Sept 1, 2017
Historically, the legal profession has been slow to adopt new technologies and law firms typically spend less than 1% of their revenue on R&D (the average in the professional services industry is 5%). However, according to an article by Jim Middlemiss in Canadian Lawyer, it seems that this trend is changing as more and more firms are not only integrating technology into their practices but are also launching incubators to nurture law-tech startups. In January 2016, Osler partnered with Ryerson University in the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) incubator – its current portfolio includes 15 companies. Mara Nickerson, Osler’s Chief Knowledge Officer, is responsible for the firm’s partnership with LIZ and in the article discusses the advantage of backing a law tech.
By investing in the development of new products, she explains, the firm gets early access to those solutions and can help shape them. “We can bring them in and work with them and help develop the technology,” she says.
“We are looking to work with products that we are going to use,” she continues, citing the example of Codify, which is developing technology to better track legislation and regulations and is one of the companies in the LIZ portfolio.
To learn more, read Jim Middlemiss’s full article “Let the law-tech wars begin” at the August 28, 2017 online edition of Canadian Lawyer.