Blog and software veteran, Dave Winer, had an a interesting comment over on Twitter,
In general journalism should report tech that is actually being used to do new things, not on VCs hyping ideas of things that will make them even richer but don’t actually do anything for anyone. If a VC is promoting something that fact alone should make you suspicious.— Dave Winer (@davewiner) December 17, 2021
To which I responded,
This is a flaw in legal tech reporting. Though legal journalism does cover tech improving access to justice and the delivery of legal services, the biggest headlines are often about funding and hyping ideas making VC’s more money. https://t.co/4FYBWi4Pct— Kevin O'Keefe (@kevinokeefe) December 17, 2021
There is an awful lot of news in legal tech coverage about people making money.
VC’s out to make more money by investing in companies, VC’s making money as a result of an exit/acquisition, entrepreneurs landing millions in funding, entrepreneurs making millions in an exit/acquisition, companies attempting to go public in order for them and VC’s to make millions.
Legal tech, to me, is about improving access to justice and improving the delivery of legal services. This way people and organizations are better served.
No question, in most cases, it takes money to get these things done. And money, other than debt, is going to take investors getting equity and an exit strategy.
VC’s and private equity firms look to make a splash in the news in any investment and acquisition. It’s what they do and what they pay for in marketing/communications dollars. Nothing wrong with this, per se, just influences what we hear.
No question, the headlines of money do grab my attention. Sometimes makes me question why I didn’t take other’s money, versus self-funding, or sell my company. ;)
Such headlines probably grab more attention of the legal tech community, as a whole, than the headlines of what tech is doing to improve people’s lives.
However, skimming through the headlines of legal tech in my Feedly news feeds, the headlines of money represent less than 10% of the legal tech headlines.
Most of the headlines represent developments in the use of legal tech, some headlines even about how such use is positively impacting access to justice.
Important to note, also, is that my friend, Robert Ambrogi, is one of the leaders – if not the leader – in legal tech coverage in the States. Ambrogi wears access to justice on his sleeve.
In addition to reporting on the subject, he has consulted with tech companies, courts and other legal organizations on legal tech and innovation and how they can improve the delivery of legal services.
My take is money grabs attention, but it could be a lot worse.