Spending four days this week at AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) I was blown away by the amount of legal tech driving the law. I was also struck again by legal tech companies failure to use Internet engagement to learn, to collaborate with other legal tech companies and to get known.
Legal tech entrepreneurs don’t seem to use the net to share their thoughts on what they are following in tech, to engage other legal tech folks, to share what they are working on so as to learn and get feedback or to get known.
It’s a little odd since much of the technology driving legal technology is open source. A lot of legal tech is driven and supported by the collaboration of open source tech communities regularly sharing, networking and learning online.
It’s also odd in that a lot of legal tech companies are starved for attention. They’ve got cool stuff of value to companies and law firms. They just don’t get heard among all the noise and wrongly think it’s going to take money for ads, booths, PR and marketing.
I have followed numerous people share openly online what they were learning and what they were working on. The result was their getting known, being trusted as an industry leader and getting business.
I was one of them. I didn’t have a clue what blogs were nor the technology they ran on – software, machines for hosting – and a lot more. I followed smart people online and shared what they said and wrote along with my take on my blog, Twitter and other social media.
I learned by what I read and from the network that I grew. The network in turned talked about me and what I shared. My company and I got known, trusted and we got business. I also got smarter from just formulating my ideas by what I read and blogged — “you don’t know what you know until you blog it.”
I talked to one legal tech entrepreneur at AALL about the idea of a legal tech network of blogs, kind of like the Law School Blog Network we started early this year. Everyone gets their own blog and the benefit of LexBlog’s WordPress platform for the law (seven turnkey elements), including coaching, visibility and a network site of curated legal tech posts.
I mentioned it to another legal tech entrepreneur online today. Both seemed interested. Rather than free, as with schools, we’d probably charge something around $50 per month to keep it affordable.
We need to help legal tech companies get better at what they do, collaborate with each other (for learning and integrating solutions where it makes sense), to get known so they have customers make use of good legal technology, to make legal services more accessible and to make money so as to fuel more development and growth.
I think publishing/blogging can help.