Monthly Archives: August 2009

What is Wrong With Legal “Tech” Vendors

I think the biggest problem legal “tech” vendors have, is the reality of life in a law firm.  Very rarely do you see a legal IT “guy” or librarian jump to the vendor side of the table.  Who is generally on the vendor side of the table is a salesmen or a software creator/coder – no one with any real life experience in the day to day doings of a law firm.

In fact, I’ll never forget my first LegalTech NY.  One vendor of a large firm practice management solution yelled out “She gets it!” and pointed me out to his fellow booth mates (and anyone who could hear) – “She gets it!”.  Although I was a bit embarassed, in fact, it made me smile.


Because I do get it.  If you have not lived and breathed for a few years in a law firm, you won’t get it either.

No other business is like a law firm. 

No other profession is under the same rules, requirements and burdens of a law firm.

In a law firm, the work HAS to get done.  It’s not a question of just losing a client, it’s a question of a grievance or malpractice case taking away an attorney’s license to practice.

In other words, this ain’t no joke and everyone is always under a tight deadline.  The stress of making sure every date, every document, every filing is done on time and correctly – truly, the pressure can make anyone crack.

Pile on top the fact that a good “legal” secretary is becoming increasingly difficult to find; and you’ve got lots of lawyers and law firms in dire need of assistance, but no one to fill the bill.  In steps the legal tech vendor trying to make you believe their tech can replace a live, thinking brain.  Trust me, it can’t! No tech can.

One more observation about legal tech vendors – lots of times they get an attorney to help them promote their wares.  While the attorney may understand life and work in a traditional law firm setting, it is rare that they also understand tech. 

This means beware of any legal “tech” or self proclaimed “guru” who does not have a solid education and years of experience in IT and preferably IT in a law firm setting.


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Don't Pretend. Be Professional Not Pretentious

I keep seeing ads which perplex me:  “We help you look bigger than you are”.  “Let us put a big face on your little company….”

What the?  Why would you want to do that?

I started as a solo professional and became a successful e-preneur – I am bigger than just me; but when I was just me, I didn’t try to make people believe there was more than just me.  That would be digitally dishonest.

In the on line world, all you have is what I call your digital credibility.  Your published words, voice and presence, the processes you have in place to perform whatever service or provide whatever product – they all have to work and ring true.

Why?  People don’t get the benefit of looking you in the eye, shaking your hand or any of the other visual clues that come from buying something from a real, live body.  Therefore, your digital credibility is that much more important – one doubt, one suspicion… and your website visitor or potential client is gone.  Off to the next website or person they think can help them.

If you are a one person shop – don’t hide that fact. Don’t try to dupe people into thinking you’re anything but the very successful single person you are and if you’re not yet successful – you won’t get there by trying to make people believe anything but the truth.

Once your digital credibility is gone, it’s gone.  Guard, protect and nurture it for true success.