Bad Slot Machines… Good Legal Tech… Look, It All Makes Sense.

The floor of a Las Vegas casino is a bizarre time capsule from bygone pop culture. I just passed a Peter Jackson Hobbit slot machine which is a 7 year old nod to a movie that no one liked. It shouldn’t be too difficult to reprogram these things, and yet this place still rocks flashing lights adorned by TV shows that took off years ago. The only reason no one literally jumped at it is because the lawyers got involved.

An apt metaphor for legal tech, an area where luddite lawyers have asked engineers for years to automate traditional tasks instead of building processes that actually work. As a profession, we are absolutely the people who would have asked Henry Ford in the early 20th century if he could build internal combustion engines to plug them into their existing buggies.

And while ILTA is a self-choosing group of people who “get it”, when you chat with people you can see through the rifts that real progress is being made out there. The language of the pitches in recent years reveals an industry that has got used to a more demanding audience.

When you chat with nQZebraworks, think about this broken legal model. The company, which is basically bringing the band back together from the old ProLaw days, is putting this into action, building a digital workflow from the jump, taking the mail that has piled up in a pandemic, and driving everything digital . That’s not the whole story, of course, but that’s what struck me as someone who spent the early days preaching digitization. nQZebraworks would have been the answer to my dreams. But that mindset changes the workflow, if not the technology.

Difference to employees nowadays because employees want to execute the workflows. You grew up doing work yourself, so you start to see this change within companies. When they require the tools to be at a level where they can do it.

While nQZebraworks digitizes what America never realized it needs to be digitized, Opus 2 is boldly moving into the US market based on what America never realized.

Opus 2 spent years owning the UK / EU – because we have to separate them now, thanks to Brexiteers! – Market but are getting a pandemic boost from people hoping to bring this virtual hearing magic to their own work. Maybe not appearing as a cat in court.

But if the world returns to normal – not fast enough – courts might try to get personal again so that judges can act like little gods. However, companies are starting to wonder if they can possibly get a tribunal that can make this nonsense better. Taking a platform that was forged in the more remote setting of Europe like Opus 2 just makes sense as a transition to this universe. Look, sometimes you have to go to court to set a precedent. But often you just need to put the argument over with.

Not that that’s all Opus 2 does. They also have a robust case management offering that takes on the role of a project manager without offending the partners by actually imposing a project manager on them.

I think it is time to wrap up this dispatch from the center of the ILTA Convention. We started talking about slot machines and ended up meditating on arbitration platforms. This is world class legal tech journalism.

HeadshotJoe Patrice is Senior Editor at Above the Law and co-moderator of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter for all the law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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