet analysis, automation of robot processes and structure diagrams.
Other features include: Regional Snapshots that provide an overview of legal technologies in different geographic regions, Legal Technology Resources that direct users to blogs and websites dealing with legal technology issues, and Tool of the Month to mark a tool from the directory every month.
Ongoing development. According to Ford, they plan to add a comparison feature in the future that will provide data points for similar products side by side. The event area will be expanded and will contain information on large technology conferences. Legal tech awards and details of application and submission deadlines are listed in the "Awards" section. The upcoming additions to the platform include offers for consultants (specializing in legal technology, legal innovation, knowledge management, legal business strategy, legal design, legal technology design and legal engineering) as well as associations and groups for networking, learning and university / college programs that offer legal technical training.
Keep the site green. One of the biggest challenges is avoiding dead connections. Dead links would probably be the quickest way to discredit the value of LTH. Ford and Shaver plan to do a monthly review to verify that all links are active and correct.
Although LTH takes a thorough approach, they are clear about their mission. The website states, “We have made a conscious goal to provide a useful resource for professionals working in the commercial law field. Both internally and in practice. “The website states that they do not cover tools for any nonprofit or government legal needs.
Democratization of Legal Tech. Not only do Ford and Shaver offer a very valuable tool that is free to the legal community, they also offer a pro bono plan for the proceeds from paid listings. A portion of the proceeds will be donated for causes that provide access to justice, education and development.
Jean O’Grady is a knowledge strategist / librarian / lawyer with over 30 years experience transforming research and knowledge services in Am Law 100 law firms. She is the author of the Dewey B Strategic Blog that monitors the evolving landscape of technologies and companies that are transforming the business and practice of law.